A heartbroken mum has been left inconsolable after discovering her newborn baby had suffocated to death while she carried him in a baby sling.
The 36-year-old mother had reportedly attended a health care centre in Killarney Vale, on the NSW Central Coast, for a post-natal appointment on April 8 when she discovered the three-week-old boy was unresponsive.
The mum of three had been talking to a nurse for close to 10 minutes with her son strapped to her chest before she unwrapped him to hand him over, The Daily Telegraph reported.
It was only then that the mother and the nurse realised the boy wasn’t breathing.
NSW Police said CPR was performed on the infant at the scene but he could not be saved.
A friend of the family told The Daily Telegraph the mother is “utterly inconsolable” after the loss of her child.
“It’s a horribly tough time for her and the family, she is beside herself, it’s still so raw, and so is her husband,” the friend said.
“She had carried the baby properly on her front in the sling, she’s a mother of three, totally devoted to her children, they are her world.”
The little boy was buried on the Central Coast last week. His death is not being treated as suspicious.
“Police are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination to establish the cause of the child’s death,” a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
Consumer group Choice warns premature babies and children under four months of age are at the highest risk of suffocation in a sling.
A safer alternative could be a pouch or a wrap.
“Regardless of the type of carrier or sling, always avoid positioning your baby with their face pressed against the fabric or your body, or lying with a curved back with chin tucked against their chest,” the website’s information page reads.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission advises mums and dads to follow the TICKS rules:
T — Tight: Slings should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you.
I — In view at all times: You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down.
C — Close enough to kiss: By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the head.
K — Keep chin off the chest: A baby should never be curled so that their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing.
S — Supported back: The baby’s back should be supported in a natural position so their tummy and chest are against you.
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