22 Apr 2014

Pepi pods going to marae in Waikato

6:44 am on 22 April 2014

Baby sleeping pods will begin to appear in marae on the Waikato region.

The district health board is handing out the pepi pods as part of a new initiative, in response to the number of babies dying from Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy.

It said nationally about 80 percent of babies who die from SUDI, more commonly known as cot death, are Maori.

Its general manager of Maori services Ditre (Peter) Tamatea said the pods, which can be woven with flax, are a portable baby-bed designed for co-sleeping with parents.

They are being rolled out to marae in the district, starting with a marae in Ngati Haua, where an infant died of cot death in 2011.

He said since it introduced pepi pods, SUDI rates have dropped in the region.