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Bed sharing and bottle feeding

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  • Bed sharing and bottle feeding

    I'm slowly getting through the API guidelines and finding things I need clarification on

    I'm from the UK and am considering starting an API group here. We have slightly different health guidelines to the US on some parenting issues but as far as bed sharing goes the safety advice is fairly similar. However we do not have the distinction between breastfed babies and formula fed babies i.e. there is no advice that bottle fed babies should not bed share.

    I've had a look at the API Safe Sleep Guidelines and I cannot see any advice on that regarding bedsharing for bottle fed babies.

    I know from a recent discussion on a(nother UK based) natural parenting forum that mothers of bottle fed babies were quite adamant that the lack of breastfeeding did not decrease their awaremess of their baby at nighttime.

    Could someone explain why API makes this distinction and what the reasons for it are?

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Although I do not speak for API HQ, I imagine the work done by Dr. McKenna has an influence.

    Here is a link to his site.

    I know that Dr. Sears has also looked into the relationship between mothers, feeding method and nightime synchronicity.

    Guidelines are just that.....not that plenty of formula feeding mothers don't safely co-sleep but that there is a slight difference that should be noticed.


    • #3
      Is there someone else at API HQ I should ask this question?

      If I am going to join API/become a leader applicant I need to know.

      When it comes to using API resources (such as information leaflets etc) I will really need to know the science/reasoning behind these reccomendations so that I don't come under fire from health professionals here!


      • #4
        when you go through the LA process, you will work with our liaison who will help you through all of your questions, not just this one. API will not leave you hanging out there! and once a leader, you can always go to HQ with your ?s/concerns.

        i will contact HQ on this one and get you more info; but yes, the concern w/co-sleeping and bottlefeeding is based on the science that shows bfing mothers are more "aware" at night b/c of the hormones that bfing produces.


        • #5

          Thanks for asking for clarification. We definitely want our API Leaders and Leader Applicants to feel secure in their role and have knowledge on the reasoning behind the guidelines. As mentioned, if you do enter the Leader Applicant process you will work with a Leader Applicant Liaison who can also clarify any questions you may have along the way.

          The guidelines API has for bedsharing are borne out of Dr. James McKenna's research determining what can be identified as safe practice. The breastfeeding mother is more aware of the infant, more easily aroused from sleep, and also is recognized for maintaining a position that is conducive to breastfeeding, and as a result, a protective position for the infant in the bed.

          A parent who practices bottle feeding may choose to bedshare. However, it is important for API to have its safety guidelines supported with evidence and experts, and this was a guideline Dr. McKenna helped us craft. So, in giving guidelines about the health and welfare of an infant, we have a responsibility to share what is learned. Ultimately, people need to know the guidelines, be informed of and consider all the risks, and assess their own family's circumstances in order to make a decision about sleeping arrangements.

          I hope that helps answer your question. Let me know if there is anything further.

          Attachment Parenting International