Health Care Professionals
Together we can help improve safe sleeping for Aboriginal babies. This project offers an opportunity for Aboriginal families in South Australia to provide a safe sleep environment for their new-born babies and increase family awareness and knowledge of safe sleeping behaviours. The project seeks to contribute to reducing the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs) (3:1) and Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) (4:1) in Australia. The project will adapt and translate a culturally safe, alternative sleep space program (Pēpi-Pod®) that has been evidenced in two randomised control trials in New Zealand and rolled out across much of Queensland. It will be offered as an alternative to infant-adult bedsharing, to increase mothers’ and family knowledge of sleeping babies safely across SA.
The Pēpi-Pod® safe sleep alternative program was for Aboriginal families who planned to birth at the Women and Children’s hospital or Lyell McEwin Hospital from June 2019 until February 2021. All families who identified as Aboriginal and who were birthing at one of our partner health services during the research period were offered to sleep their babies the Pēpi-Pod® way. The project will continue to support families participating in the program until June 2021.
To enable health and care workers to become familiar with the Pēpi-Pod® program, the research began with a safe sleep education BLITZ. The research will conclude with a health worker survey to assess acceptability and feasibility of the Pēpi-Pod® way.
The Registered Nurse Standards for Practice (2016) outlines that RNs need to continue to develop professionally and maintain their capability for professional practice. The ‘Education Blitz’ around safe infant sleeping directly addressed the Nursing Standards’ statement about health professionals’ role to play in leading the way for safer health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly around a culturally safe and respectful health care practice (Standard 1.3).