Questioning SIDS "Back to Sleep Campaign" - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 64 Old 07-25-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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The people who believe that the back to sleep campaign just coordinated to other changes and didn't actually help are forgetting that the back to sleep campaign is ongoing and studies are ongoing.

I know of ongoing SIDS research that is ongoing. Researchers are working with populations that have the highest SIDS rates hear and abroad (including the Native American population). As part of their research as to what could be causing the higher SIDS incidents they are also educating parents about the ways to reduce SIDS risks that we have all heard (firm surface, back to sleep, etc.) They have found that the education alone is reducing the number of SIDS cases in these high risk groups. So if the campaign back in the 70s that reduced the number of SIDS cases was coincidentally caused by something else that had similar results then that same coincidental cause is happening in modern cases where parents are being counseled about SIDS risks.

The current thinking is that SIDS is the result a failure of the serotonin brain stem “alarm” system resulting in an inability to wake up to dangerously low levels of oxygen and/or dangerously high levels of carbon dioxide during sleep. On the stomach positioning allows more re-breathing of carbon dioxide in a pocket in front of the mouth and nose. In the vast majority of children as the brain stem matures this "alarm" system part of the brain also matures which is why the highest risk period is the 1st year of life. The peak incidence of SIDS occurs during a period of major reorganization of the autonomic nervous system. Of course, all babies do not have this problem, but it is impossible to know if your child does or not therefore back to sleep is still recommended for all children.

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#62 of 64 Old 07-26-2010, 01:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
The current thinking is that SIDS is the result a failure of the serotonin brain stem “alarm” system resulting in an inability to wake up to dangerously low levels of oxygen and/or dangerously high levels of carbon dioxide during sleep. On the stomach positioning allows more re-breathing of carbon dioxide in a pocket in front of the mouth and nose. In the vast majority of children as the brain stem matures this "alarm" system part of the brain also matures which is why the highest risk period is the 1st year of life. The peak incidence of SIDS occurs during a period of major reorganization of the autonomic nervous system. Of course, all babies do not have this problem, but it is impossible to know if your child does or not therefore back to sleep is still recommended for all children.
This could all be completely true and yet always putting a baby to sleep on its back might nevertheless also slow motor and cognitive skills development. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Plus there is the flat head problem, a problem that I do not believe to be insignificant. Health professionals are basically telling us that it is okay to permanently disfigure our baby's heads and faces (yes, faces - the flattening in the back of the head can cause the facial features to go asymmetrical) in order to prevent the small (tiny and possibly completely genetic anyway) risk of SIDS. That's just twisted.

Roman Goddess, mom to J (August 2004) and J (April 2009).    h20homebirth.gif signcirc1.gif
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#63 of 64 Old 07-26-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Tom321 View Post
All that wonderful data
It is somewhat interesting (okay, a lot interesting) that room-sharing and breastfeeding are both also big SIDS "preventions," but back-to-sleep is what Americans cling to as the saving grace.

Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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#64 of 64 Old 07-26-2010, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ErinYay View Post
It is somewhat interesting (okay, a lot interesting) that room-sharing and breastfeeding are both also big SIDS "preventions," but back-to-sleep is what Americans cling to as the saving grace.
Yes! Isn't it interesting that we hear soooo much about back to sleep in the news and all over the internet, but we never hear about how research has shown that breastfeeding can reduce your risk of SIDS by 50% as well. How much money do you think the formula companies pay to keep that as quiet as possible? Even on websites, "back to sleep" gets the main headline, while breastfeeding is mentioned as a side note at the bottom.

My son sleeps on his tummy right next to me. He is breastfed and he still wakes up every 1.5-3 hours to eat. The only difference is, when he sleeps on his tummy, he looks content and like he's getting good sleep in between feeds. When he's on his back, he kicks around and seems really restless the whole time, startling awake and fussing.

Perhaps a formula fed baby is more likely to just continue to sleep on their tummy because they don't wake up hungry as often and therefore remain in that deep sleep for too long during that critical 2-4 month time frame? Maybe formula fed babies would be better off on their backs but BF'd babies are ok on their tummies.

But if this is the case, would formula companies want you to know this? Especially given the info that Tom so kindly brought to light in his post about how back sleeping could be potentially dangerous. If every baby were breastfed and laid to sleep on their tummy, would that have lowered the SIDS rate by the same amount as BTS while at the same time eliminated the risks associated with back sleeping? Which corporations would have a vested interest in keeping that kind of information a secret?

Personally, I think babies were "meant" to sleep either on their tummies on their parents' chests or side facing in the parents arms. But flat on their backs with their arms flailing and the backs of their heads pushed against a firm surface doesn't look quite right to me. This is obviously my opinion.

And no, this is not about me wanting more sleep for myself! My main concern is about the quality of sleep my baby is getting.

Tom, thanks so much for weighing in on this! It is clear you have put a lot of time and effort into researching this and I appreciate you sharing what you've come up with!
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