Nils has just had a new article published! It is in the latest online issue of Pediatric Research – which is a high profile journal. In it he proposes an explanation on how the “Back to Sleep Campaign” has lowered the number of SIDS cases over the world. No-one has so far been able to provide the scientific explanation for why this works. His article argues that sleeping on the back is actually a stressor for the baby. In babies who have a defect in the brain stem, sleeping on their backs adds a level of stress that is protective for the effects of the defect, which has to do with recovery from episodes of very slow heart rates that all newborns experience. The problem is that the defect is very rare, maybe only about 2 per 1 000 babies. Since the defect cannot be detected, all babies are advised to sleep on their backs.
Why did Nils write this article?
Babies in skin-to-skin contact are prone (lying on their stomach) on mother when she is lying down. Nils is saying that the skin-to-skin stomach sleeping is the safest and is NOT the same as babies sleeping separated – whether on their stomach or back.