Photo Series Imagines Beautiful Futures for Sleeping Babies in Intensive Care
These whimsical images of sleeping babies are more than just beautiful artwork. They’re helping to save lives and raise awareness.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as deaths in infants less than a year old that occur suddenly and unexpectedly. The cause is not immediately obvious. SIDS is the leading cause of all deaths among infants ages 1–12 months, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
With this is mind, Jessica Wright, a nurse at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Children’s Hospital of Atlanta decided to use artwork to demonstrate the beautiful potential of NICU babies she works with every day, as well as to raise awareness about SIDS, according to an email from the hospital.
All the little dreamers pictured were born premature, between 25 and 37 weeks into the pregnancy, according to Wright’s blog, “From NICU to the Moon.” At birth, their legs were barely thicker than a pencil.
“As a NICU nurse, I have the privilege of caring for babies who seem to spend most of their days resting peacefully. But I know better,” Jessica Wright wrote on her blog. “Those tiny bodies are not at rest; their little lungs, hearts and muscles are actively fighting very tough battles.”
Wright says she likes to think that she has cared for future U.S. presidents, scientists who will cure cancer, chefs, astronauts, Olympic gold medalists and more.
“I always think big because, as evidenced by the size of the fight in their tiny bodies, these little ones have big things in store for the world,” she wrote.
The photo series is part of a “Safe Sleep Campaign” launched to stress the fact that education about SIDS can help prevent it, according to the hospital. The Children’s Hospital of Atlanta NICU nurses want to educate families about why babies need to sleep alone on their backs and without blankets, stuffed animals or bumpers in their cribs, to prevent accidental suffocation.
Visit this site to find out more about keeping infants safe while sleeping.