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Guardian article: Co-sleeping research misinterpreted

(14 Posts)
Pyrocanthus Fri 16-Oct-09 09:38:19


CMOTdibbler Fri 16-Oct-09 09:41:30

Great article !

bunnybunyip Fri 16-Oct-09 09:41:31

I love the guardian, what a sensible article.

PurplePoppy Sun 18-Oct-09 22:55:19

Excellent article.

cherryblossoms Sun 18-Oct-09 23:17:25

Great article. Thanks.

But is anyone else a bit grrrr! about the rest of the coverage? Especially when Mr Researcher points out that the widespread misinterpretation might actually lead to unsafe practices?

Honestly. On mn we did our our reading of the report in its brief form and many posters came to the same conclusions as this. How did the widespread coverage manage to misread it to such a degree?

BertieBotts Sun 18-Oct-09 23:46:06

Because most of the people reading/reporting it think of co-sleeping as something completely unnecessary, ridiculously outdated or "hippyish". Most of them have probably never experienced the severe sleep deprivation that comes with a young baby (especially one who is breastfed, and so the night feeds cannot be shared). It doesn't occur to them that exhausted new parents are so terrified of bedsharing that they are putting their babies at risk by accidentally falling asleep with them in chairs or on sofas.

As a group of people I think mothers (whether they co-sleep or not) are more likely to understand the need for it.

AitchTwoToTangOh Sun 18-Oct-09 23:51:28

hang on though, didn't we have someone from this study on here? and he was absolutely bloody adamant that bedsharing was dangerous, made a good case as i recall. (says she who still has her children in her bed every time they want to because i will Miss Them When They're Too Old for it.)

AvrilH Mon 19-Oct-09 10:49:20

Aitch - that was his expert opinion, the most recent research, the study in question, explicitly warns against such blanket advice, based on the evidence available.

Yet, FSID seems to have misrepresented the study's conclusions, and the media have mostly based their reporting on FSID's misleading press release without even checking the study's abstract.

AitchTwoToTangOh Mon 19-Oct-09 11:16:36

but he was a part of the study, wasn't he? or was he part of the fsid crew? i thought that it was they who'd done the study?

don't get me wrong, as i say, i can't see how women survive without taking babies into their beds. my dd2 was a preemie, she slept naked but for a nappy on my chest every night for months. it was bliss.

AvrilH Mon 19-Oct-09 11:37:16

depends on the baby I think, some are happy to comply with FSID guidance

study is here:

the study was "supported by research grants from the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), Babes in Arms, and the charitable trusts of University Hospitals Bristol."

AitchTwoToTangOh Mon 19-Oct-09 11:44:10

so is it a new one, and not the one that they guy we spoke to was referring to? (don't ask me to read medical papers, that's what i have mn for... wink).

AvrilH Mon 19-Oct-09 11:55:09

yes, I always start reading any research paper by skipping to the end wink - the conclusion which FSID, and most of the media, ignored is:

"Based on evidence from research into SIDS it is questionable whether advice to avoid bed sharing is generalisable and whether such a simplistic approach would do no harm. "

ProfessorLaytonIsMyZombieSlave Mon 19-Oct-09 11:55:09

Can you link to the previous thread, Aitch?

I totally agree with "Any advice to discourage bedsharing may carry with it the danger of tired parents feeding their baby on a sofa, which carries a much greater risk than co-sleeping in the parents' bed." We started cosleeping with DS because I was getting so tired that I was falling asleep feeding him in a chair or on the sofa and it was only a matter of time before I dropped him or worse. I would laugh in the face of anyone who tried to tell me it was more dangerous to bedshare.

AvrilH Mon 19-Oct-09 11:59:53

It reminds me of another thread on here recently about assessing risk - the guilt we would feel if the worst was to happen influences our decision making.

if the tragedy was a result of, say, a car accident, nobody would blame us because we accept that driving cars is an important part of life

if it was an unexplained death in our bed - the guilt would be unbearable since it is widely believed that the baby should be in its own cot

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