By Tessa of www.tessayoga.co.uk, Jun 3 2014 03:28PM
I went to a very interesting seminar at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford today. The speaker was Professor Helen Ball and she was talking about bed-sharing with your baby. She has published lots of fascinating studies about this including from videos of how mothers and babies interact at the Sleep Lab and qualitative interviews with parents.
In the UK, 48% of parents have bed-shared by the time the baby is 3 months and 70-80% of breastfeeding mums have, even if they hadn't originally intended to. [NB. Bed-sharing doesn't mean that the baby has to be in the parental bed all night, part of the night counts too!] The National Institute of Clinical and Health Excellence is currently conducting a review of the evidence around bed-sharing and it is likely to be less straightforward than the health messages parents have been receiving in the last decade: that is, not to bed share. This is because the evidence is very mixed about whether it is beneficial or has no protective effectt (i.e. neutral).