Breastfeeding mothers' experiences of bedsharing: A qualitative study

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Many cultures around the world routinely practise bedsharing by the mother-infant dyad. Bedsharing in these cultures is believed to ensure a safe and comfortable night's sleep for both mother and infant, as well as supporting breastfeeding. Nonetheless, this practice is at odds with dominant Western cultural ideals about child rearing and is recommended against by public health campaigns regarding SIDS. The current qualitative study aimed to explore the lived experiences of breastfeeding mothers who bed-shared with their infants in a Western cultural setting. In-depth interviews were conducted with six multiparous mothers and were analysed using a phenomenological framework. Seven themes were identified, including mothers' increased sleep quality and/or quantity, easier infant settling and a strong relationship with breastfeeding ease and duration. Given that many mothers bed-share, public policies need to be inclusive of this practice in order to lessen the likelihood of unsafe bedsharing practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalBreastfeeding Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

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