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I have a newborn baby girl, Mia, who is 10 weeks old. Although she is my third child, it still feels like a bit of a learning curve.
My first child, Angelo, died when he was only two weeks old. Whilst Angelo passed away due to complications sustained during birth, his loss also made me so much more anxious about other risk factors including of course the risk of SIDS for my subsequent children, so practicing safe sleeping is a no-brainer for us.
If we have a chance to prevent something happening to our babies, we want to know about it.
We also have a three-year-old son, Arthur. When he was born, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about safe sleep and the risks of SIDS, but since Mia came along, I’ve realised there is always so much more to learn as further research continues to refine the risk factors and find new practices that will help ensure our babies have the best possible chance to grow up healthy and safe.
I’m lucky that I know to come to Red Nose for evidence-based safe sleeping advice, because if I didn’t, I think I’d be in the dark about a lot of things. Whilst we were given information about potential pregnancy complications and other risk factors during Mia’s pregnancy, no one really talked to us about how to keep her safe after she came home.
Nick with his 10-week-old baby girl, Mia.
The statistics were a bit shocking, but in many ways I can relate. Certainly, this time around, as a dad, I felt a bit out of the loop because COVID restrictions meant I often wasn’t able to attend appointments with my wife, and we just had a lot more going on trying to juggle so many competing stressors at the time. It meant a lot of extra anxiety fell on my wife.
But even at the best of times I don’t think parents hear enough about how to best care for their baby after birth. Everything is so focused on the pregnancy and the birth as the main event, even though we know babies can die suddenly and unexpectedly from a number of causes.
When Nick’s wife was pregnant with Mia, COVID restrictions meant he was often wasn’t able to attend appointments and felt out of the loop.
I’d like to see more resources put into educating parents while they’ve got the time and energy (relatively speaking!) to take in the information – during pregnancy and antenatal classes would be ideal. Red Nose’s Safe Sleep Advice Line really fills the gap in that sense.
It’s been a godsend for us just to have someone on the other end of the phone who knows what they’re talking about and who really gets why parents might be anxious or worried about getting things ‘right’.
But not every new parent knows about the Advice Line, which is why Red Nose Day is such a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness of the resources available.
As a new dad, and a bereaved dad, I know firsthand how valuable this information and support is, so I want it to be available to as many families as possible.
Taking part in Red Nose Day is my way of sharing this awareness and raising funds to ensure services like this can continue.