Local health experts urge caution with announcing new babies

Local health experts urge caution with announcing new babies
By: Kathy Sweeney
Following the abduction of a newborn in Franklin County, Missouri, local health experts urge caution when announcing the arrival of a newborn.  The grandmother of Abbie Woods told reporters she fears a birth announcement sign in the yard of their rural Lonedell home could have contributed to the baby's abduction.
Lorrie Pleus of St. Francis Medical Center says when it comes to announcing a baby's birth, less is more.
"You should avoid signs in your yard or ribbons on your front door.  Don't announce it (the birth) to the public."
All you  have to do is drive through one of Cape Girardeau's busiest intersections and you'll see birth announcements on St. Francis Hospital's baby board.  But, you'll notice no last names are used.  This is to provide protections to local families.  At Southeast Missouri Hospital, last names are also kept off the hospital's birth announcement website.
"From the start, we didn't put the last names on our website", says Joanie Adams, "and we've reported hundreds of births since that time."
Adams also points out both parents must sign a consent form before the baby's picture is posted on line.  And both health experts stress, you should use the same caution when you get your new baby home.  Pleus recommends not leaving new babies near an open door or window.  And, never leave them unattended, even to take a quick shower or nap.