GR hospital offers life-saving sacks for babies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)—Each year, 150 Michigan infants die as a result of unsafe sleeping environments.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s is working to curb that statistic with a new program launched this year.

As part of its safe sleep program, the hospital is now giving new parents a sleep sack when they leave the hospital.

“They are a safer way to swaddle a baby versus just blankets. And it really promotes safe sleep, which is on their back,” said Stacey Poel, a registered nurse at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

Thanks to a grant by Saint Mary’s Foundation, the hospital has purchased 2,000 sleep sacks for newborns.

“I think parents are pretty excited to get them. I’m sure they probably registered for one at a baby shower,” added Poel.

“[They are] easier than a onesie [and] a lot better than just having a blanket and trying to swaddle them with it. They’re not going to be pulling it off themselves, not going to be wrapping themselves up inadvertently with it,” said Brian Landrum, whose son was born Tuesday.

“I think it’s a great thing for new parents to have. [It’s] one less thing for us to have to worry about. So it’s great being able to go home with it,” added Landrum.

Spectrum Health told 24 Hour News 8 they have been giving new parents sleep sacks to take home for nearly two years. Metro Health said they used to provide sleep sacks, but their program ended.

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