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Sudden infant death (cot death)

(24 Posts)
sophied1983 Wed 06-Apr-16 10:10:44

I lost my sister to cot death when I was 4 (she was 11 weeks).

I am now 18 weeks pregnant... and am feeling very anxious about when baby is here and how I'll ever be able to sleep!

Is anyone else in this position?

The Lullaby Trust do offer excellent Care of Next Infant schemes and similar for siblings, but they don't cover my area so feeling a bit lost.

Would be great to chat...

AKP79 Wed 06-Apr-16 10:19:01

Really sorry to hear this OP

I don't have experience directly, but my husband lost his brother to cot death. I'm not sure how old his brother was (only weeks) but my husband was 7, so remembers it all clearly. I know he's going to find it all very traumatic and I have been wondering how to support him through everything. So I do have a vague idea of how you are feeling.

What makes me most angry in our situation is DH's mother is a heavy smoker and we know that smoking has a link to cot death. I can't imagine her giving up between now and the baby arriving and that really worries me.

Additionally, I already have a son, from a previous relationship, who was born with meningitis and thankfully fully recovered. We had a missed miscarriage over Christmas, which was all very sad.

I'm only 5-6 weeks now, but both of us are very anxious.

Sorry I can't offer any practical advice, but would love to follow this thread and hear what others have to say.

VocationalGoat Wed 06-Apr-16 10:20:31

I think, with or without living through such an awful experience, 99.99999% of new mothers obsessively check on their newborn babies while they're sleeping. flowers So it's a legitimate worry combined with heightened anxiety based on what you've been through. How very sad that you lost your baby sibling. And I imagine your mother spoke quite a bit about such a significant loss.
Of course you would feel anxious.
I think I'd go to my GP to discuss anxiety or bring it up at your next appointment with the midwife (or even ring sooner to discuss). There's support you should access. Your GP/midwife can help put it into place for you.


rosieliveson1 Wed 06-Apr-16 10:22:25

Hi, although I have no direct experience of sids (cot death). I do know that the instances are now greatly reduced from when I was a child (80s), partly due to changes in advice on sleeping arrangements for baby. Bring it up with your midwife and with your health visitor. There is lots of advice out there for helping to prevent cot death.
Also, as a parent of 2, so far I can say that I have never stopped worrying about them!

Dixiechick17 Wed 06-Apr-16 10:36:41

So sorry you lost your sister OP. You can get those breathing monitors which may help put your mind at ease, I didn't use on myself, but most women on my antenatal group did and found it massively reassuring.

sophied1983 Wed 06-Apr-16 11:11:28

Yes... I have wondered about some of the devices you can purchase. I know you can get mats with alarms that alert you if the baby stops breathing.

But then knowing what I'm like, I wonder if some of those things would fuel my anxiety / paranoia and is keeping things as straightforward and normal as possible the best way.

It's certainly something you never get over. Has played a massive role in my life, so gawd only knows how my mum feels, even after 28 years of grieving.

It is one thing I've realised since being pregnant - there are so many things to worry about. It had never really dawned on me before quite how much that would affect me. You sort of assume you get pregnant, you're really happy and nine months later you have a baby, but oh no, now I'm in this position, it's just worry after worry after worry... and as everyone says, that doesn't go away after baby is born!

babynumber3eek Wed 06-Apr-16 11:24:34

I have always worries about SIDS, who doesn't to some extent, despite having no direct experience. I found the angel care monitor has been amazingly reassuring for my son, now 17 months. When my daughters were little (now 19 and 15!) things like that weren't so readily available and I was pretty obsessive at over checking them! With the monitor I can trust it to alert me and so I'm much more relaxed! It's very sensitive and loud - if I forget to turn it off it gives me a good blast!!

AStreetcarNamedBob Wed 06-Apr-16 11:27:02

I'm so sorry OP that made my blood run cold. I find the Angel care monitor to be fantastic!

Huge peace of mind and stopped me turning into a loon quite as much.

sophied1983 Wed 06-Apr-16 12:03:29

Was also thinking about looking into training on CPR for infants - don't suppose anyone knows of any organisations where you can get this?

Didiusfalco Wed 06-Apr-16 12:07:57

I get where you're coming from OP, I also had a sister who died of cot death, although I think I am probably a bit older than you.

I have another sister and we were both very anxious, she has older dc than me and it really helped to talk things through with her - do you have another sibling you can chat to?

My mum wasn't a smoker, was breastfeeding etc and is one of the most careful people you could meet, but she did follow the medical advice of the time, which was to lie the baby on its front. She says she has had to live with the fact that if the research we have now had been available to her, her baby might still be alive.

My sister and I both used Angel care monitors - they're so simple to use I don't think you would find it to be over complicating things. It's definitely made me feel better (dc2 now 10 months). I also followed the lullaby trust advice to the letter (it still makes me feel anxious when I see people suggesting putting refluxy babies on their front on here) and was very careful about the babies clothing/room temperature (to the point where dc1 was cold sometimes I think!) I also wouldn't have been happy co-sleeping with a small baby (even though in fact my sister died on a nap in her cot)

You can only do your best though, and there is only so much that is actually in your control. I remember feeling overwhelmed when I was pregnant about all the things that could go wrong - I don't think pregnancy hormones help if you are already in a state of heightened anxiety. However when the baby is actually here and you are having to look after it, and are also very tired you just find yourself getting on with things.

I still thank my lucky stars every day for the 2 dc I have.

VimFuego101 Wed 06-Apr-16 12:09:51

I second (third) the Angelcare monitor advice. It worked really well and was a huge reassurance to me when DS was young.

FerrisBueller1972 Wed 06-Apr-16 12:14:21

My sister died from cot death at 13 weeks and I was 6. I felt incredibly anxious throughout pregnancy and when he arrived I didn't sleep for days as I was terrified.
I didn't have a monitor that they lie on, just a normal one and it took a LONG time for the anxiety to fade but it never went away. I feel for you and I hope your anxiety eases

SqueegyBeckinheim Wed 06-Apr-16 12:14:28

I'm pretty sure both the Red Cross and St John's Ambulance run child first aid courses, which include cpr.

Dixiechick17 Wed 06-Apr-16 12:15:05

I did the NCT first aid course which covers CPR etc, it was run by the British red cross, you can look on the nct website for coursees in your area or look on the british red cross website for available courses. Cost 45 for both of us.

Igottastartthinkingbee Wed 06-Apr-16 12:26:03

Your midwife should be able to point you in the direction of baby first aid/cpr. Or she may do them herself. NCT also do courses.

My DS was premature and the nurses in NICU gave us some training before he was discharged. They advised not getting a monitor at home and to trust ourselves to monitor him. Probably because you get so used to babies being monitored 24/7 while they're in hospital. Personally I'd had my fill of beeping monitors by the time we got him home. Also, they reiterated the importance of all the advice about sleeping on their backs, not overdressing, no smoking etc.....

And as a pp said, SIDS rates are so much lower now than in the 80s. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy flowers

strangerjo Wed 06-Apr-16 21:13:59

I recommend red cross for baby first aid training.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Wed 06-Apr-16 21:21:06

I was petrified about this. To the point that I sat up awake in bed all night every night for about a week, and napped in the day. I found it difficult that I couldn't see her through the sides of the Moses basket, and getting a wooden crib and an angelcare monitor was much better, peace of mind wise.

Also, I know people tell you not to google, but sometimes I would google the statistics, and work out just how unlikely it was to happen.

In truth though, I still put my hand on my almost 6 year olds chest to check she's breathing, and get up in the middle of the night to check on my 2 year old even though she's the worlds lightest sleeper. It's a worry for life, having kids, but perfectly normal smile

OwlinaTree Wed 06-Apr-16 22:31:04

I was very anxious about this, and used the angel care monitor, it really helped me to be able to get to sleep myself. You need to be able to sleep while you can. I think the first aid course is a great idea.

TheKingSits Wed 06-Apr-16 22:47:13

I would recommend this monitor the Snuza Hero which clips to the baby's nappy instead of being a mat. Very few false alarms and is transportable with the baby wherever he/she is. We have found it very reassuring without fuelling unnecessary anxiety.

We ask did a British Red Cross baby and child first aid course and it was good.

I am not an overly anxious person and was in good mental health after the birth but I still woke every 30 minutes for the first few nights. I was totally unprepared for that and it wasn't deliberate - my body made me wake in a panic to check the baby and I had no control over it! It was so odd but it fades quickly, so if you are doing that to start with don't worry it's natural.

kiki22 Thu 07-Apr-16 08:32:16

My grans sisters baby passed away of SIDS in the early 60's, my grans sister was pregnant at the time and my gran had a baby about the same age as her nephew who passed away she still talks about it to this day, she says her and her sister thought they would never sleep again after they lost him but they did after a few weeks she slept more and after a few months her sister did.

I remember talking to her about it when I was pregnant she told me I would sleep because I would need to and bought us an angel care monitor she wishes things like it were available for her nephew, his dad checked him before work and when his mum got up 30 mins later he was gone my gran is convinced an angel care or the likes would have saved him.

cautiousoptimist1 Thu 07-Apr-16 14:50:18

My brother also died of SIDS in the early 80s. Logical me knows that things are very different now but emotional me is worried about it (I'm due in June).

I actually found the lullaby trust incredibly reassuring as you can really see how the numbers have reduced since the sleeping position guidance started in the 90s.

sophied1983 Thu 07-Apr-16 15:11:58

Really sorry to hear about your brother cautiousoptimist1

Maybe we could be a bit of emotional support for one another?

Lalalili Thu 07-Apr-16 15:28:09

So sorry to hear that OP. I am not in your position but a friend's baby died of SIDS shortly before DC2 was born. I found the Angelcare monitor hugely reassuring and would have struggled without it. Wishing you a peaceful pregnancy.

edengarden123 Fri 08-Apr-16 11:09:38

I used this monitor . to be honest my feeling is if you anxious you need to accept that and try to use what ever is available to ease your anxiety.... So my feeling is the angel care monitor and the clip on monitors shouldn't be fueling your anxiety but is more of a safety net. I wouldn't have been able to sleep without an alarm it was a god send.

Again thank God we know so much now about SIDS and the deaths have dramatically decreased. Best of luck

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