Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Study finds babies are relatively safe in Wahakura


Monday 9 January 2017

Study finds babies are relatively safe in Wahakura, woven flax bassinets

Infants sleeping in wahakura (flax bassinets) are relatively safe when compared with bassinets, a joint study between the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic has found.

The researchers, led by Professor Barry Taylor and Dr David Tipene-Leach of the University of Otago, and Associate Professor Sally Baddock of Otago Polytechnic, concluded there were no significant differences in risk behaviours in wahakura compared to bassinets and there were other advantages, including an increase in sustained breastfeeding.

The paper was recently published in leading scientific journal Pediatrics. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/recent

The study finds evidence that wahakura are relatively safe and can be promoted as an alternative to infant-adult bed-sharing, say the researchers.

“The study was motivated by the concern that Māori and other indigenous populations have greater rates of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI). This is likely due to the high prevalence of bed-sharing where there has been smoking in pregnancy – a combination that is a major contributor to risk,” Professor Taylor, who is also Head of the Dunedin School of Medicine, says.

Both bed-sharing and smoking have proved difficult to change and thus the wahakura (flax bassinet) was developed as a culturally appropriate alternative to direct bed-sharing.

Dr David Tipene-Leach says: “The wahakura is promoted to provide a separate and safer sleep space for baby that can be used in the shared bed and therefore that allows the valued close proximity for mother and baby.”

While wahakura are used by many, to date there has been no direct evidence about their safety.

Researchers recruited 200 predominantly Māori pregnant women from deprived areas of New Zealand as measured by the NZ Deprivation Index. They provided the women with either a wahakura or bassinet during pregnancy and then later compared the risks and benefits of infants sleeping in either device. They investigated breastfeeding, infant sleep position, the amount of infant head covering during sleep, the amount of bed-sharing (without the device), and maternal sleep and fatigue.

Associate Professor Baddock says mothers were asked to sleep babies in either a bassinet or wahakura from birth. At 1, 3 and 6 months mothers completed questionnaires about babies’ sleep and at one month infra-red video was used to record the baby’s overnight sleep.

“Overnight video of the babies sleeping in the devices identified no increase in head covering, prone/side sleep position or bed-sharing (without the device) in the wahakura group, either when analysed according to allocated device or when analysed according to the device baby slept in on the study night,” she says.

When the groups were compared according to allocated device there were no differences at 1, 3 and 6 months in infant-adult direct bed-sharing, but at the six-month interview the wahakura group reported twice the level of full breastfeeding (22.5% vs 10.7%, p=0.04).

Maternal sleep and fatigue were not significantly different between groups. The researchers concluded there were no significant differences in infant risk behaviours in wahakura compared to bassinets and there were other advantages, including an increase in sustained breastfeeding. This suggests wahakura are relatively safe and can be promoted as an alternative to infant-adult bed-sharing. Policies that encourage utilisation are therefore likely to be helpful in high risk populations.

“These findings will give comfort to health workers who will be able to confidently promote a device that encourages a form of bed-sharing that increases safety for infants,” Dr Tipene-Leach says

The Ministry of Health is currently developing a national Safe Sleep programme and this study provides much needed evidence about the wahakura.

The study was funded by a grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand and a University of Otago Research Grant.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news