The NICU ensures safe sleep one swaddle at a time

Patients who receive care in the Women & Babies Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are small in size, but their needs are great. These tiny patients usually spend anywhere between 1 week to 4 months in the NICU. During this time, many parents begin to see the clinical staff as an extension of their own family, while also learning how to care for their new baby.

person holding swaddled newborn baby

“Research shows that parents, once at home, will mimic the techniques they saw used by NICU staff, especially when the techniques are implemented each day,” said Margi Bowers, NICU nurse manager.

In 2017, the Pennsylvania Child Death Review Annual Report showed that approximately 3,500 infants in the United States die each year from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

“After reviewing the 2017 report, we asked ourselves how we could make a difference and help reduce the number of SIDS-related deaths,” Bowers added.

In alignment with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Safe to Sleep” campaign and sleep environment guidelines, the NICU enhanced current safe-sleep techniques, including more conversations regarding safe-sleep practices and the replacement of traditional receiving blankets with sleep sacks, which first started in January 2018.

Read more at Penn Medicine News.