Congrats to all of the Maine birthing hospitals for this achievement! If you are interested in taking the Safe Sleep course aimed at EMS providers, please log into your MEMSEd account and look under the OB & Pediatrics section for the 1.5 hour CEH approved course.
All Maine Birthing Hospitals Achieve Safe Sleep Certification
April 23, 2021
AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that all 26 Maine birthing hospitals are now Safe Sleep Certified, making Maine the second state nationally to achieve this milestone that protects babies from sleep-related deaths.
DHHS and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention worked with Maine’s birthing hospitals, those with dedicated maternity and birthing facilities, to increase the number certified through the Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification program. This initiative was part of the Department’s Safe Sleep Maine education campaign, launched in April 2019 with the goal of reducing infant deaths due to unsafe sleep conditions.
To become certified, hospitals must develop and maintain a safe sleep policy, train staff on safe sleep guidelines, and educate parents on safe sleep practices prior to discharge. All 26 birthing hospitals in Maine have now achieved at least a bronze-level Safe Sleep certification, and Maine joins Delaware in having all of its birthing hospitals certified. A complete list of Maine’s Certified Safe Sleep Hospitals and their certification levels is below.
“We’re grateful to Maine’s hospitals for their collaboration in becoming Safe Sleep Certified and join them in recognizing this significant achievement,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “A healthy life starts in childhood, so we appreciate this partnership that provides Maine families with the education and support they need to protect their young children."
“Maine hospitals are pleased to be involved in this effort to teach parents safe sleep strategies and protect our youngest patients,” said Steven R. Michaud, president of the Maine Hospital Association. “Maine hospitals believe that our role includes educating our patients and their families and we were happy to work with the state on this initiative.”
The Safe Sleep Maine campaign identified birth hospitals as key partners for safe sleep education. DHHS worked with the Perinatal Quality Collaborative for Maine to provide quality improvement support and education to hospitals including collecting monthly data on safe sleep practices and expanding education for new parents on safe sleep guidelines. Data on infant deaths due to sleep-related causes in 2020 is expected to be finalized in June.
“Evidence suggests that modeling safe sleep in the hospital translates into more babies being put into safe sleep environments at home,” said Kelley Bowden, MS, RN, statewide Maine CDC perinatal outreach education coordinator located at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center (BBCH). “Certification provides consistent messaging by hospital teams so that all families know how to keep their baby safe while sleeping, and we appreciate the efforts of nurse managers at each birthing hospital for their efforts in achieving certification.”
“The support of Maine DHHS and CDC in launching this statewide Safe Sleep educational campaign and quality initiative to ensure birthing hospitals in Maine are Safe Sleep Certified has truly enhanced the parallel work MaineHealth and community partners have engaged in over the past 10 years to decrease the rates of sleep related deaths,” said Jennifer Hayman, MD, FAAP, BBCH pediatric hospitalist and the Safe Sleep Champion for the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “We are extremely grateful to all of the hospital systems and to DHHS for their hard work in addressing this issue."
“Maine Children's Trust and our Safe Sleep Coalition partners are thrilled to see our birthing hospitals reach this important milestone to increase safety for Maine's babies,” said Pam LaHaye, Executive Director of the Maine Children’s Trust. “We so appreciate the leadership and commitment DHHS has shown to further our collective work to be sure every baby sleeps safely.”
Safe Sleep Maine utilized social media and public service announcements modeled on the National Institutes of Health Safe to Sleep Campaign to educate new parents on safe sleep guidelines. The campaign promotes the A, B, Cs of Safe Sleep, which state that babies should be:
- ALONE in a crib
- On their BACK for nights and naps
- Placed in a clean, clear CRIB
- Cared for in a Drug-Free Home - by aware, not impaired, caregivers
This effort builds on DHHS’ ongoing safe sleep initiatives, including the Maine CDC sending 12,000 mailings to new parents, distributing cribettes to families, and collaborating with Public Health Nurses, Maine Families Home Visiting staff, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) staff, Office of Child and Family Services caseworkers, and other social service agencies to ensure safe sleep education is provided to families with a new baby. These initiatives align with the two central goals of Governor Mills' Children's Cabinet, to better support children before they reach school age and better support at-risk youth.
Safe Sleep Hospital Certification is awarded for 5 years, requiring an annual report to maintain certification. More information on the program is available on the Cribs for Kids website.
Maine’s Safe Sleep Certified Hospitals
Maine Medical Center
Maine General Medical Center
Northern Light AR Gould
Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center
Northern Light Inland Hospital
Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital
Northern Light Mercy Hospital
Stephens Memorial Hospital
Central Maine Medical Center
Franklin Memorial Hospital
Houlton Regional Hospital
Lincoln Health Miles Memorial Hospital
Northern Light Mayo Hospital
Mid Coast Hospital
Northern Maine Medical Center
Penobscot Bay Medical Center
Rumford Community Hospital
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Waldo County General Hospital
Cary Medical Center
Down East Community Hospital
Mount Desert Island Hospital
Redington Fairview General Hospital
Southern Maine Health Care