SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is one of the most devastating tragedies that can hit a family, and it is often made that much worse for the fact that it comes and goes with no explanation. But while many factors are outside of one’s control, in keeping SIDS away, there are also a number of things that elevate the risk of SIDS occurring. You can decrease the risk of your baby falling prey to SIDS if you know what these things are and know how to avoid them.
In addition to being bad for your baby’s health down the road, it can actually be fatal to your baby in the short term if you smoke, drink, or take drugs while pregnant. Studies have found that those who smoke, drink, or do drugs while they are pregnant subject their babies to a much higher risk-level when it comes to SIDS. Of course – for your own health and the health of those around you – you would be best off cutting these out of your life altogether. But even if you do not cut them out altogether, you need to cut them out while you are pregnant.
It is not just your own smoking that could increase your baby’s risk of SIDS either, but is also smoke from those around you. Babies have been shown to be at a much higher risk of SIDS when they have been exposed to smoke following birth.
There are a few specific things you can do yourself – in addition to the areas of smoking, drinking, and the use of drugs – that can keep your baby from being at high risk of SIDS. As poor prenatal care has been shown to be a contributing factor to SIDS, you should make sure you have optimal prenatal care. Stomach sleeping and overheating are two more contributing factors that can cause SIDS to occur – and both of these things are easily avoidable. Make sure you have not bundled your baby in excessive sleepwear and bedding, and do what you can to make sure your baby is not sleeping on its stomach.
SIDS is still largely a medical mystery, but there are still certain things you can do to decrease the risk of this tragedy occurring in your family; know what these things are, and learn to take care of them yourself.