Baby charity The Lullaby Trust has today launched a new dedicated website for young parents, in a bid to tackle rising rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in babies born to teenage mums.
Babies born to mothers below the age of 20 are four times more likely to die of SIDS than those born to mums aged 20 and over according to the latest figures on unexplained deaths in infancy, released by the Office for National Statistics.
Although the cause of SIDS is not known, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk. The new Little Lullaby website, http://www.littlelullaby.org.uk, backed by The Big Lottery Fund will provide young and expectant parents with the opportunity to learn what they can do to lower the risk of SIDS. The Lullaby Trust works to promote information on safer sleep to all parents with the ultimate goal of halving the number of SIDS deaths by 2020.
The mobile friendly website will also contain forums where young parents can connect and discuss safer sleep for babies, as well as share advice and support one another through different aspects of pregnancy, birth and parenting.
Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust says: “We have launched Little Lullaby to equip all young parents with the knowledge they need to ensure their baby is sleeping as safely as possible. We know that babies born to teenage parents are most at risk of SIDS, so by providing them with a space where they can learn about safer sleep, while also gaining support from their peers through the trials of pregnancy and parenthood, we will be a step closer to reaching our goal of halving the rate of SIDS by 2020. We are asking midwives, health visitors and professionals who work with young parents to let them know about this great resource, where they can access information, advice and peer support.”
The charity’s Young Parent Ambassadors have a strong presence on the site, answering questions from members in the site’s forums and sharing their experiences in the blog section. The Lullaby Trust Young Parent Ambassadors are specially trained volunteers who work with Little Lullaby to develop training sessions for young parents and parents to be on how to reduce the risk of SIDS as well as training professionals about the best ways to work with young parents.
Twenty-three-year-old mum of four Sharna from London says “Since becoming a Young Parent Ambassador, I’ve delivered several talks to other young parents around London. It’s been a great experience as I’ve learned valuable new skills, gained a qualification, and had the opportunity to meet with young mums and dads and teach them the simple things they can do to give their baby a safer sleep and reduce the risk of SIDS.”
Another Young Ambassador is Stephanie, who sadly knows first-hand about how SIDS can devastate families.
“I sadly lost my niece to SIDS when she was only three months old. It was a really difficult time for my whole family, but it was even more painful because she died the night before I gave birth to my son. Losing my niece to SIDS inspired me to take action and become a Young Parent Ambassador, so I can spread awareness to other families and prevent them from going through the same heartbreak we did.”