Breast feeding whilst lying down.Charlene Evans: Posted on 26 July 2011 09:51Please see my latest article at www.sawfnews.com

The article is called Breastfeeding whilst lying down. 
An article that talks about the pros and the cons of breastfeeding whilst lying down after the terrible tragedy of a lady who had been drinking and accidentally suffocated her baby. 

AS SEEN BELOW Dee Pfeiffer June 23, 2011, (Sawf News)  -

The recent case of a drunk 30-year-old mother in UK smothering her baby to death while breastfeeding her has once again raised concerns about the safety of breast feeding while lying down.

The hapless mother, Emma Hector, told a court that she consumed a bottle of wine without eating anything and then started to breast feed her 7-month-old daughter, Naomi Rose.

Her husband found the baby dead with blood in her mouth and Emma's breast covering the baby's face.  "It is awful what has happened, and I am not proud of my behaviour," Emma Hector told Bolton Coroner's Court in Rochdale. "No mother should be drinking at all.

 Since that day I have not taken one drop of alcohol." The danger of smothering your baby if you fall asleep while breastfeeding your baby is real. 
There have also been reports that feeding a baby while lying down can lead to ear infections.  While that maybe true when bottle feeding a baby, its not so when breastfeeding.  So, is it safe to breastfeed a baby while lying down?

A UK study into breastfeeding conducted in 2007 reported that lying down whilst breast feeding is positive for the baby's reflexes, more comfortable for the mother, and more natural overall.
Charlene Evans, author of MillenniMUM: Decade of Pregnancy and Breast Feeding ,says, "Breast feeding lying down is a position I am very fond of.
Not only does it let you have a rest but it's also easier for the baby to latch onto you, especially in the case of newborns. It's also great for bonding and helping your baby to fall asleep.

Breast Feeding and Ear Infections ,Charlene says reports linking breast feeding in the lying down position to ear infections are "not correct." "This inaccuracy was spread because bottle fed babies can indeed get ear infections when they are lying down and feeding, simply because the milk can get into the Eustachian tubes and middle ear and cause infection. However, bottle feeding and breast feeding are two different issues.

Breast milk doesn't come out really quickly as it does from a bottle, and what's more, it is full of antibodies and immunoglobulins which make it less likely that the baby will develop an ear infection than if being fed formula milk, regardless of the baby's position when feeding.

 " Most of the material in Charlene's book is gleaned from hands-on personal experience, and having had six children with another on the way, it might be suggested that she's an expert in such matters. "Lying down whilst breast feeding is a very positive position. I've raised and breastfed six babies whilst lying down and I'll have no hesitation in doing it again since I'm 16 weeks pregnant with my seventh," she says.  
Millennimum, by Charlene Evans.

millennimum charlene evans decade of pregnancy and breast feeding                             Photo Credit: Splash News 

The author suggests that breast milk is so good that she even puts a drop into her newborn's eye if there is any sticky residue there. "You can guarantee that it will have cleared up by the next day," she says, resolutely.

The Right Position When Breastfeeding While Lying Down NCT, the UK's largest charity for parents, agrees that lying down whilst breastfeeding is harmless.
They do, however, give some guidelines to those mothers thinking of lying down whilst feeding their baby. 

They suggest that you should use a pillow behind you to support your back and a thinner pillow or folded towel underneath your rib cage, to lift your body slowly. This is apparently helpful for women with larger breasts.
NCT also suggest that a woman lie on her side and rest her head against a pillow so that the baby can snuggle close to the mother's body and the mother can guide her baby to her breast whilst supporting the baby with her free hand.

They say that if you have had a Cesarean, or if you are bedridden for any reason, then breastfeeding whilst lying down can be very relaxing and can help a mother to get more rest.

Kelly Bonyata is an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) from the USA who has been helping mothers and babies to breastfeed since 1997.  
She provides private and telephone consultations and is the owner and originator of kellymom.com, an internationally recognized website providing breastfeeding and parenting information to professionals and parents.  

Her advice echoes that of Charlene's above. She says: "You might hear that breastfeeding your baby in a lying down position will cause ear infections.  Research indicates that this is not true. No matter what position you prefer, breastfeeding actually works to decrease and not increase the incidence of ear infections. "This myth is one of many that have come from a mistaken application of bottle-feeding information to breastfeeding.

However, breast milk inhibits the formation of bacteria, while formula encourages bacteria. Also, breastfeeding and bottle feeding are not the same - milk does not pool in the mouth when baby is nursing, as it does when baby drinks from a bottle. " The Danger in Breastfeeding While Lying DownEar infection myths aside, can lying down when breastfeeding be fatal, due to such a restful position increasing the likelihood of the mother falling asleep? The fact is, if lying on one side, the natural position for a mother to adopt is to have her knees drawn up underneath, and her arms around the top of her baby.  
This prevents the baby from moving down the bed or falling away from the mother's body. In fact, most mothers don't fully fall asleep when tending to a baby and thus will usually be half awake, even if dozing.  

Charlene says, "I am usually quite a heavy sleeper but when I have a baby next to me I am semi-conscious mode and thus usually wake up as soon as the baby makes a murmur".  

The incidence of problems occurring when breastfeeding whilst lying down is actually minimal compared to bottle feeding.  

Research shows that unless other factors are involved such as smoking, alcohol, medications or extreme tiredness, there are far less incidents when a mother sleeps with her baby as opposed to putting the baby in a cot.
Indeed, when interviewed, the majority of mothers across Europe say that they sleep with their baby and in Scandinavia, that figure is around 90 percent.

Some cases of cot death happen when a baby simply stops breathing. This is less likely when sleeping alongside the mother, because the baby often tends to breathe in unison with the mother's breathing patterns. Of course, as with any activity in life, there is always risk, but the risk of a mother falling asleep completely whilst breastfeeding and something fatal happening is minimal.

If a mother is concerned about falling asleep whilst lying down next to her baby then she must not do so when excessively tired, or after consuming alcohol or medications which may result in drowsiness.  

The best advice is: be responsible, stay informed, and don't let myths destroy your ability to take advantage of a restful position for both yourself and your baby. News Copyright © Sawf News. May not be reproduced without explicit written permissiongoogle_ad_section_end

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