Celebrating safe sleep day in Taranaki

4 December 2013

Taranaki DHB and Tui ora are joining to celebrate the first nationwide 'Safe Sleep Day' to support the prevention of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy and cot death.

Taranaki DHB and Tui ora will have a display of Wahakura & the pepi-pod in Centre City from 10am on Friday December 6th.

Taranaki DHB safe sleep coordinator Merry Sorensen said that Pepi-pods are a strong protection for babies when they are sleeping out of their cot.

“Todd Energy have generously supported the Pepi Pod service in Taranaki with a generous donation to help supply more Pepi Pods for whanau in Taranaki, said Mrs Sorensen.

“It is important for mothers and their families to know some key points to ensure every sleep baby has is a safe sleep.”

  • Baby to be placed in his or her own bed, face clear of bedding
  • Eliminate smoking in pregnancy and protect baby by having a smokefree environment
  • Position baby flat on his or her back to sleep, face up
  • Encourage and support mum to breast feed
  • Babies should have their own space to sleep in

In Taranaki during the period 2002-2011, there were 19 deaths from SUDI: 16 of these were Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Pepi means baby in Maori and pod is symbolic of protection in nature. A pepi-pod sleep space is a general purpose storage box that converts to a baby sized bed with the addition of an attractive cover, fitting mattress and bedding. It offers babies a protected space when they sleep in, or on, an adult bed, on a couch, in a makeshift setting, or away from home. These are situations that research has identified with a higher risk of accidental suffocation for babies.

We have developed the pepi-pod programme as support for families and protection for their babies. We hope it will help put an end to sudden infant deaths in New Zealand. The Canterbury earthquakes of 2011 made the pepi-pod project urgent and famous.

Babies have a compelling need to be close to a parent, especially when they settle for sleep. Like its sister, the wahakura, the pepi-pod enables babies to be close and safe when in, or on, an adult bed, on a couch, in makeshift settings and when away from home. The pepi-pod is the safe space, but parents must also provide the safe care. This means 'face-up, face clear, smokefree' conditions, and 'in own baby bed if more vulnerable', every time and place a baby sleeps.             

For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Photo from left to right: Lara Bertie, Neo Natal Nurse
Lynette Gilligan, Tui Ora Tamariki Wellness Nurse
Merry Sorensen, Pepi-pod Coordinator
David Bradley, Todd Energy
Agnes Limon, baby Luke.

Northland DHB has produced four television commercials promoting the SUDI prevention acronym PEPEPlace, Eliminate, Position and Encourage. This simple acronym reminds us how to protect our mokopuna so that they sleep safely.  You can view the messages by following the below links:

P - PLACE baby in his or her own baby bed.

E - ELIMINATE smoking in pregnancy, in the whānau and in the home.

P - POSITION baby on his or her back to sleep.

E - ENCOURAGE and support mum, so baby is breastfed.


Last updated: Friday, January 31, 2014

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