Saturday, June 1, 2013

BED SHARING: YAY OR NAY?

I read an article by James Brean that claims that a new study  found that “Parents who share a bed with their baby are exposing it to a fivefold increase in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, even without any other risk factor such as smoking or alcohol.” (http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/05/21/bed-sharing-raises-risk-of-sudden-infant-death-syndrome-fivefold-new-study/) . This put the fear of God in me because I am currently bed sharing with my 4-month old; why? You may ask, simply because he refuses to sleep in his crib and mama needs her sleep.

This topic is constantly being debated among parents and medical professionals. In my opinion bed sharing carries as much risks of sudden infant death syndrome (sids) as laying a baby in his/her own bed; both this methods can be dangerous if not done properly. If you put a baby in a crib with teddies, loose blankets, pillows and bumpers; that carries the risk of suffocation. That goes for bed sharing as well;  if you surround the baby with pillows, blankets and are intoxicated and a deep sleeper; then you are putting your child's life in danger. Furthermore, SIDS is"marked by the sudden death of an infant that is not predicted by medical history and remains unexplained after a thorough forensic autopsy and detailed death scene investigation." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome). SIDS is unexplained, the moment you find a cause of death, then that's not SIDS, it then becomes death by suffocation for instance.

Parents who bed share argue that in third world countries, babies share a bed with their siblings and parents   with no harm coming to them. I was raised in Africa and most parents do share a bed with their babies from the day they are born; either due to lack of room in their household or down to personal choice. As a breastfeeding mum, it is definitely convenient to have your baby next to you; it makes night time feedings less stressful . To conclude, bed sharing can be risky if parents do not follow proper safety procedure; therefore, proceed with caution. What are your thoughts on bed sharing?


References
Brean, J., Bed sharing raises risk of sudden infant death syndrome fivefold: new study, http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/05/21/bed-sharing-raises-risk-of-sudden-infant-death-syndrome-fivefold-new-study/

Wikipedia, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudden_infant_death_syndrome