Sadly, about 1,400 babies in the U.S. receive care for shaken baby syndrome each year. Of that number, about 30 percent die, and the rest deal with life-long disabilities and injuries.
A national movement is spreading through Iowa, giving new parents and caregivers tools on how to deal with infants, especially when they cry.
Before new mom Megan Blohm and her daughter Amya leave the hospital, they have a special visitor.
"I'm Jennifer, I'm your nurse today. In your teaching packet is a new DVD called 'The Period of Purple Crying.' It talks about different cries your baby will have and how to prevent shaken baby syndrome."
Blohm is a labor and delivery nurse at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, but even she says as a parent, hearing her baby cry for long periods of time can be frustrating.
"I remember one night I just had to put her in the car seat and turn off all the lights and just rock her back and forth because that was the only thing that would calm her down," Blohm said.
Registered nurse Suzanne Bellinger says parents who can't seem to comfort their child feel isolated, she knows because her teenage son was once a cryer.
"It tears your heart out that you can't help. I wish I had this information to know it's normal. There's nothing wrong with a crying baby," Bellinger said.
Covenant Medical Center joins a growing group of hospitals in Iowa educating new parents with this DVD, The Period of Purple Crying.
Purple stands for:
crying hits a Peak around two months of age,
it can be Unexpected,
Resistant to soothing,
Lasts a long time,
and often happens in the Evening.
The staff at Covenant Medical Center and hospitals across the country hope the tools in this DVD save babies lives and prevent countless injuries.
"You don't know what to do, frustration just takes one second to shake that baby it affects the rest of their life," Bellinger said.
The DVD also gives parents a coping strategy. It tells parents to increase carrying and comforting the baby, also when all else fails, put the baby in a safe place and walk away.
"If we can save one baby, it's worth any amount of money put into the program," Bellinger said.
She and new mom Megan Blohm hope this message will help give babies what they deserve: a loving start.
"They say you can't spoil an infant and I truly believe that," Blohm said.
Doctors remind you, no matter how tired or frustrated you are, it is never okay to shake a baby.
Just a few seconds of shaking can kill.
Hospitals in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids have already implemented the Period of Purple Crying.
Online Anchor: Sunny Layne