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Area woman promotes safe sleep practices after losing her daughter

January 15, 2018
By Crystal Price - Mirror Moms guest columnist , Mirror Moms

On July 5, 2015, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Lillianna. Like most new parents are, I was obsessed and so full of love for my new blue eyed baby girl. Three months later, my maternity leave ended and I had to return to work. My daughter passed away at daycare in an unsafe sleep position soon after my return to work.

The day my daughter died I did not realize that I would then become obsessed in a new way. I became an infant safe sleep advocate, finding importance in providing new parents with information on infant safe sleep and how to research daycares when deciding where to place their bundle of joy.

On Oct. 25, 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. National remembrance of pregnancy and infant loss is observed annually on Oct. 15. The national remembrance honors pregnancy-related loss and early infant deaths.

Since October is also the month that my daughter passed away, every year I reach out to the public to advocate for safe sleep.

Following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics on practices on how to create a safe sleep environment and reduce the risks of infant-related loss such as SIDS, suffocation and strangulation:

Know that every sleep counts and always place your baby on their back to sleep.

Place your baby to sleep on a firm surface, such as in their bare crib or bassinet on an approved mattress with a tight- fitted sheet.

Avoid putting your baby to sleep on soft sleep surfaces such as pillows, stuffed animals, swings, car seats and couches.

Share a bedroom with your infant (it has been found to reduce the risk of SIDS by 50 percent), but do not share sleep surfaces with your infant preferably until the age of 1.

Do not place soft objects in your infants sleep area, such as stuffed animals, pillows, baby wedges and positioners, bumpers and blankets.

Practice supervised tummy time when your infant is awake.

Do not allow your baby to get too hot while they sleep.

Offer a pacifier during naptime and bedtime.

Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.

Avoid exposing your infant to smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.

Crystal Price is a mental health counselor, national certified counselor and an infant safe sleep advocate. She has a master's of education from Duquesne University specializing in family and marriage therapy. She lives in Hollidaysburg with her husband Michael and her sons Evan and Ryder.



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