Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of death for children one year old and younger. These deaths often happen during sleep or in the baby’s sleep area. Sudden unexpected deaths include sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation in a sleeping environment and other deaths from unknown causes. 

During SIDS awareness month in October, colleagues from the Family Maternity Center at HSHS St. Francis Hospital want to educate parents in the metro-east to ensure safe sleep for infants. 

“Every mom who delivers at St. Francis is educated about the risk factors associated with infant mortality and we work both within the hospital and with community partners to increase this important education. Together, we provide needed resources for our mothers and families to continue to improve outcomes and keep babies safe,” said Elisa Feldmann, RNC, nurse manager of the Family Maternity Center.  

The Family Maternity Center is designated a Silver Safe Sleep Hospital through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver organization and Cribs for Kids Program, and a certified Baby-Friendly Hospital by the WHO and UNICEF, one of only approximately 600 designated hospitals in the US. St. Francis Hospital is also proud to be recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois for meeting the rigorous BDC quality selection criteria for maternity care set by the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

“These designations and national recognition show that our experienced staff continue to raise the bar in our facility on behalf of our patients to continue implement best practices and provide high-quality care,” Feldmann added.

So, what are the ABCs of Safe Sleep? Feldmann shared, “The answer is Alone, on their Backs, in a Safe Crib.” 

  • Babies should always sleep alone. If moms are breastfeeding, soothe the baby back to sleep while standing and return to crib when they are asleep.
  • Always place babies on their back to sleep.
  • A baby should sleep in a crib with a firm mattress covered by a tightly fitted sheet. Babies can die while sleeping in adult beds, couches, pillows, blankets and other soft surfaces as well as in car seats, bouncy seats and infant swings. It is also important to keep stuffed animals, crib bumpers and other items out of the crib.

Parents, grandparents, babysitters and anyone else involved with the care of an infant are encouraged to be educated on the risks and safe sleep habits by visiting here

To learn more about the St. Francis Hospital Family Maternity Center, visit here

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270

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