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Knowledge saves lives

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Amy Condon is a mum to 3 kids, who are all under 3! Yes, you heard us right. Each week she tells us all about the ups and downs of bringing up 3 children so close in age. This week Amy talks about the tragedy of cot death...

'When you blog, you have to be more than a little self-indulgent. You waffle on about yourself and your own life, and hope that someone out there is actually interested. But every now and again, being part of the parent blogger community makes you realise there's something bigger. That it means more than just words.

We were all shocked recently when one blogger found her 9-month-old daughter not breathing. Despite the best efforts of her father and the paramedics, nothing could be done. The little girl was gone.

Cot death. The phrase every parent fears above all others. Although I've never met the family, I have been deeply affected by what has happened. My heart aches for a mother going through what no mother should, and I hold my own girls even closer than ever. But as well as grief, what has emerged in this tragedy is an unawareness of the causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Sids). Although it seems no cause of death will ever be found for her own daughter, the bereaved mother has, with a strength beyond anything I can imagine, been doing her best to prevent anyone else losing a child. Her fight to raise awareness of Sids is one I fully support, but I must confess to being shocked by just how many people seem not to have been given basic safety tips.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend some excellent NCT classes, which not only gave me a great group of mummy friends, they also prepared me well for life with 2 newborns. All 3 of my girls slept in cots in my room until they were 6 months old, and I checked numerous books and websites before I decided on letting the twins share a cot. They all had firmly tucked-in blankets until they were big enough for sleeping bags, were never put to sleep with a hat on, and didn't have pillows until they were over 2. With the twins, my biggest fear was overheating. They were born in December, when it wasn't such a problem, but come summertime in a big block of flats in a big city, their room thermometer was often reading 30 degrees when I put them down to nap. All I could do was keep the windows and door open, and hope the noise didn't wake them. Having moved to Scotland, with M I've had the opposite worry - keeping her warm. As the temperature dropped into minus figures, I found the solution in adorable fleecy onesies she could wear inside her sleeping bag. Of course, parents can never calm all their fears, but I found having good information helped me to make what I felt were the right choices for my girls.

Of course, many parents cannot afford to attend NCT classes, or can't access the courses offered by their hospital, but I was also given safe sleeping information before I left the maternity ward with my newborns. Is this not standard practice in hospitals? And if not, why not?

Baby on back. Feet to foot of cot. No loose blankets.

Those 3 sentences save lives. Why are they not the first thing the midwife says to every mother when she holds her child? Why are they not on every piece of paperwork you fill out? Painted on every wall?

Every mother would give her life to protect her child, and no parent should ever have to go through the agony of losing their baby. Not every child can be saved, not every parent's nightmare averted, but I have no doubt that some families can be spared, simply by getting the information out there.'

The bereaved mother Amy' talks about in this blog has asked for donations to be given to sick and premature childrens' charity, Bliss, at bliss.org.

Do you worry about cot death? Tell us about your experiences in our comments section below or on Facebook.

Continued below...


Amy's other blog posts... 

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