Over the years the position for a baby to sleep has changed: on the back, on the belly, sides, and back to back. All these positions have a logical explanation, which we will return. Since 1994, the target is that all children should be lying on their back, until they are able to turn alone.
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We too easily extended knowledge about the position of the bed, imagining that all the children would be better settled in the prone position, with less reflux, less colic, and therefore better sleep. Only one forgot that premature installed on the belly, lay on reclining hospital mattress, in an elevated position and is constantly monitored by scopes (to control their heart rate). Following this general council, there has been increasing the number of so-called “sudden death” of newborns dramatically.
If baby wants to sleep on your stomach?
Some parents say: “I was forced to motherhood to my child sleep only on their backs, but he seems to feel much better on the stomach. He falls asleep more easily. On the back, falling asleep can take hours and we do more, but we are afraid that something could happen. “Well, if all the safety conditions (good mattress, room temperature, etc.) are taken, it can, in exceptional cases, let the baby sit on his stomach and sleep peacefully without risk of choking.
ALL CHILDREN MUST BE COATED ON THE BACK!!
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Rest assured, in this position there is no risk of choking by regurgitation. Furthermore, baby can see around. This increases his vision and stimulates its awakening.
Sudden infant death
Sudden infant death syndrome, which affects about 300 children each year in France, remains largely unexplained.
Sudden death occurs in a toddler (50% of deaths occur between 2 and 4 months) during sleep (night usually between midnight and 8 am), and without any warning signs has been, in most cases, alert parents.
Some seasons are more critical than others. Studies have shown a frequency of sudden death increased from September to peak in November, December, and January. Then, the cases are less likely to become rare in August. Rather, it affects little boys, but beyond that, we see that infants at risk of sudden death are former premature infants and toddlers who experience breathing problems at birth or in the first weeks of life.
An offending gene
In 2004, US researchers have identified a gene responsible for a primary form of sudden death syndrome.
Their study took place in a small rural community of Pennsylvania. Two generations, nine families had lost their 21 babies victims of the syndrome.
The researchers analyzed DNA from four of these children and that of their siblings’ parents and members of the extended family. According to them, a gene called TSPYL, which is expressed both in the brainstem and the testes, may be responsible for sudden death.
DNA sequencing of this gene in the four children showed severe alteration: all affected infants had two abnormal copies of the gene TSPYL and all parents were carriers of the alteration.
Baby sleeping on your back or stomach?
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After the first government prevention campaign on the subject in 1994 (including one recommended sleeping on your back), numbers of sudden death have been halved. Moreover, it does not breathe a confined air. On the back, there is less risk that the baby also will bury under the covers, getting stuck in a corner of the mattress or in bed tower
The liver cell track
Researchers are now interested in alpha feto-protein, produced by the liver cells of the fetus. A high level of this protein in the mother’s blood is in connection with a subsequent risk of sudden death in infants. The explanation would be: an excessive amount of alpha-fetal protein disrupts placental exchange, resulting in fetal distress and, subsequently, potential cardio-respiratory problems.
The cigarette effects
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More recently, it is the nicotine that has been charged.
- Studies by Robert Debré Hospital, in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur, INSERM and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have identified a specific receptor for nicotine in the brain. This receptor regulates breathing during sleep, especially when there is a lack of oxygen in the blood. If the function of this receptor is altered, respiratory pauses are increased and can lead to cardiac arrest.
- the importance for a future mother, not to smoke during pregnancy: a pregnant woman smoking twenty cigarettes a day puts five times the risk to her baby as a non smoker. It is a message that should pass to the attention of 30% of women who smoke and are of childbearing age.
The most frequent causes
Of the infants who died prematurely, there is often a viral or bacterial respiratory infection, fever or gastro esophageal reflux. Other genetic factors remain to be explored.
In the interest of prevention
Currently, a baby on their backs to sleep is always recommended, on a firm mattress and bed dimensions. Dress them up with a sleeping bag, an on-pajamas or sleeping bag. Blankets, comforters are avoided and the room temperature should be 18-19 ° C. Finally, the room should be ventilated at least 20 minutes every day. All these preventive measures are to be observed regularly.
Before the early and sudden death of a baby, parents are often desperate.
In the opinion of specialists: the loss of a loved one causes depression and is followed by mourning. In the case of SIDS, it is very cruel because it is incomprehensible. Unexpectedly, it breaks the life of a small innocent person who has just been born.
Parents often think they need to quickly make good the loss they suffer: they want a new baby which is designated, not without reason, as a substitute baby. Some research suggests that such a decision may be too early. It is necessary that a baby born after a brother or sister sudden death victim has a specific identity in the eyes of the whole family and especially in the eyes of his/her mother.
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