SUDS and SUID Awareness Month
October is national Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) awareness month. Approximately 3,500 infants died unexpectedly in 2014 making SUID the leading cause of death for infants under one year of age. The stories may be different, the acronyms used may be different, but the end result is a devastating loss.
We have learned a lot about safe sleep practices, environmental risk factors, and protective factors that seem to help reduce the rates of SIDS over the last 30 years. But there are many things that we still don’t know and significant research being conducted in the areas of neurobiology and serotonin levels in the brain.
A quiet grief
“Why? I just want to know why my baby died.” is the most common first response we hear from SIDS parents and caregivers who reach out to the Crisis Center for support. Shock, confusion, denial, anger, guilt, depression, physical pain- the long list of grief responses all apply to parents facing SIDS or SUID crisis.
It takes meaningful support to resolve parental grief and it can take time and emotional space to even consider the question of having another child, to open up to a subsequent potential loss.
The support necessary to help families put their lives back together comes from family, from friends, from medical professionals, but also comes from organizations like the Crisis Center. We offer free and confidential 24/7 grief telephone support and counseling for our local community and provide all after-hours call support for the California Department of Public Health’s SIDS Program.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with a SIDS or SUID experience, regardless of when the loss occurred, you can call us. If you or someone you care about needs information about what a SIDS/SUID parent might be experiencing or how to support a grieving parent or caregiver, click here.