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Co-sleeping and bbc news. Irresponsible reporting?

(59 Posts)
thedcbrokemybank Wed 29-Mar-17 10:03:56

This article on the BBC news apparently highlights the dangers of co-sleeping. However it reports on a poor woman whose baby apparently died from a brain injury at birth although the coroners report, apparently unfairly, states sudden death associated with co-sleeping. There is no clarification of the definition of co-sleeping. This lady accidently fell asleep on the sofa.
It highlights "dangers" but doesn't actually give any facts about what these dangers may be. They had an opportunity on giving out info on safe co-sleeping but chose instead to focus on someone else's suffering.
Lazy reporting from the BBC?

Trifleorbust Wed 29-Mar-17 10:28:19

Hmm. It is, a little, yes.

I am not surprised mothers don't tell the HV about co-sleeping. So many do it out of desperation to get some sleep. I normally do it at about 4am. I know it is against guidance so no, I wouldn't tell the HV if asked tbh.

On MN you will get a lot of people talking about how it is 'perfectly safe' because they do X, Y and Z. They may be right. If it was any other aspect of NHS advice, I think the reaction to people ignoring it would be very different.

Poor woman anyway. flowers

Happyandhungry Wed 29-Mar-17 10:37:34

My first baby is due. I cannot imagine bringing a newborn into my bed between me and my husband and then sleeping?! Is this what co-sleeping is? Please enlighten me as a nearly new parent!

Strifae64 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:40:11

Your first baby isn't here yet, you may be able to imagine it once you have fed him/her 3-4 times a night (or more) and he/she won't sleep unless near or against you smile

Semaphorically Wed 29-Mar-17 10:43:05

I told the health visitor I was bed sharing (not just co-sleeping, which can also mean having them in the same room in their own bed) with both DD1 and DD2 and they were fine with it. They just wanted to know that I understood the guidelines. The HV with DD2 actually said it was a good idea provided guidelines were followed.

Happy the lullaby trust guidelines are the ones my HV told me to follow - here

Semaphorically Wed 29-Mar-17 10:44:47

And yes, OP, to answer your question I think it is lazy reporting.

WannaBe Wed 29-Mar-17 10:45:06

I find the response to co sleeping on MN bizarre, because it is so much different to anything else. The fact is that co sleeping is considered dangerous, and is advised against. the only reason why there are guidelines on safe co sleeping is because there is an awareness that many parents do so out of desparation, but that doesn't mean that it's safe to do so.

If a poster posts about going against any other guideline they are ripped apart on here, want to wean your baby at 25 instead of 26 weeks? Guidelines are against it you are going to damage their gut, they're not ready and you're setting them up for a lifetime of allergies. Want to give a formula top-up? You're going to damage the BF relationship. Want to have baby sleeping in its own room before six months? Your baby might die from SIDS and you'll never forgive yourself... and so on. Yet someone posts that they're having difficulty sleeping and the advice is "have you tried co sleeping?" And anyone who dares suggest that this is against guidelines is told that if it works for a desparate parent then it's nobody else's business....

TitusAndromedon Wed 29-Mar-17 10:46:32

Happy, if I were you I would take this opportunity to read up on safe co-sleeping guidelines, because it's almost a certainty that at some point you will bring your baby in bed with you, and it's best you know how to do so safely.

You would not put the baby between you and your husband, because that would be against guidelines. You would also not use a duvet, sleep on a chair or sofa, or sleep with your baby if you've been drinking or sleeping. But I don't know a single person who hasn't, at some point, out of a desperate need for sleep, shared a bed with their baby. It would be worth researching the fourth trimester as well for a better understanding of why you might end up in this position.

LittleRed90 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:46:54

I co-slept with my first and fully intend on co-sleeping with my second. I breastfeed so it's very convenient. My DD1 absolutely wouldn't sleep in her expensive moses basket so I ended up selling it and buying a Chicco next 2 me and she was in that for a lot of the night and then between the cot and myself, feeding for other parts of the night. I'd never put her between my husband and myself. There are guidelines out there on how to co-sleep as safely as possible and it reduces the risk of SIDS, apparently. An example of one of the guidelines is that you shouldn't ever co-sleep if you take medication, if either yourself or your partner is a smoker or if you drink alcohol.

TitusAndromedon Wed 29-Mar-17 10:49:28

Smoking, not sleeping. Sorry.

LittleRed90 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:49:56

Here's a good link for info:

tiggytape Wed 29-Mar-17 10:50:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleRed90 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:51:56

Reading that, I take my 'reduces the risk of SIDS, apparently' back. Must have read it somewhere, though. Maybe I read it's if you keep your baby next to you in a side cot.. which is also considered co-seeping!

flownthecoopkiwi Wed 29-Mar-17 10:53:41

Most Co sleeping deaths are sector unplanned Co sleeping, such as on a sofa or chair where the parent falls asleep. We have done planned Co sleeping with both our children, in a large bed, no duvet near the baby and between us, with breastfeeding. Research has shown if you breastfeed then you have better perception and alertness about where your baby is on the bed. Weird but apparently to do with hormones. Better sleep for both mother and baby we found.

Hid it from first hv, and was open about it next time around.

WindwardCircle Wed 29-Mar-17 10:53:49

I read that article this morning and thought it was rather muddled in its message. It didn't seem clear whether the poor woman's baby had died as a direct result of co sleeping or as a result of previously undiagnosed brain damage, the fact that the woman was upset over the cause of death on the birth certificate just confused things further. It didn't seem to be a good case study at all to put over the risks of co sleeping and was a poor piece of journalism all round.

LittleRed90 Wed 29-Mar-17 10:54:06

tiggytape this! I was messaging my friends in absolute desperation, sat awake crying throughout the night. Thought i'd give it a go, as safely as possible. I slept, baby slept (and ate) and it was the best 4 hours I'd had in a long time. I did keep waking up, paranoid though. And I moved DD1 back into her side cot whenever I could.

UndersecretaryofWhimsy Wed 29-Mar-17 10:57:37

What is also often missed is that the risks of cosleeping differ significantly depending on a number of factors, not the least of which is feeding method. When a mother who is breastfeeding and sober cosleeps with her baby, following other guidelines such as not having duvet near baby and not having baby between her and partner, the risks are no higher than having baby in a separate cot in the same room, and lower than having baby in a separate room.

The majority of people do not breastfeed beyond the first few weeks and the NHS cannot rely on people to be sober and follow guidelines, so they choose to issue a blanket 'cosleeping is risky' approach. I disagree with this, but I understand why they feel it's necessary.

Doyouwantabrew Wed 29-Mar-17 10:59:15

When I had ds 1 in 1989 our maternity unit used to do 'tuck in' so actively encouraged mums to co sleep. Also tummy sleeping shock

I agree op it seems unfair and that poor lady

Parenting is hard and most of us have brought our babies into bed out of sheer desperation to sleep.

Awful things happen and life is a balance and you go what works for you.

UndersecretaryofWhimsy Wed 29-Mar-17 11:05:51

I also hate that the 'cosleeping is bad' advice leads to people accidentally falling asleep on couches and chairs with babies, which is far riskier than deliberate cosleeping. I wish the NHS could be more nuanced. And yes I think the article is misleading reporting at best.

Cosleeping for me was both a lifesaver and a pleasure. I could literally feed while asleep and loved having DS snuggled up to me. He never cried at night when he was in bed with me.

HalfShellHero Wed 29-Mar-17 11:07:32

If i ever brought the kids as babies into my bed rmwe removed the pillow and put an orthopaedic cushion around as a barrier .

thecatsarecrazy Wed 29-Mar-17 11:09:01

My 2nd son ended up in with us most nights because he was a sod and wouldn't sleep. I fully breastfed him and he would normally fall asleep feeding. I wouldn't want to co sleep with my youngest out of choice though

voldemortsnose Wed 29-Mar-17 11:09:46

Statistically you are twice as likely to have a SID as if the baby is in the same room in a separate cot or co-sleeper even if you if you co-sleep using all the safety guidelines and are breastfeeding. For young babies, It's just as dangerous as having the baby sleep in a separate room from their parent.

However, as a doctor once said to me, double of not a lot is still not a lot. Since the back to sleep campaign we have around 300 cot deaths a year rather than 2,700. At least half were where drugs and alcohol were involved and by far the most dangerous way to co-sleep is on a sofa or falling asleep sitting. The big factor is overheating. There are nearly 700,000 babies born every year. If you're following the guidelines (from where? I only know of the chapter in Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution) your chances of a cot death are a small part of that number.

I knew this, but I still did it. I was breastfeeding and I had a bed nest for both babies, but still did it. It was especially good for when my babies were cluster feeding between the hours of 11pm and 3am in the very early days. Most parents co-sleep at some point whether they plan to or not. I see having them sleep in their own beds as something to try to do as often as practical.

Incidentally, the only cot death I know of was a baby overheating in a sling. I cannot imagine what the mum went through when she realised.

springflowers11 Wed 29-Mar-17 11:11:04

The news's job is to report news, not be an advisory body.

springflowers11 Wed 29-Mar-17 11:12:09

Also it is not definitively known to be a cause .In some countries where co sleeping is the norm, SIDS is unheard ofr

voldemortsnose Wed 29-Mar-17 11:13:24

Sorry I got lost in all my stats and forgot why I was posting. I agree with spring. The NHS has to do lowest common denominator advice for good reasons. If you can handle nuance and research stuff based on evidence rather than wishful thinking, then go for your life.

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