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Tragedy as breastfeeding mother smothers baby after falling asleep on jet

Posted Dec 01 2009 12:00am

Another tragic story I've just come across warning of the dangers of breastfeeding your baby whilst you're overly tired and sitting upright:

A mother accidentally smothered her baby daughter to death on a flight after she fell asleep while breastfeeding.

The four-week-old child was travelling with her Egyptian mother from Washington DC to Kuwait when the tragedy occurred.

Crew on the United Airlines jet were alerted by the 29-year-old mother's screams and a doctor travelling on the plane tried unsuccessfully to revive the baby.

The plane, which was over the Atlantic at 33,000ft, was diverted to London's Heathrow airport, where police boarded.

A police source told The Sun: 'This appears to be a tragic accident. The girl comes from a loving family.

'Her mum was going to Kuwait to show her to relatives.' 

Officers from Scotland Yard's Child Abuse Investigation Team are now dealing with the incident.


If you wish to breastfeed your baby when you are sleepy it's best to lie down next to your baby. If you are unable to lie down, as this poor mother obviously was, it's advisable to get up and walk around in order to refresh yourself before attempting to breastfeed. You should also remember than in general the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is much reduced in babies who are breastfed and it is also generally safe to co-sleep with your baby as long as you haven't smoked, taken alcohol or used any drugs (including prescribed medication) which make you sleepier than normal.

Dr Sears has some very useful guidelines for parents about how to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Posted by Sinead in Breastfeeding, News, SIDS | Permalink

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