In New Zealand SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy) is the main cause of death of babies.  It is the sudden, unexplained death of a baby during sleep.  New Zealand research suggests the rate of Maori babies dying of SUDI is up to five times that of non-Maori – the rate is influenced by a combination of two risk factors: high rates of maternal smoking among Maori women and co-sleeping.  Pacific Island babies are also over represented.

Te Hiku Hauora nurses Lia Corrigan, Fiona Swainson-Watson and community health worker Eleanor Cope-Albert are registered distributors of Pepi Pod and trained Safe Sleep educators.

Pepi Pods are a safe sleep space developed in 2010 by Stephanie Cowan (Change for our Children), Alys Brown (Midwife, Waikato) and Dr David Tipene-Leach (Hawkes Bay) enabling parents and baby to be safe and close especially when sleeping.  It provides an area of protection.  Pepi Pods are for babies under 6 months of age who have been weakened by:
*smoking in pregnancy/households
*low birth weight
*obesity in pregnancy
*unsafe sleeping positions

Once we are aware that parents are in need of a Pepi Pod, we go through a “safety briefing” education korero with the  whanau.  The korero includes how babies are different from adults,  safety features of the pod, where it is safe to use the pod and how to make up the pod correctly and safe handling of baby.  Once the whanau no longer require the pod then they can either return it or pass in on to another whanau along with the education.

Remember the “Rules of Protection”
On the back, clear face
Only baby in this space
Breastfed, smokefree
Sober carer close by me
Own space, gentle care
Drugs and drinking nowhere near