Birthing Q&A

Joshua Jakum, MD pediatrician

Q: What should new parents know about SIDS?

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden unexplained death of an infant younger than age one. The most recent recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics offer the following guidelines to parents to help prevent SIDS:

  • Infants should sleep on their backs.
  • Infants should not sleep in the parents’ bed, but in a separate crib, cradle or bassinet in the parents’ bedroom.
  • Consider offering your infant a pacifier at bedtime until age one. (Don’t force it.)

You should also never smoke during pregnancy or around your newborn. New parents should share these recommendations with other child-care providers, such as grandparents and babysitters. Talk with your doctor for more information about SIDS.

Free souvenir for newborns. Babies born at the O’Shaughnessy Family Birthing Center in Northern VA leave with special onesies from the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board through a grant from the March of Dimes. The front says “This Side Up” as a reminder to parents to always lay infants on their backs. For a free tour of our Virginia birthing center, call 540-316-5000.

Learn more about our Birthing Services and the O'Shaughnessy Family Birthing Center


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