Study Finds That New Mothers Who Share Their Bed With Their Infants Are More Likely to Breastfeed Longer

hauckA study by researchers at the University of Virginia, the University of  Maryland Baltimore County, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Institutes of Health finds that mothers who sleep in the same bed as their infants tend to breastfeed longer than mothers who do not sleep in the same bad as their baby. “Many experts recommend not to bedshare, because bedsharing can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and suffocation deaths,” warns Fern R. Hauck, professor of family medicine and public health sciences at the University of Virginia and one of the study’s authors. “On the other hand there is a positive association between bedsharing and longer breastfeeding.”

The study, published on the website of the journal JAMA Pediatrics, examined the breastfeeding behaviors of 1,800 U.S. women. The results showed that mothers who shared a bed with their baby were “much more likely” to breastfeed longer than mother who shared a bed infrequently or not at all.

But given the risks of suffocation death, Dr. Hauck recommends “bringing babies in to the bed to breastfeed, but only while you are awake. The goal is to return the baby after breastfeeding to their own sleep location to keep them safe.”

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