I ran into a new mom yesterday – really new, she just delivered on Saturday. For some reason, and I do not know why, I asked if she was breastfeeding. Seems like this is becoming the new question right after boy or girl? She said yes and then of course I asked if she was bed sharing…
Bed Sharing is one of those very gentle areas, there are people that are all for it and then there are people like me that are completely against it. While I was writing this, I decided to call Dr. Huyer for advice. Dr. Huyer is the Chair of the Paediatric Death Review Committee for The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario. I asked him if there was one quote that he could give on bed sharing what would it be? Without hesitation he said “the safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own safe sleep environment” end of quote. Clean simple and to the point, he suggested that I do not go into a debate about the issue, one statement for which there is so much medical literature and studies to back, and one that cannot really be argued against.
I was going to go into all the numbers of the past years of unsafe sleep deaths, but decided that instead I will leave you with a few numbers from the Paediatric Death Report of 2012; these are some numbers for 2011.
33 unsafe sleep deaths out of those 28 were bed sharing, 28 deaths that could have been prevented.
1 SIDS death, a death that could not have been prevented.
In Canada we are the only Province that breaks out SIDS deaths from unsafe sleep. Disturbing information I know, but sometimes it is important to know the facts.
Follow Yolanda on Twitter @cdninfsafesleep or ask her questions in the comments below. You may also come to our Infant Massage and Safe Sleep Complimentary Workshop.
UPDATE: The original title of this post was “Bed Sharing Kills Babies” and was written by a member of our staff and not by Yolanda Guitar. We apologize to Yolanda and our readers for the misunderstanding.