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Infant Behav Dev. 2006 Dec;29(4):526-34. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Bed-sharing, breastfeeding and maternal moods in Barbados.

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Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, United States. <>


Bed-sharing among Barbadian mothers and infants was studied in relationship to maternal and infant characteristics. This prospective study followed 226 healthy, well-nourished mother-infant dyads at birth, 7 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postpartum. At each age, approximately half of the infants shared the same beds as their mothers. Bed-sharing was associated with demographic characteristics, especially fewer home conveniences, and also maternal characteristics, including less information seeking by the mother and younger maternal age at first pregnancy. Bed-sharing was also associated with lower infant birth weights. Maternal moods were significantly correlated with bed-sharing, such that mothers who reported having more despair and anxiety were also more likely to sleep with their infants. Bed-sharing was also significantly associated with increased breastfeeding at all infant ages, but this relationship was no longer significant once the effects of maternal moods were controlled. This study emphasizes the importance of assessing maternal moods in studies evaluating the risk and benefits of bed-sharing.

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