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Published Saturday 7 Dec 2019

New mum Kaya shows us how her new-born, Kreihana, can sleep with her in one of the pēpi-pods designed for keeping babies safe. Hutt Maternity are pleased to be working in partnership with Kokiri Marae Health and social services promoting safe sleep for mums and bubs through the Moe Ora mo nga pēpi – SUDI Prevention Programme.

Whakawhetu Safe Sleep day on Friday 6 December is a chance to get across the message ‘safe sleep, every sleep, every place’. Here at Hutt Valley we are thrilled to have pēpi-pods for some of our new mums. While in hospital a pēpi-pod is provided and when whānua go home they are gifted a Wahakura if they met certain criteria.

“Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu. Although small, it is precious”

New Zealand has the highest rate of death from SUDI amongst industrialised nations.

Around sixty infants die of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) each year in New Zealand. Māori infants represent over half of all deaths from SUDI, and Pacific infants also have a disproportionately high rate. Implementing and promoting safe sleep practices substantially reduce the risk of SUDI.

Our team’s aim is to provide consistent and accurate information to guide parents for the home situation, based on contemporary best practice.

Before mums head home our team inform families about SUDI and promote key safe sleep messages including:

  • Place - babies should be placed in their own baby bed
  • Eliminate - babies should be protected with a smoke-free whanau, whare and waka (family, house and car) which means smoking during pregnancy should be eliminated.
  • Position - babies should be positioned flat on their back to sleep
  • Encourage - mums should be encouraged to breastfeed.

Early intervention is especially important as infants under two months represent the largest single group at risk of suffocation while in a place of sleeping

By giving advice, promoting pēpi-pods and safe sleep messages from before birth, our health care professionals, midwives, Well Child providers and general practice (GP) practice nurses reinforce the importance of safe sleep.

Hutt Maternity want to thank everyone for getting the safe sleep messages across. Especially thank you to Kokiri Marae Health for all their support and ARL Lawyers who have kindly sponsored the programme and Wahakura provided to some of our new mums.

For more information about the National SUDI Prevention Service and Hapai te Hauora – Maori Public Health.

For more information about Kokiri Marae Health and Social Services.