Mother ‘inconsolable’ after newborn dies in baby sling
THE mother of a newborn, who died in a fabric baby sling, has been left "utterly inconsolable" by the shock death of her son.
The married mother-of-three is said to be "beside herself" with grief after she unravelled the fabric baby carrier during a post natal check-up to discover he was not breathing.
"She had carried her baby for nine months and now this..," a source close to the family told The Daily Telegraph.
"It's a horribly tough time for her and the family, she is beside herself, it's still so raw, and so is her husband.
"She had carried the baby properly on her front in the sling, she's a mother of three, totally devoted to her children, they are her world.
"She's utterly inconsolable."
The baby's lifeless body was discovered as the woman, 36, presented for a check-up and passed her three-week-old son to a nurse at Long Jetty Community Health Centre on the Central Coast on April 8.
She had been chatting to a nurse for eight to ten minutes before unwrapping the infant and passing him to the nurse when they both noticed he was not breathing.
Shocked staff carried out CPR in a frantic bid to revive the boy as his hysterical mother looked on but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are not treating the death as suspicious and are investigating whether the baby sling carrier, described as a fabric wrap as opposed to a designated baby carrier, contributed to his fatality.
They said the child had been born via a forceps delivery with a slow heart rate after the mother was induced but had showed no other underlying health conditions.
A post mortem has taken place and the results will be presented to the coroner, who is expected to hold an inquest.
The infant was buried last week on the Central Coast.
There have been three other deaths in Australia linked to baby slings since 2010.
Each died due to having its face pressed against the person wearing the sling, or having its breathing restricted due to being curled up in a C-shape.
Red Nose Australia - formerly SIDS and Kids, warned against the use of slings as a "suffocation risk" for babies under four months, those born prematurely or with breathing difficulties.
The Queensland University of Technology conducted a study of 800 Australian families into the safety of baby slings.
It discovered almost one in 20 infants had been injured or narrowly avoided injury in slings, and 95 per cent of the parents surveyed who either used, or intended to use a baby sling, considered them safe to use straight after birth.
NSW Fair Trading issued a reminder of the potential risks of slings with Commissioner at the time, Rod Stowe, urging parents and carers to take particular care when carrying babies less than four months old.
"Babies have suffocated while in slings," he said.
"They are at risk if placed incorrectly in a sling because they do not have the physical capacity to move out of dangerous positions that block their airways.
"Two positions present significant danger: lying with a curved back, with the chin resting on the chest and lying with the face pressed against the fabric of the sling or the wearer's body.
"Slings are baby carriers designed to help you carry a baby by easing the pressure on your arms and back. They are not hands-free devices. Slings do not have identified leg openings."
The NSW Fair Trading website advises buying slings that come with detailed instructions for use and getting a baby fitted for a safe fit and keeping its chin up and away from the body.
The Australian government introduced the TICKS rule in 2014, focusing on baby sling safety.
TICKS was created in the UK by sling manufacturers after doctors raised concerns.
At least six babies have died in the UK from baby slings.
Make sure the sling is tight, with your baby positioned high and upright with his head supported.
IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES
You should be able to see your baby's face simply by looking down. To avoid the risk of suffocation, ensure your baby's face, nose and mouth remain uncovered by both the sling and your body.
CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS
Following on from the recommendation to keep your baby positioned high, this section of the recommendations suggests that you should easily be able to kiss the top of your baby's head just by tipping your head forward.
KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST
Your baby's chin should be kept up and away from their body, and never curled so that his chin is forced onto his chest, as it can restrict breathing. You should also regularly check on your baby, because they can become distressed without making any noise or movement.
A baby's back should be supported in his sling, with his tummy and chest against you. If you need to bend down, do so from the knees, not the waist, and use one hand to support your baby's back while you do so.