A pediatricians group has updated its advice on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and those guidelines touch on a common hazard for the first time: It's not unusual for moms to fall asleep while breastfeeding, so they should plan accordingly. Specifically, that means a sleepy mom would be better off feeding her child in an adult bed rather than on a sofa or a cushioned chair, reports Medical News Today. "If you are feeding your baby and think that there's even the slightest possibility that you may fall asleep, feed your baby on your bed," says Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, a co-author of the statement on SIDS from the American Academy of Pediatrics. She adds that "the process of breastfeeding renders a mom sleepy, physiologically," notes the Washington Post.
- It's safest for babies up to 12 months old to sleep in the same room as their parents, though not in the parents' bed.
- Babies should be placed on their backs on a firm surface with a tight-fitting sheet; avoid pillows, blankets, soft toys, and crib bumpers.
- Offer a pacifier.
- In general, breastfeeding, immunizing, and avoiding cigarette, alcohol, and drug use during pregnancy and after birth are linked to a lower risk of SIDS, which kills about 3,500 infants a year in the US.
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