Message Bears Repeating: Back Sleep Best for Babies

April 6, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), yet a quarter of all babies, especially those of African-American descent, are not placed on their backs to sleep. In a new study, researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that mothers who believe their babies are uncomfortable or more likely to choke when sleeping on their backs are more likely to place them in other positions, increasing the risk of SIDS.

Published in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA/Archives journal, the study also found that mothers who receive consistent advice from physicians, nurses and the media to place their to sleep on their backs are likely to follow this recommendation.

Isabelle Von Kohorn, M.D., clinical fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale, and colleagues performed face-to-face interviews between 2006 and 2008 with 2,299 mothers, most of whom were African-American mothers of infants younger than eight months. The mothers discussed what advice they had received and their personal beliefs about infant sleep position.

“Among mothers at high risk for not placing their infants on their backs, addressing concerns about infant comfort and choking, and increasing the amount of advice mothers receive about putting babies on their backs, should help increase the number of babies being placed on their backs to sleep,” said Van Kohorn.

About 63 percent of mothers believed that their infants were most comfortable in a position other than their backs and 56 percent believed their infants were more likely to choke on their backs.

“Increasing advice for exclusively back sleep, especially through the media, and addressing mothers’ concerns about infant comfort and choking are critical to getting more on their back to sleep,” said Von Kohorn.

The study was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which also supports the national Back to Campaign www.nichd.nih.gov/sids .

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Healthy eating linked to kids' happiness

December 13, 2017
Healthy eating is associated with better self-esteem and fewer emotional and peer problems, such as having fewer friends or being picked on or bullied, in children regardless of body weight, according to a study published ...

Searching for a link between achy joints and rainy weather in a flood of data, researchers come up dry

December 13, 2017
Rainy weather has long been blamed for achy joints. Unjustly so, according to new research from Harvard Medical School. The analysis, published Dec. 13 in BMJ, found no relationship between rainfall and joint or back pain.

Mistletoe and (a large) wine: Seven-fold increase in wine glass size over 300 years

December 13, 2017
Our Georgian and Victorian ancestors probably celebrated Christmas with more modest wine consumption than we do today - if the size of their wine glasses are anything to go by. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have ...

How well can digital assistants answer questions on sex?

December 13, 2017
Google laptop searches seem to be better at finding quality online sexual health advice than digital assistants on smartphones, find experts in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Study links health risks to electromagnetic field exposure

December 13, 2017
A study of real-world exposure to non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields in pregnant women found a significantly higher rate of miscarriage, providing new evidence regarding their potential health risks. The Kaiser Permanente ...

Owning a pet does not seem to influence signs of aging

December 13, 2017
Owning a pet does not appear to slow the rate of ageing, as measured by standard indicators, suggest the authors of a study published in the Christmas issue of The BMJ.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.