Breastsleeping may sound like the new parenting trend, but it's actually been around forever. It's just been called it different things throughout the years. As the concept makes a resurgence through the parenting world and the newly coined term rises to popularity, many are wondering how this sleeping arrangement impacts everyone involved. Specifically, the ways breastsleeping affects moms later in life.
The term "breastsleeping" originated with sleep expert James McKenna, the director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. In his 2015 peer-reviewed article entitled, "There is No Such Thing as Infant Sleep, There is No Such Thing as Breastfeeding, There is Only Breastsleeping," he presented the concept and claimed that it was the safest and most ideal sleep arrangement for new mothers and their infants. McKenna's claim, however, contradicts what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote in its most recent infant sleep recommendations, which is that babies are most safe when they're sleeping in the same room as their caregivers, but not in the same bed.
If you're wanting to give breastsleeping a try, just know that it has not been researched in several rigorous studies nor backed by numerous experts yet. Many experts in the medical community do find McKenna's argument compelling, but some are not ready to denounce the current recommendations put out by the AAP, according to Fit Pregnancy. Experts can only effectively theorize breastsleeping benefits and the future affects of breastsleeping on mothers based off of inferences from available medical research. Although none of these are a guarantee, they are quite fascinating. Here are five ways experts think breastsleeping might impact a mom later in life.