A recent study by researchers at the University of Durham in England has reported a discovery, that adds one more benefit to the long list of already existing ones, for breast feeding of babies. Babies who are breast-fed in bed are at much less risk of being smothered than babies who are bottle-fed in bed. The study included 40 couples and their babies who were filmed at night while they slept. Researchers found that mothers who breast-fed their babies, naturally adopted a safe position, curled around the baby with the baby's head at breast level and the mother's knees under the baby's feet. However, mothers who bottle-feed their babies are much more likely to turn their backs on their baby or put the baby's head at the same level as their own, increasing the risk of smothering the baby.
Researchers also studied whether bed-sharing could increase the risk of smothering. A BBC news report indicated that nearly two-thirds of parents sleep with the baby in the first three months after the baby arrives home. Also, many mothers take their babies to bed if the baby needs a feed during the night. Researchers however, were not able to conclude whether this raised the risk of smothering.