Ministry of Health to develop safe sleeping pepi pod programme

Source: 1News

The Ministry of Health will work with researchers and other paediatric experts to develop a programme centred around using a small bassinet, or pepi pod, to help reduce infant mortality.

Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman made the announcement following research by the University of Auckland indicating the pods reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). 

Pepi pods are small bassinets or cots constituting a safe sleeping space for infants and were shown in Professor Ed Mitchell's research to reduce the risk of SUDI. 

The new programme will include a review of the current approach the Ministry of Health is using to control SUDI and the current distribution of safe sleeping spaces. 

It will aim to ensure every family of a newborn is given comprehensive, customised information and follow-up support to make sure families given the pepi pods use them consistently and safely. 

"Baby boxes" for babies to sleep in have been given to new mothers in Finland since the 1930s and have been credited with helping the country achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates.