Sssshh….I bedshare with my baby. No, I’m going to shout it….
I BEDSHARE WITH MY BABY
It’s shouldn’t be taboo, it shouldn’t be something many parents feel guilty about. Did you, or are you bedsharing with your baby?
In fact there has been a lot of research done that shows that bedsharing…
a) reduces chances of SIDS if done safely
b) helps mothers continue to breastfeed
c) means that everyone gets more rest and sleep
Some people look at me when I say this and argue that you can always find research to support your point of view. But there is a growing wealth of reputable findings on this topic that now support it. And more and more people are highlighting flaws in the SIDS research that scorns it.
Medical Professionals Support Bedsharing More
To my pleasant surprise I have found that many of my local midwives and health visitors are going to the extent of recommending and supporting bedsharing if you are a breastfeeding mother. Hallelujah! (I’m not religious but this warrants that exultation).
They are referencing research that shows how in tune and aware the bedsharing mother is with her baby.
My health visitor (yay I’ve got a good one), put it this way when explained some of the scepticism I face. We have to consider the bigger picture too, your overall tiredness and ability to be a good mother around the clock to both your children. This is the better option.
It’s so true, I sleep and rest so much more by bedsharing. As a result I’m more alert and have more energy for my toddler and baby. It’s made nighttime nursing so much easier.
The Safer Option
I didn’t bedshare with Boyo straight away, because despite me trusting my own instincts, the fear of others close to me was preventing me embracing the concept. So I fought it. I’d sit up in bed nursing my newborn in my arms. But as tiredness layered up, I started to drop to sleep on the job. Normal yes, but again not the safest. In fact the health visitor recommended lying down and nursing and not worrying about dropping to sleep, the much safer option. This was the green lighted medical endorsement I needed. This is what so many mothers need. Not because they don’t trust themselves and believe in the concept, but because they need that backing to get the support of people around them.
I might add it has not just been this one health visitor that has endorsed this practice, but many.
Bedsharing Shouldn’t Be A Confession
Don’t feel like you need to talk about it in hushed tones, like you’re doing something forbidden. This shouldn’t be the way and it doesn’t have to be.
I’m afraid I’ve no time to compile the research (although Durham University’s sleep lab pages are a good start), instead I’ll point you to this piece on the latest research from Tennessee University summarised by Dr Momma:
So tell me, did you or are you bedsharing with your baby?
- Newborns ‘should sleep in mother’s bed until age three’ (time4sleep.co.uk)
- Tandem Nursing & Bedtime (nurturingcareermama.wordpress.com)