Make Time for Tummy Time

2019-11-11T05:53:38+00:00November 11th, 2019|Categories: Fertility Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

As our babies grow, they need new ways to exercise their bodies and brains. Sitting up, rolling over and putting random items in her mouth all make new connections in her brain and help her develop coordination. Making sure your baby has plenty of time out of her crib or car seat has many crucial benefits. Spending time playing on her stomach, aka Tummy Time, strengthens her neck and back muscles. Most importantly, tummy time can help your baby stay safe by reducing the risk of SIDS.

During Tummy Time your baby is lifting her head and using all the muscles in her upper body. Essentially doing a miniature baby plank. The ability to lift her head up can help your baby avoid rebreathing her air if she rolls on her stomach or gets into a tight spot. The saying “back to sleep, tummy to play” is a good way to remember to put your little one on her tummy when you or a caregiver is watching. Then always put your baby to sleep on her back without any pillows or blankets in the crib with her.

There are many reasons to let your baby play on her stomach as much as possible:

  1. Upper body strength for safety and repositioning (see above)
  2. Reduce the risk of positional plagiocephaly (flat spot on the head). Usually if a flat spot does develop, it will be on the back of the head from the pressure of her head being in contact with her crib or car seat for extended periods of time. Around 20% of babies have a flat spot on their head that resolves as they approach 1 year of age
  3. Tummy time helps your baby reach physical milestones on time since they are moving and using muscles in different ways
  4. Have an interesting toy within reach so your baby can practice moving her body, reaching and grasping

Safe tummy time tips:

  1. Tummy time should be after a nap or other time when your baby is wakeful.
  2. Carefully watch your baby, make sure she isn’t spitting up
  3. Wait 30-45 minutes after feeding to allow for digestion time
  4. Tummy time can be on your/dad’s/caregivers chest too
  5. Don’t give up if your baby gets cranky, start for 2-3 minutes at a time.

There are several other recommendations for safe sleep from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Read the full article here

Breastfeeding for 2 Months Halves SIDS Risk

2018-03-22T22:40:20+00:00March 22nd, 2018|Categories: Fertility Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics is the first to determine the length of time a mother needs to breastfeed to protect her baby from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The researchers found breastfeeding for at least 2 months cut the incidence of SIDS by almost 50% even after adjusting for variables that could otherwise account for these changes, such as prenatal care and secondhand smoke. Partial and exclusive breastfeeding offer similar rates of protection from SIDS, the important factor seems to be the duration of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding for less than two months did not provide the same risk reduction. The longer mothers breastfed, the lower the risk of SIDS.

To determine the effects of breastfeeding on SIDS occurrence, researchers examined the data from eight studies from around the world. Researchers tracked 2,259 cases of SIDS and 6,894 control infants where death did not occur. This large sample size helps to prove the reliability of the conclusion and importance of breastfeeding, despite different cultural behaviors across countries.

Based on their results, the researchers are calling for ongoing concerted efforts to increase rates of breastfeeding around the world. Here in the US breastfeeding is on the rise, but we still have work to do to increase initiation and duration in young, minority and low SES mothers. The percentage of babies who start out breastfeeding increased from 73% among babies born in 2004 to 83% among babies born in 2014-meeting the objective of 81.9% set by Healthy People 2020. Babies are also breastfeeding for longer durations – 55% of U.S. babies born in 2014 were being breastfed at 6 months, up from 42% in 2004. However, this metric does not meet the goal of 60.6% set by Healthy People 2020.

Researchers have yet to determine the reason breastfeeding has such an impact on SIDS risk. New studies are focused on breastfeeding benefits to immunity and the relationship between shorter sleep periods and breast milk digestion time. Read the study here