I usually have the newsletter a little earlier in the month then this one but I will let you know the reason and brag a little. Our oldest child, Brian, graduated from Penn State yesterday. The weekend before we need to help him find a place to live near his new job and help him move. It seems like such a short time ago he was a newborn in my arms. So to those of you with living with young children cherish every moment. It is a pleasure to watch them mature and become wonderful people but there is certainly some lose in it too. The work you are doing now is so important, the sleepless nights, the frustrating moments, the other day to day hard work on young ones can be draining at times but you really do get what you put in, eventually.
Now all of that sedgways nicely into some articles I found this month. There seemed to be a lot of interesting articles on babies and sleep. So it flows in two ways, Brian, my college graduate was a horrible sleeper as a baby. We could have let him "cry it out" and see if it helped but choose not too. We were glad not only because we knew it was non a healthy choice for us but also as we later found out he had been a baby with silent reflux that wasn't diagnosed. It would have been cruel to ingnore not only his mental but his physical pain. I know some of you too have babies with challanges sleeping (one of you for sure knows I am thinking of you) but this like other difficult parts of parenthood will pass and leave you with exceptional adults one day.
I hope you all had a happy Mother's Day. I did wish all those of you who are on the South Jersey Babies or the Karen Kurtz, IBCLC facebook groups a happy day then. If you are not a friend of those pages please become one and recommend them to your friends.
As I mentioned last month, I have been revising my business plan based on the needs I am seeing in my clients. Since one-on-one prenatal consults and classes are the most popular contacts before the baby comes I have revised my packages to reflect these options. I probably will be doing so even further in the coming month as I rework my web site. If you have friends who are pregnant and would like to learn in their own home or find out how to best apply breastfeeding research to overcome their specific histories, ie. those with a history of infertility, PCOS, diabetes or breast surgery, have them give me a call to develop an option that works for them.
If you have suggestions for classes or other services please let me know as well.
Nighttime Breastfeeding and Maternal Mental Health
by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC
There is a movement afoot in childbirth education and perinatal health urging mothers to avoid nighttime breastfeeding to decrease their risk for postpartum depression. We know that if mothers follow this advice, it will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. But let’s put that issue aside for the moment and consider whether avoiding nighttime breastfeeding will preserve women’s mental health by allowing them to get more sleep. In short, is this good advice?
The results of these previous studies are remarkably consistent. Breastfeeding mothers are less tired and get more sleep than their formula- or mixed-feeding counterparts. And this lowers their risk for depression. Doan and colleagues noted the following.
Using supplementation as a coping strategy for minimizing sleep loss can actually be detrimental because of its impact on prolactin hormone production and secretion. Maintenance of breastfeeding as well as deep restorative sleep stages may be greatly compromised for new mothers who cope with infant feedings by supplementing in an effort to get more sleep time. (p. 201)
In sum, advising women to avoid nighttime breastfeeding to lessen their risk of depression is not medically sound. In fact, if women follow this advice, it may actually increase their risk of depression.
What are the long term effects on my baby of sharing a bed?
from the The University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Lab
While advocates of solitary infant sleeping arrangements have claimed any number of benefits of infant sleeping alone, the truth o the matter is, none of these supposed benefits have been shown to be true through scientific studies. The great irony is that, not only have benefits of solitary infant sleep NOT be demonstrated - simply assumed to be true, but recent studies are beginning to show the opposite that is, it is not, for example, solitary sleeping arrangements that produce strong independence, social competence, feeling of high self esteem,good comportment by children in school, ability to handle stress, strong gender or sex identities - but it is social or cosleeping patterns that might, indeed, contribute to the emergence of these characteristics.
For the most part it is probably true that neither social sleep (cosleeping) or solitary sleep as a child correlates with anything in any simple or direct way. Rather, sleeping arrangements can enhance or exacerbate the kind of relationships that characterize the child's daytime relationships and that, therefore, no one "function' can be associated with sleeping arrangements. Rather than assuming that sleeping arrangement produces a particular "type" person it is probably more accurate to think of sleeping arrangements as part of a larger system of affection and that it is altogether this larger system of attachment relationships, interacting with the child's own special characteristics that produces adult characteristics.
I wish I had written these but I hope those of you who co-sleep or make other parenting choices outside of the "mainstream" enjoy these.
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