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Biddeford Savings Supports Safety Sacks for Babies


The “birth” of Biddeford Savings’ new location on Alfred Street has made it possible for newborns at Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) to go home with a sleep sack designed to help in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Biddeford Savings staff presented SMHC’s Birthing Suite with a check for $2,500 to cover the cost of 400 newborn sleep sacks, also known as wearable blankets.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has strongly discouraged the use of loose blankets for newborns and infants because they can easily cover a baby’s face during sleep, which may create the compromised breathing associated with SIDS. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission joins the AAP in recommending the use of baby sleep sacks.

The new sacks are sleeveless wraps that are designed to both minimize loose blanketing and reduce the risk of overheating, which is also associated with SIDS. An inverted zipper allows for easy diapering. Older infants cannot kick off their sleep sack so they stay warm and covered all night. The sack also makes it difficult for older babies to climb out of their cribs.

“SMMC has introduced sleep sacks in the nursery of our Birthing Suite and we are excited that we can now send one home with all new parents,” stated Jan Roberts, manager of SMHC’s Birthing Suite. “We teach new parents about the dangers of SIDS, including urging them to place their babies on their backs for sleeping and to use sleep sacks instead of loose blankets in their babies’ cribs. We are extremely grateful to Biddeford Savings for their generous donation to make this possible.”

“We are delighted to support SMHC’s efforts to ensure the safety of every newborn,” said Charles Petersen, president and CEO of the bank. “Many of our employees have had children at the Birthing Suite and are very familiar with the hospital’s outstanding childbirth services. Now that we’re even closer neighbors, we are pleased to play even a small role in making the life of every child born at the hospital a little safer.”

SMMC also received individual donations toward the sleep sacks as well as support from the American Baptist Women’s Ministries to purchase a small quantity of sleep sacks.

About Southern Maine Medical Center

Southern Maine Medical Center (SMMC) is a national award-winning healthcare system, including a 150-bed acute care medical center in Biddeford, Maine, offering excellent clinical care and a multi-specialty physician services group with medical offices providing outpatient care located in Biddeford, Kennebunk, Old Orchard Beach and Saco. Non-emergency care is available without an appointment seven days a week at SMHC’s Walk-In Care center in Saco. SMHC is Joint Commission accredited, state-licensed, and is a member of Southern Maine Medical Center and the MaineHealth system. To learn more visit


PHOTO CAPTION: Biddeford Savings staff presented Southern Maine Medical Center’s Birthing Suite with a check for $2,500 for the purchase of newborn sleep sacks that will allow babies born at SMHC to start their life’s journey a little safer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). From left: Karen Chasse, SMHC’s development and community outreach manager, Mike Albaum, MD, SMHC’s executive vice president of physician services, Dale Huot, executive vice president at Biddeford Savings, Ed McGeachey, SMHC’s president and CEO, Sue Hadiaris, SMHC’s vice president of Planning and Development, Bentley Drown, born at SMHC’s Birthing Suite 11 months ago, his mother and bank employee Kaylee Brown, Charles Petersen, president and CEO of Biddeford Savings, Gail Nason, vice president and branch manager of the bank’s new Alfred Street office, Betsy Boudreau, vice president of marketing at the bank, Sandra Dolby, Biddeford Savings board member, and Tom Wells, chairperson of the bank’s board of directors.

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