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Breastfeed Rev. 2013 Jul;21(2):38-41.

Maternal and infant sleep postpartum.

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Breastfeeding Information Research, Australia Breastfeeding Association, Malvern East, VIC.


New parents should be aware that infants' sleep is unlike that of adults and that meeting their infant's needs is likely to disrupt their own sleep. They will need to adjust their routine to manage their own sleep needs. Parental sleep patterns in the postpartum period are tied to the infant's development of a circadian sleep-wake rhythm, and the infant's feeds. Close contact with the mother and exposure to light/dark cues appear to assist in the development of the infant's circadian rhythm. The composition of breastmilk varies over the course of 24 hours and some components produced at night are likely to contribute to the infant's day/night entrainment. There is no clear evidence that using artificial feeds improves maternal sleep. Most infants need night feeds but requirements for nighttime feeds vary with the individual.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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