January 17, 2014

Keeping sleeping babies safe


COLUMBIA, TN – About 4,000 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly each year in the United States. About half of these deaths are attributed to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

SIDS is defined as the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an infant less than one year of age. It is the leading cause of death for infants from one to 12 months old, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.

Here are some tips from Maury Regional Medical Center and the CDC on how to keep your baby safe while sleeping:

  • Place babies on their back, not on tummy or side
  • Keep the baby’s head and face uncovered on a firm sleep surface covered by a fitted sheet
  • Give your baby a dry pacifier that is not attached to a string for naps and at night
  • Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of your baby’s sleep area
  • Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep
  • Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch, or on a chair alone, with you, or with anyone else

Maury Regional Medical Center also wants to remind you that studies have shown that the last few weeks of gestation are vitally important in a baby’s development because major organs including the brain, lungs and liver are in the final crucial stage of growth. Electing to carry a baby to at least 39 weeks greatly improves the infant’s chances for good physical and developmental health. Infants delivered before they reach a term of 39 to 41 weeks have a greater risk of respiratory and other complications. MRMC is among the many Tennessee health care organizations encouraging full-term births through the Healthy Tennessee Babies are Worth the Wait Initiative. For more information contact your OB/GYN or pediatrician.

An average of 1,500 babies enter this world annually at MRMC. The entire fourth floor of the medical center is dedicated to mother-baby couplet care. Labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care and obstetrics units allow mothers to go through all stages of labor, delivery and recovery in the same location and to room together with their newborns in one of the medical center’s private rooms. The welcoming and comforting environment also includes sleeper sofas in the rooms for a family member who wants to stay. Free tours of the women’s floor are conducted for expectant parents and siblings monthly, except for December.

To learn more about services available at MRMC for new mothers and babies, visit or call 931.540.4167. For more tips on keeping babies safe, visit