News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


National Safe Sleep Day – make every sleep a safe sleep

Tuesday 3 December 2019

‘Make every sleep a safe sleep’ is Southern DHBs message to parents with young babies on National Safe Sleep Day - Te Rā Mokopuna on Friday (6 December).

Each year approximately 44 babies die in New Zealand as a result of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), and Southern DHB is reminding parents of safe sleep practices to protect their children and reduce the chance of SUDI.

“Many of these deaths can be prevented through safe sleep practices, a smokefree environment, breastfeeding and immunisation,” says Southern DHB Health Promotion Advisor, Kathleen Eade.

“The aim of this day is to raise awareness about SUDI, with the vision of reducing the rate in which it occurs in our New Zealand families.”

Andrea Jerry

Southern DHBs Public Health South coordinates the Southern Safe sleep programme* which involves training agencies who work with infants and their whānau to share the ‘Safe Sleep’ and ‘Strong Baby’ messages and offer a Pepi-Pod (a safe sleep space) for their baby to sleep in for as long as the baby needs it.

Evidence shows that SUDI affects the most vulnerable infants, with exposure to smoking coupled with co-sleeping the biggest risk factor. Following the ‘Safe Sleep’ and ‘Strong Baby’ messages provided in the programme can decrease the risk of SUDI.

Safe Sleep Strong Baby

On back Smokefree (in pregnancy and in household)

Own space Breastfed

Face clear Immunised

Carer near Handled gently

Andrea Jerry, Māori Health Te Huinga Tahi Kaiawhina (cultural support) at Southland Hospital has been an integral player in ensuring Southland Māori babies receive a safe sleep space when they are born and says the response she has had with whānau has been excellent since issuing nearly 70 Pepi-Pods since mid-May this year.

“It’s exciting that we are contributing to potentially saving a baby’s life each time a whānau is provided with a Pepi- Pod. It is also a great opportunity to promote the taonga (treasure) of breast feeding and stop smoking referral opportunity to Nga Kete.”

Wahakura (a traditional flax bassinet) will be introduced as another safe sleep option as part of the programme in 2020 for at risk babies.

For more information on Safe Sleep

• Speak to your midwife, Well Child Tamariki Ora nurse, doctor or practice nurse

• Ring PlunketLine on 0800 933 922

• Visit the Ministry of Health website

• Contact the Southern Stop Smoking service - Referral from hospital, GP, health professional or self-referral. Freephone 0800 925242. Email:

For Pēpi-pods – Visit the SDHB website talk to your midwife or email
*The Safe Sleep programme supports babies that have experienced smoking in pregnancy or in the household, birthweight is <2.5 kg, born < 37 weeks, are of Maori or Pacific descent, the mother is < 24 years old or has experienced a previous SUDI. Other factors such as no available sleep space, intent to bed share and maternal mental health are also taken into account.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland