Last week I talked about the third standard of ECOLOGICAL breastfeeding which is NOT to use bottles and pacifiers. The fourth standard is to sleep with your baby for night feedings following all the safety guidelines recommended on the LINKS AT www.nfpandmore.org and www.catholicbreastfeeding.org websites.
Rather than go into the ample precautions that are on the internet with regard to sleeping with your baby, I will share our experience of sleeping with our baby and how we have made it safe.
We kept the blankets away from our baby's upper body and just made sure she was warm enough with her own clothes.
We kept the pillows away from her head.
We had a cot attached to the bed, and the crack between it and the bed was filled in with material so that on one side, she could roll on to the cot mattress, and if I had her between me and her daddy, he would protect her the other side. He is like a rock (he barely seems to budge for the night!)
I tie my long hair back with a bobbin so it doesn't go near her face.
As she got bigger, we invested in a king size bed. Toddlers like to do gymnastics sometimes!
Neither my hubby nor I smoke or drink; it would not be safe for babies to sleep with someone who had smoker's breath or had even a few drinks on them. It would be much wiser in that situation to sleep separately.
The advantages for us have been numerous.
There is never any argument about who is going to get up in the middle of the night to nurse our baby, and as a breastfeeding mother I am never deprived of my sleep!
Both my husband and I love to wake up with our baby smiling, gurgling and now chatting happily to herself beside us!
We still get our own time together as a couple, as we can always put her into her car seat (or Moses basket when she was younger) when she falls asleep.
When she is teething, breastfeeding is such a comfort to her; I can count on one hand when she woke in the middle of the night and breastfeeding didn't console her.
Sleeping with your baby has been known to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, as touch triggers the baby's respiratory system. Please read Chapter 4 of Sheila Kippley's book The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding if you would like to learn more on this.
Lastly, I have heard of mothers who find it difficult to sleep while breastfeeding. However ,even being able to rest lying down is helpful to a tired mother.
In my next column we will look at the fifth standard of ecological breastfeeding. Until then, you can look up Kippley's website www.nfpandmore.org and/or www.catholicbreastfeeding.org for resources and online support. God bless, Judith!
Disclaimer: I am a breastfeeding mother who has used the Seven Standards and at the time of writing this column for the Open Door Newsletter at www.theopendoor.ie, I had experienced 18 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea. I have now almost 2 years of breastfeeding amenorrhea to date. No claim is made that ecological breastfeeding is 100% in avoiding pregnancy. For health issues, see a competent health professional.