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Is Sleep Really A Necessity? Nighttime Parenting With Multiple Infants

by Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, MSN, RN, IBCLC, FILCA
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 R-CERP, 1 Nursing Contact Hours, 0.1 Midwifery CEU
  • Handout: Yes

Sleep deprivation and disruption of an individual’s circadian patterns in the postnatal period are frequently cited as contributing factors in the development of postpartum depression, anxiety (PPD&A) or postpartum post-traumatic stress symptoms (P-PTSS). These factors are increased for the birthing parent of twins, triplets or more, who is more likely to bring two or more newborns home after experiencing perinatal complications and related interventions, and infants’ preterm birth, low birth weight and other complications, often resulting in neonatal intensive care unit stays. Even for a relatively ideal multiple pregnancy and birth, caring for two or more newborns – each having as many needs as any single-birth newborn – round-the-clock parenting generally leads to profound and often long-term sleep deprivation. When significant sleep deprivation affects a parent’s daytime behavior, all family members are affected. Yet current “safe sleep” recommendations or nighttime strategies promoting better sleep for parents and a single infant, including safer bedsharing techniques, are more difficult logistically to implement. These recommendations and strategies may also be less safe to implement with multiple infants. This session will examine the factors contributing to disruptive sleep for parents of multiples and develop strategies that meet both infants and parents needs for adequate sleep.

Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Describe the bio-psycho-social factors that affect sleep routines for multiple-birth infants and their parents.

Objective 2: Explain current infant sleep recommendations with related benefits, risks and barriers to implementations with multiple infants.

Objective 3: Describe strategies to meet the needs of each multiple-birth infant and each parent..

Categories: Infant Sleep
Presentations: 5  |  Hours / CE Credits: 5  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks