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St. Luke's Birthing Center Earns Recognition for Safe Sleep

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New baby in pink and blue blanketSt. Luke’s Birthing Center has been recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program as a Silver Safe Sleep Leader for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. St. Luke’s is the first hospital in Minnesota to receive the title.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to preventing infant, sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation. In addition to being Cribs for Kids® partners, St. Luke’s was recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and providing training programs for parents, staff and the community.

Lori Swanson, RN, nurse manager for St. Luke’s Birthing Center, is proud of the work her team has done. “We believe it’s important to model safe practices for parents while they are here and provide education on safe sleep and SIDS prevention practices before they go home,” says Swanson. “We use Halo Sleepsacks when babies are at St. Luke’s and provide each mom with a Sleepsack to take home so they can continue safe sleeping practices.” Sleepsacks are essentially wearable blankets, replacing loose blankets in the crib that can cover a baby's face and interfere with breathing. Parents are also provided with written education to take home.

Following the AAP guidelines for infant safe sleep practices is part of the Minnesota Hospital Association Roadmap to Perinatal Safety 2.0, in which St. Luke’s is proud to participate. “This is a great accomplishment among the Birthing Center staff at St. Luke’s, and we are inspired because we know we are having a positive impact on infant safety in our community,” says Swanson.

Michael H. Goodstein, M.D., neonatologist and medical director of research at Cribs for Kids®, says “Sleep-Related Death (SRD) results in the loss of more than 3,500 infants every year in the U.S. We know that consistent education can have a profound effect on infant mortality, and this program is designed to encourage safe sleep education and to recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these preventable deaths.” This program is well-aligned with the Maternal Child Health Bureau's vision of reducing infant mortality through the promotion of infant sleep safety as outlined in Infant Mortality CoIIN Initiative. Thirty-six states have designated SIDS/SUID/SRD as their emphasis to reduce infant mortality.

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was created in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations such as All Baby & Child, The National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids In Danger, Children’s Safety Network, American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, CJ Foundation for SIDS, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments.

For more information on the Cribs for Kids® National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program visit