Bedsharing Promotes Breastfeeding
by James J. McKenna, Ph.D.
|McKenna, J.J. et al. Pediatr.
Since breastfeeding is related to a reduction in sudden infant death syndrome
(SIDS), child care practices that enhance breastfeeding may be a means to reducing the
infant's vulnerability to develop SIDS. This study quantified the night-time
breastfeeding behaviors in 20 mother child pairs that routinely bedshared and a group
of 15 that slept solitary when the infants were 3 to 4 months old. Results showed that
routine bedsharing infants breastfed approximately three times longer than the non
bedsharing infants during night-time breastfeeding. When quantified this represented a
two-fold increase in the number of breastfeeding episodes and 39% longer episodes.
McKenna and his team suggest that bedsharing may offer protection against SIDS.
Moreover McKenna underscores the need to rethink normal infant-mother behavior, not
only in cultural terms but also in biological terms.
Full text at
James McKenna Library