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Mother Smothers Baby While Breastfeeding

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What a tragic story!


Two-month-old Brayden Gieske suffocated Thursday morning when his mother fell asleep and accidentally smothered him while nursing, reports MLive.

Sheriff's Lt. Craig Mast said that the mother woke up and found Brayden unresponsive. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death as asphyxiation by smothering.

It hasn't been announced yet whether the mother was in a chair or in the bed when she dozed off. But is it ever OK to sleep with baby? According to Dr. Sears, you should NEVER sleep with your baby if:

• You are under the influence of any drug (such as alcohol or tranquilizing medications) that diminishes your sensitivity to your baby's presence. If you are drunk or drugged, these chemicals lessen your arousability from sleep.

• You are extremely obese. Obesity itself may cause sleep apnea in the mother, in addition to the smothering danger.

• You are exhausted from sleep deprivation. This lessens your awareness of your baby and your arousability from sleep.

• You are breastfeeding a baby on a cushiony surface, such as a waterbed or couch. An exhausted mother could fall asleep breastfeeding and roll over on the baby.

What a heartbreaking story. Our thoughts go out to the family in this tragic time.

30 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous April 9, 2010, 3:27 PM

I’m sorry, but IMO only stupid people do things like that. I’ve breastfed 3 babies (still breastfeeding my youngest), and I’ve never ONCE rolled over my babies. Yes, I nurse in bed, on the couch, falling asleep. But I’ve never been dumb enough to kill my baby

beckie April 9, 2010, 6:44 PM

Anonymous— you are heartless. You comment shows you to be selfish and unkind toward a fellow mother. The mom fell asleep. Have you never fallen asleep while nursing. I am currently nursing my 4th baby. I could see how this could happen. Can you even imagine how YOU would feel to wake up to the most precious thing in the world and have it be because of something you did? This poor mom is probably devastated. She will never be the same again in this life. It would be so nice if instead of judging her we could ache for her instead. No mother would ever want to do this to their baby. Think before you post ignorant comments.

Krista April 9, 2010, 7:11 PM

I agree the 1st comment was very uncalled for and a new mother can just fall asleep from days with no more than a few hours of sleep. You need to give your head a shake!

Pamala April 9, 2010, 9:13 PM

This is why I’ll never co-sleep in general. Now I understand there are people who do it, but for me it’s too big of a risk. I’ll breastfeed in the sitting position, in a chair. Never in my bed. I never fed my daughter in my bed. I never fell asleep feeding her either.

I think the most important part of this story is for mothers to recognize their exhaustion levels. If they’re too tired to even stay away to nurse a baby properly then perhaps they need some help, maybe someone to watch the baby for an hour or two so Mommy can get some rest.

melissa April 10, 2010, 8:30 AM

Shame on the mom who left the first comment. You are very rude and heartless to say such awful things. My heart goes out to the mother who lost her precious baby. I am so sorry for your loss.

Shannon April 10, 2010, 8:45 AM

Shame on Anonymous for leaving such a hateful comment. This poor woman just lost her baby due to a mistake/accident made on her part. My heart aches for the woman & her family. May God surround her with His love & she find the strength to survive this.

Jamie April 10, 2010, 8:07 PM

I had a baby that died from SIDS. I breastfed in bed with her and cosleep. They said there was no suffocation and I even talked with the guy who did the autopsy. I still feel today that maybe it was fault. There was no proof of it though. I think that it is a really sad thing to happen to anyone and she shouldnt be punished for it because it was accidental. Having babies and trying to get sleep is hard and people do fall asleep. I tried with my 2nd baby to stay awake and breastfeed but it was a losing battle. I still fell asleep while breastfeeding sitting up and i didnt work. I had a bad neckache. So I just gave in and fell asleep with my baby. And everything was ok. But I think that it is really hard to expect someone that breastfeeds not to fall asleep. You have to be very careful though and be aware that you have that baby right next to u.

Anonymous April 11, 2010, 5:30 PM

bottle feed and there will be no problems

Myra April 12, 2010, 1:18 AM

Jamie, I’m sorry about your loss.

shannon April 19, 2010, 1:44 PM

A co-worker/friend fell asleep breastfeeding her 7 day old daughter and killed her. Now she is buying new phones and haircuts and nails and complaining that she spent $225 on the funeral. Shouldn’t charges be pressed. It’s bad enough she neglects her 1 yr. old and is trying for another

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