Frequent infant-parent bedsharing was associated with longer duration of breastfeeding, say researchers. The authors write that while some experts and professional societies advocate bedsharing to promote breastfeeding, others recommend against it to reduce the risk of SIDS.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a separate, but nearby, sleeping area for infants, according to the study background. Researchers used data from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II, which enrolled pregnant women and followed them through their infant''s first year of life. On average, the duration of breastfeeding was longest in the often bedsharing group, intermediate in the moderate bedsharing group and shortest in the rare and non-bedsharing group, according to the results.
The results indicate that breastfeeding duration was longer among women who were better educated, white, had previously breastfed, planned to breastfeed and had not gone back to work in the first year after having a baby. "This study provides strong evidence that bedsharing promotes breastfeeding by increasing breastfeeding duration, with the greatest effect found among frequent bedsharers. However, these benefits must be tempered by the known safety risks associated with infant-parent bedsharing," the study concludes.