While evidence has shown that placing a baby in a safe sleep environment every time can dramatically reduce the rate of SIDS and accidental suffocation, many parents and caregivers do not consistently adhere to these recommendations. This can be attributed to many factors including economic, cultural and societal issues. The parents’ unique circumstances and obstacles to creating a safe sleep environment aren’t addressed.
What’s more, parents and caregivers have not been provided the reasoning or the “whys” surrounding the recommendations. Rather they’ve simply been presented as “rules.” Without allowing for a dialogue about the unique challenges a parent faces or follow-up to help provide solutions and support, adherence to regular pre-natal check-ups and healthy pregnancy habits, adoption of safe sleep practices and breastfeeding remains low.
First Candle has developed the Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep program for parents as well as third-party advocates, caregivers and healthcare professionals.
Straight Talk Train the Trainer
Through role-play, participants will gain an understanding of how to create a two-way conversation with parents to first identify family practices and beliefs, provide accurate information about safe sleep and breastfeeding and gain acceptance of these practices and finally problem solve how it might be accomplished when there are obstacles.
Trainees will also learn how to help parents create a plan about how they can implement safe sleep and breastfeeding that considers their beliefs, values, and living and working situations, so they feel equipped to be successful.
Straight Talk for Safe Sleep Parent Classes
The Straight Talk Parent Classes provide an opportunity to educate new and expecting moms and dads, engage in conversations with them about specific issues and address their needs. Through partnerships with local non-profit organizations, social workers, state health departments, churches and community services, participants meet with Safe Sleep experts, lactation consultants, nurse practitioners and representatives from social service agencies.
Establishing an honest dialogue with participants is the primary focus of this class. There are a multitude of socioeconomic factors including poverty, homelessness, unemployment, low education, lack of parenting skills, stress/mental health, that further compound the challenge of implementing safe sleep and breastfeeding practices. Trusting the messenger is key to effectively extend the reach of safe sleep and breastfeeding messages. It requires more than delivering the message — one-way communications approach — but also listening.
The class will be led by someone who has already gone through the Straight Talk Training program. They will remain focused on listening and creating a dialogue with participants to understand their unique situation. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations will be explained and, most importantly the reason behind these recommendations. This will be followed by group conversations exploring questions and challenges. In addition, the group will brainstorm ways of meeting challenges, share past successes and create a network of support for addressing challenges in the future.
Each participant leaves the class with an increased knowledge of safe sleep practices as well as healthy infant care.
Most importantly, the Straight Talk for Infant Safe Sleep class will foster a dialogue with participants to address their specific needs and challenges as it relates to providing a safe sleep environment for their baby.