Proven! Mothers who co-sleep with their babies breastfeed for a longer time

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Mothers who bed-shared more often reported stronger prenatal breastfeeding intent and breastfed for more than six months than those who intermittently or rarely bed-shared

A new study says that mothers who like co-sleeping with the baby or those who bring their babies into their bed, breastfeed for a longer time than those who don’t.

What the study says

The study, which was conducted by the Durham University, found that mothers who co-slept with their infants for at least an hour a week or more were likely to breastfeed for a longer period of time and not just the recommended six months.

Professor and study author Helen Ball told the Daily Mail, "We previously found that mothers who bed-shared were twice as likely to breastfeed their baby for at least six months than mothers who began breastfeeding but didn’t bed-share. In this paper we show that mothers with the strongest intent to breastfeed are the ones who sleep with their babies the most."

"These mothers therefore need information on how to make bed-sharing while breastfeeding as safe as possible. Given the complex relationship between bed-sharing and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) appropriate guidance balancing risk minimisation with support for breastfeeding mothers is crucial," she added

The study was published in the journal Acta Paediatrica and observed 678 women for a period of followed 678 women recruited at mid-pregnancy, who shared weekly snapshots of bed-sharing and breastfeeding.

Those who bed-shared more often reported stronger prenatal breastfeeding intent and breastfed for more than six months than those who intermittently or rarely bed-shared.

Why you should co-sleep with your kid

While we all know that breastfeeding has numerous benefits for the growth and development of the baby, doctors say that co-sleeping has the same effects but on the emotional health of the child.

Dr Ashish Shah, a leading paediatrician from Bhatia Hospital in Mumbai, reiterates with the study, "India has traditionally been a nation where children have slept with their parents. Co-sleeping helps establish the infant mom bond and reduces the mother's apprehensions and the infant's fears. It also helps the mother read the needs of her baby and understand their behaviour. In today's age of nuclear families, it also gives parents some much-needed quality time to spend with their kids."

Here are some other ways in which co-sleeping helps the mother and the child:

  • Co-sleeping helps strengthen the bond between the mother and the infant. It also eases the nursing process.

Continue reading to know more about why your should co-sleep with your kid.

Also Read: 7 tips to manage sex while co-sleeping with the children

  • Co-sleeping with your child not only makes the child feel secure and loved, it helps form a healthy relationship between the child and the mother and also the father.
  • Studies also show that kids who co-sleep grow on to be less fearful and are more confident than those who don’t.
  • Babies who share their beds with their mothers have a better quality sleep and also sleep for a longer duration as they know that their mother is just besides them.
  • Co-sleeping also reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is more common in babies who are not under close observation while sleeping.

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