Prevalence of Infant Bed-sharing in Breastfeeding Mothers




Slaymaker, Kristen N.
Shah, Deep
Bowman, W. Paul
Raines-Milenkov, Amy


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Purpose: Research has shown that bed-sharing is a risk factor for SIDS and infant suffocation, two of the leading causes of infant mortality. Several studies have shown a strong relationship between breastfeeding and bed-sharing. Almost all mothers who continue to breastfeed for more than eight weeks incorporate bed-sharing into their nocturnal feeding and sleep routine early in infant’s life for minimal disruption of night-time breastfeeding. The intent of the research is to analyze infant care practices and parent beliefs. The information gained will help identify trends in breastfeeding, infant sleep location, and parents’ reasoning behind these practices. We are interested in finding out if breastfeeding is associated with a mother’s reasoning behind choosing her infant’s sleep location among Hispanic mothers. Methods: Study design consisted of surveying mothers ≥ 18 years who had an infant between ages of 2 weeks and 3 months visiting UNTHSC Pediatric Outpatient Clinic. Survey questionnaire inquired about demographics, breastfeeding and infant sleep routine. Results: Out of 103 mothers surveyed, 45% were of Hispanic origin. Among Hispanic mothers, 50% were currently breastfeeding or feeding pumped milk. Out of all Hispanic mothers responded, 44% reported baby sleeps in mother’s bed at some point in the night. When all breastfeeding mothers (55) were asked to select reason for choosing infant’s sleep location, 17 mothers selected that it was easier to feed their baby and 32 mothers selected it seems safer for baby. Conclusion: Results showed a significant association between breastfeeding and selecting sleep location due to ease of feeding (P-value < 0.05), but did not find an association between breastfeeding and sleeping in mother’s bed at night. Although Hispanic mothers were slightly less likely to breastfeed and slightly more likely to bed-share at night than non-Hispanic mothers, these relationships did not prove significant.