The Milwaukee, Wisc., Department of Health has released a new ad to help fight infant mortality. The ad focuses on stopping parents from co-sleeping and shows a baby on fluffy bedding sleeping with a very large knife!
“Bevan Baker, Milwaukee’s Commissioner of Health, acknowledged that some might find ads to be a bit extreme.”
“Is it shocking? Is it provocative? Yes. But what is even more shocking and provocative is that 30 developed and underdeveloped countries have better [infant death] rates than Milwaukee,” he told theJournal Sentinel.”
“The Milwaukee Health Department hopes the ads will help lower the city’s infant mortality rate, which was “10.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births” in 2009, the Journal Sentinel points out.”
“Co-sleeping is a common practice in other cultures in Asia, Africa, Europe and Central and South America, but it has been a topic of much debate in the United States.”
Other experts comment in the story with pros and cons. Dr. William Sears, one of my favorites, is of course pro co-sleeping. NBC’s Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman thought the message against co-sleeping was right but the ad was wrong.
Personally, I don’t think Milwaukee’s Mr. Baker is making much sense. He saying that all these other third-world countries have lower infant death rates but guess what – many of those families co-sleep!!!
I think Milwaukee needs to look more closely at their statistics with the deaths – are the parents drunk or high in bed? Are they overweight? Are they using fluffy bedding? Were there other underlying factors other than the co-sleeping?
You all know that I co-slept with all three of my kids. I think it is comforting to the babies, it makes night-time feedings easier if you are breastfeeding and overall has been a happy thing for our family. However, I do agree with Dr. Sears that there are rules to do it safely!!!
Here are a few of the rules: You don’t go to bed with an infant if you are intoxicated! You don’t go to bed if with an infant if you are drugged up! They do not recommend co-sleeping if the parents are overweight. There shouldn’t be pillows or fluffly blankets near the baby or on the bed if possible! Put up a baby-safe guard rail on the side so the baby won’t fall out or put the mattress on the floor. Don’t let the baby sleep between parents. Put the baby BACK to sleep!
The ad has been criticized by others for showing the wrong way to co-sleep – fluffy blankets and pillows – oh yeah and a knife in the bed!
So what do you think: Is the ad over the top? Is it effective way to quell co-sleeping? Would an ad showing the right way to co-sleep be more effective?