Oh Baby: Reducing the Risk of SIDS - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oh Baby: Reducing the Risk of SIDS

by Sunny Layne

DUNKERTON (KWWL) -- We continue our "Oh Baby" series tonight with a serious subject. Many people say the loss of a child is the most painful situation anyone could experience.

News Channel Seven anchor and new mom Sunny Layne shows us one mother who knows that pain personally, and is working to educate other parents on how to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

Ami Aikey loves being a mother.

"It's just an incredible feeling, everything you go through is worth it."

She and her husband have 5-year-old year old Kennedy, and in April 2007 gave birth to Olivia.

"She was just one of those babies when she was in a room, everyone was drawn to her."

After maternity leave, Aikey returned to work. She left Olivia in the care of a trusted babysitter. Then one day she got sudden news to meet her boss.

"Right then something hit me. I knew it was Olivia," she said. "Police cars and our director out front and a really good friend of mine standing. And I knew. It was the hardest thing."

Aikey rushed to the hospital where she found out that 4-month-old Olivia had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

Pediatrician Brian Sims explains the condition.

"Basically an autopsy has been done. There is no finding in the autopsy of a cause of death. We call it a SIDS death. We don't know what the cause of SIDS is. Usually it has to do with suffocation. When the baby has not realized it's not breathing," he said.

The pain of losing her second daughter was unbearable.

"I have her clothes from that day in a Ziploc baggy and for the longest time at night I had to take it out and smell it but I didn't want all that smell to come out so I would hurry and seal it back up," Aikey said.

Nothing can take Olivia's place, but Aikey has willed herself forward, working to educate parents about reducing the risks of SIDS. One of the main concerns is the crib.

SIDS experts say it's very important to have a firm mattress with no blankets, pillows, or bumpers inside the crib.

"I'll always have a hole in my heart, but I just learned to live with it," she said.

After being told she wouldn't get pregnant again, the miracle of parenthood continued for Ami and her husband. In august 2009, Ami gave birth to another daughter, Landry.

"Now we have a little blessing and something we didn't think we'd have. But the worry never goes away," she said.

Each day, Aikey puts her family in God's hands, and says she knows Olivia is with him now.

The Iowa SIDS Foundation says you can do several things to reduce the risk of SIDS:

Always place a baby on his or her back to sleep, even for naps. (The rate of SIDS greatly decreased after this recommendation went out.)

Never smoke around a pregnant mother or baby

Always put a baby to sleep by themselves - never with adults or children on the same surface

Never place a baby to sleep on a sofa, chair, or fluffily blanket or pillow

Always place a baby to sleep on a firm surface with no soft bedding in the crib

Never overheat or overdress a baby, especially when they are ill

And always tell other care-givers to follow these simple rules with your baby.

Join Sunny next week on a lighter subject: she shows us a birthing class that trains dad as "coach" and mom as" athlete."

Reporter: Sunny Layne

Powered by Frankly