Christina - posted on 11/24/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )
I thought since all the Moms here enjoyed the Breastfeeding Encouragement , we all might could use a weapon to use against those who might talk down to us about co-sleeping !!
Crib death warning on sharing bed with baby misinterpreted – expert
• Risk 'lies in parent taking drugs and alcohol'
• Academic sets record straight on major study
* Sarah Boseley, health editor
* The Guardian, Friday 16 October 2009
* Article history
Parents who sleep with their baby in their bed are not risking a cot death unless they smoke, drink or take drugs, a leading academic said yesterday. Peter Fleming, professor of infant health and developmental physiology in Bristol, said he felt "quite uncomfortable" over reports of a study published this week that had misinterpreted the finding.
The study, by researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Warwick, was published online in the British Medical Journal. Some reports on the research this week took the line that bed sharing with a baby was dangerous in itself.
Fleming said that telling parents not to take their baby to bed was leading to some adults falling asleep with a child on the sofa, an act that carried a far higher risk.
"My view is, the positive message of this study is it says don't drink or take drugs and don't smoke, particularly breastfeeding mothers," he said. "We did not find any increased risk from bed sharing. It is a very different message from the one the media picked up."
The researchers had looked at all unexpected infant deaths, from birth to two years old, in south-west England from January 2003 to December 2006. Seventy-nine deaths qualified for the study. Parents were interviewed within hours of the deaths and for the first time the researchers obtained what they believed was real evidence of some parents drinking and taking drugs.
Half the cot deaths occurred while parents were sleeping with the baby – either in bed or on a sofa – but the other half occurred while the baby was in a cot.
Sleeping on a sofa with a baby was a large risk for cot death, but sleeping in a bed was not, unless the parent had drunk more than two units of alcohol or had taken drugs.
"This is the first study that has ever looked in detail at parental drug use. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco use were really important," Fleming added.
Yet most reports of the study, on Wednesday, hardly mentioned the alcohol and drugs factor and just took the line that bed sharing itself was dangerous.
The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), which partly funded the research, also played down the drink and drugs findings, taking the line it had agreed with the Department of Health that the safest place for a baby to sleep was "in its own cot".
The study's authors warn that this message also carries risks. "Any advice to discourage bed sharing may carry with it the danger of tired parents feeding their baby on a sofa, which carries a much greater risk than co-sleeping in the parents' bed."
George Haycock, a professor emeritus of pediatrics, who is FSID's scientific adviser, said previous studies had found a risk in bed sharing, though they had not specifically investigated drink and drugs. "You can't say there is no risk," he said.