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The Return of Breastsleeping: Humankind’s Oldest and Most Successful Sleep and Feeding Arrangement

by James J. McKenna, Ph.D
  • Duration: 540 Mins
  • Credits: 1.25 CERP, 1.25 L-CERP, 0.1 Midwifery CEU
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: No
  • Origin: GOLD Perinatal

Breastsleeping refers to bedsharing-amongst breastfeeding mothers and infants occurring in the absence of all known independent risk factors.

Given that most breastfeeding mothers bedshare, there is a critical need to develop a new SIDS/SUID discourse, one that employs harm reduction strategies, family- tailored education, evidence-based medicine, and primary advice formulated by breastfeeding and lactation communities, researchers and associations. This new bottom-up, evidence-based discourse first and foremost respects what parents say they need, want, can and are willing to do.

This discourse acknowledges that, in the United States, bedsharing is common and what helps us to understand it is to reference scientific studies (heretofore dismissed by ‘authorities’) on the powerful infantile and parental biological factors that motivate bedsharing, and the realization that sleep-related risks are not co-equal but vary along a significant continuum of relative risks ranging between acceptable (especially where exclusively breastsleeping occurs i.e. where hazardous factors are eliminated) to unacceptable where a variety of well independent “risk factors’ are present.

I argue here for recommendations based on evidence-based medicine rather than the ideologically driven opinions and assumptions of those making the recommendations which are failing after 20 years of attacks on bedsharing and bedsharing families.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Appreciate the need for a new epidemiological category and descriptor of the safest form of same-surface co-sleeping and how many USA mothers are practicing it and responding to anti-bedsharing campaigns;

Objective 2: Describe why anti bedsharing campaigns are failing and ding a disservice to responsible breastsleeping families, pushing sweeping pubic health recommendations that do not follow the principles of evidence based medicine;

Objective 3: Will be able to describe both the biological and behavioral bases of breastleeping and how it is biologically and behaviorally justified, showing marked differences in from bottle or formula-fed infants, bedsharing with their mothers.

Presentations: 15  |  Hours / CE Credits: 15.5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks