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Bedding-in and rooming-in on the post-natal ward : breastfeeding initiation.

Heslop, Emma. and Ball, Helen L. and Leech, Stephen J. (2005) 'Bedding-in and rooming-in on the post-natal ward : breastfeeding initiation.', in Proceedings of Measuring Behavior 2005 : 5th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research. Wageningen, Netherlands: Noldus , pp. 504-505.


Hospitals making a commitment to the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative adopt a number of practices to help increase breastfeeding initiation rates. Allowing mothers and their infants uninterrupted skin to skin contact for at least the first 30 minutes following delivery and keeping mothers and babies close are two of the practices that have been shown to encourage breastfeeding initiation. Bedding-in (bed-sharing on the postnatal ward) is an obvious extension to skin-to-skin contact and a way of ensuring that mothers and their infants stay close. Bedding-in also has a number of other benefits in that it can facilitate bonding and assists in post partum rest for mothers. This randomised control trial investigated the effects of bedding-in compared to rooming-in on breastfeeding initiation, mother-infant contact, maternal responsiveness, midwifery assistance and infant safety required on the first post-natal night. In addition, a relatively new infant sleep condition (clip on crib) was assessed to determine whether infants and their mothers allocated to this condition behaved more like the bedding-in group or the rooming-in group. This presentation will concentrate on breastfeeding initiation in the three groups only. Mothers were recruited via breast-feeding workshops held within the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, when they were approximately 37 weeks gestation. Following vaginal delivery (without the use of intramuscular opiate analgesics) the behaviors and interaction of the mothers and their babies were recorded on the post-natal ward using infra-red video equipment. Tapes were coded using The Observer® (Noldus Information Technology bv, The Netherlands) according to a taxonomy used by the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab team at the University of Durham. We found that mothers who bed-in were more responsive to their infants’ feeding cues, breastfed more frequently and breastfed for longer durations when initiating breastfeeding on the first postnatal night.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Date of first online publication:2005
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