If you follow parenting trends, you know there's always some new catch phrase floating around used to describe a particular practice. And you can almost always guarantee that there will be wildly passionate arguments on both sides. Breastsleeping is one of those terms that seems to be a hot button issue right now. But before you decide whether or not the practice is right for you and your family, you should know some of the myths about breastsleeping.
The term "breastsleeping" was coined by Dr. James McKenna of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame in 2015, and is used to describe the practice of combining breastfeeding and co-sleeping. McKenna's strongest argument for the breastsleeping model is that it helps facilitate breastfeeding because bedsharing makes the practice more accessible to mother and baby, as he told The Huffington Post. Though the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that bed-sharing with your infant can have dangerous consequences, McKenna argued in The Huffington Post that nursing in rocking chairs and on sofas is much more dangerous, and increases the chance that an accident will occur. Instead, he suggests that creating a safe environment in your bed for nursing will lead to more nursing sessions and an increase in the mother's milk supply.
Whether or not you choose to breastsleep with your baby, you should be aware of all of the facts and make the decision that works best for your family.
Myth #1: It's A New Thing
The term "breastsleeping" may be new to you, but the practice has actually been going on for quite a while. As McKenna mentioned, the practice of nursing infants while co-sleeping dates back thousands of years.
Myth #2: Breastsleeping Makes Mom Tired
Although you may think having baby by your side all night long would cause you to loose lots of much-needed Zs, the opposite actually happens. According to PopSugar, when you breastsleep, baby cries less and is able to latch on without much movement, allowing mom to get more sleep.
Myth #3: Breastsleeping Is Completely Unsafe
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, co-sleeping puts your baby at risk for SIDS. But McKenna wrote that breast milk keeps baby from falling into the deeper stages of sleep that are associated with SIDS. According to his theory, the breastsleeping mother and baby both sleep lighter and are aware of each other's movements. By taking the necessary precautions to ensure the bed is free of bulky bedding, siblings, and pets, the practice of co-sleeping can be safe.
Myth #4: Breastsleeping Drains Mom Of Milk
It's true that breastsleeping will lead to more feedings. However, you don't have to worry about running out of milk. As PopSugar mentioned, the additional feedings that come with breastsleeping will lead to an increase mom's milk supply.
Myth #5: Your Child Will Become Too Attached
You may think that once you invite your baby into your bed, you'll never be able to get rid of him. But studies have shown that the opposite is true. According to The Bump, infants who co-sleep grow up to be more independent than those who sleep on their own.
Myth #6: Breastsleeping Kills Romance
You may be worried that having baby by your side all night long will kill any ounce of romance left in your relationship. But according to The Bump, there is no data that supports this idea. You and your partner may just have to use a little more creativity when you want to get busy.