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Te Rā Mokopuna Ora – Safe Sleep Day (1 December)

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Te Rā Mokopuna Ora - Safe Sleep Day is a national campaign.

Developed by Hāpai Te Hauora, which is responsible for coordinating a national, integrated approach to Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) in Aotearoa, so that every sleep is a safe sleep – for every baby.
Ensuring all pēpi (babies) sleep safely from birth is one of the most important strategies to prevent SUDI and will help us all to move closer toward the goal of Mokopuna Ora.
MidCentral Health Pepi Haumaru – Keeping Babies Safe Coordinator, Marama McGrath-McDonald said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to share safe sleep information with whānau and discuss some of the exciting initiatives occurring within our region.”
Every year in New Zealand about 50 babies die from SUDI – (also known as SIDS, or cot death). It’s the main preventable reason for death in children under one year. Babies spend a lot of time sleeping so it’s a great opportunity to share with parents and caregivers things they can do to help reduce the risks of SUDI.  Ensuring every baby has a safe sleep, every time they sleep, will dramatically reduce the number of SUDI cases in New Zealand.
Sudden Unexpected death in infancy, or SUDI, is a bread term that covers both sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, and fatal sleeping accidents. Most SUDI deaths occur in a sleeping environment.)
There are two types of sleeping devices recommended to support whānau to provide a safe sleep space for baby, the Wahakura and pēpi-pod. Whahakura is a traditionally-based individually hand woven flax bassinet for infants up to six months.  Pēpi-pods are based on the wahakura model and made from 100% polypropylene. Both of these provide a separate safe sleep space for baby and traditional cots and bassinettes are also still fantastic safe sleep spaces for babies.
Wahakura have been promoted and distributed in Māori communities around New Zealand through a number of health providers and among whānau since 2007. It also helps facilitate a wider conversation with whānau about safe sleeping.
The wahakura and pepi-pod encourages safe sleeping, accommodates co-sleeping, increases protection from tobacco smoke, reduces harm from alcohol and drugs, increases breastfeeding, reduces family violence and increases maternal mental health.
A team of local key stakeholders named ‘Mokopuna Ora’ - is passionate about connecting with hapu mama; and whānau attended the ‘Hauora Unleashed Expo’ last weekend showcasing the art of weaving Wahakura. This provided an opportunity to meet face-to-face with communities to discuss safe sleep messages and register to attend a wananga next year to make their own Wahakura.
A snapshot of the work undertaken so far is currently being developed to share with health professionals, demonstrating that preventative work and awareness raising is key to helping reduce overall SUDI rates.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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