An American mom living in Sweden gave some interesting insight into how different raising a baby in another country can be, including what kinds of standards and practices are totally okay versus some that are completely frowned upon.
In her video, Miranda Hudgens, acts out a skit reenactment of when she felt slightly shamed by the hospital staff midwife after she have birth in Sweden.
As she had her baby swaddled in a blanket, her midwife was shocked to see the baby all bundled up.
As she went to go get an x-ray done, the midwife spoke to Hudgen’s fiancé about her concerns about swaddling their newborn.
“Uh, yeah, see, the midwife told me that you can’t do that to the baby anymore,” her fiancé said to her.
She replied, “Swaddle him? Why?”
“Yeah, she said it could kill the baby,” he responded. “She said we don’t do that to babies in this country.”
“And this is how I found out that swaddling is super frowned upon in Sweden,” she captioned the video.
In the comment section, littered with others totally confused as to why Sweden doesn’t swaddle their babies, she also clarified that her midwife was perfectly nice, just concerned. She also admitted that she does not swaddle her baby since that day at the hospital.
“Also for those wondering I decided not to swaddle after leaving the hospitals and doing more research 🥰. The midwife could of been nicer though 😅,” she wrote.
Swaddling is discouraged in Swedish infant care practices because studies have shown that it increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). A 2021 study revealed that use of swaddling has been shown to increase the risk of SIDS and is now discouraged in current Swedish infant care practice.
One commenter confirmed this correlation and wrote, “I was reprimanded for it here in Sweden. She said that swaddling = too deep sleep = increased risk for SIDS.”
“Yup that’s how it was explained to me too,” the OP replied.
Another noted, “This happened to me too, they told me not to swaddle and were super rude about it. Everyone in my home country and many around the world swaddle 🤷♀️”
“Yes exactly! Huge cultural differences in what’s considered safe. They made me feel so stupid,” Hudgens replied.
In the United States, several hospitals will encourage swaddling to help a baby feel snug and secure, like in the womb. The act of swaddling also decreases the chances for an infant’s startle reflex to wake them up.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics says is no evidence to recommend swaddling as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS, and if swaddled or not, infants should always be placed on their back for sleep.
Weighted swaddles, weighted clothing or weighted objects on or near the baby are not safe and not recommended. Plus, when an infant starts to show signs of attempting to roll, swaddling is no longer appropriate, as it could increase the risk of suffocation if the swaddled infant rolls to the prone position.