July 31, 2015
1 min read

Safe sleep behaviors for infants may vary by mother’s race, care setting

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Individuals who used community social service agencies and those who are black were more likely to partake in unsafe sleep behaviors with new babies, such as bed-sharing and unsafe sleep positioning, according to data from a recently published pilot study.

Nikki Keene Woods, department of public health sciences, Wichita State University and colleagues analyzed data from a Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System-based questionnaire, to assess the variation in self-reported sleep habits from community social service agencies and primary care centers.

Results demonstrated that the majority of participants from the community agencies (85%) and primary care groups (79%) reported using supine positioning when putting their child to sleep.

A significant association was seen between black race and unsafe sleep positioning (P = .022).

Participants from community health agencies were significantly more likely to report sharing a bed with their baby (36%), compared with those at primary care centers (5%) (P = .002).

The researchers noted that further research is needed to identify the safest sleep practices, as well as the importance of collaborative efforts to improve safe sleep behaviors.

“Safe sleep education should begin during pregnancy and be consistently reinforced throughout pregnancy and child’s first year. Consistent verbal counseling and safe sleep messaging with infant caregivers through the safe sleep campaign have had significant impacts in safe sleep behaviors,” Woods and colleagues concluded. – by Casey Hower

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.