Oct 312010

“If you keep trying to sleep with the baby, we will take her away to the nursery.” – L&D Nurse to mother during her postpartum stay.

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 October 31, 2010  L&D Nurse, newborn, postpartum  Add comments

  202 Responses to “"If You Keep Trying To Sleep With The Baby, We Will Take Her Away To The Nursery."”

  1. And this is why so many women don’t want a hospital birth.

    • I work in a hospital and I think that’s ridiculous. It’s your baby! If you want the baby in bed with you then that’s where the baby should be!!

    • I was lucky at my hospital, when the midwife saw me sleeping with my son on my chest, she told me I was doing what would make him the most comfortable considering he had just spent nine months inside of me.

  2. That is when you ask for a different RN or to speak with the charge RN.

  3. I had something similar said to me after the birth of my first, but I wouldn’t let her go. I had a cesarean and it was difficult to get her in and out of the plastic bassinet; so much easier to keep her with me. Come to think of it, they said something similar to me after every hospital birth. One of the reasons we started having homebirths.

    • I had my first (through third) c-section and they told me I couldn’t have him with me the first night the epi was in incase something happened, or I dropped him. That was back in the times when they weren’t private rooms and my dh couldn’t stay with me. They said if he’d stayed there then the baby could have stayed with me. Had my 4th by vbaccc. looking to have my 5th at home.

  4. If you take my baby without my permission, I’ll charge you with kidnapping.

  5. The L & D nurse actually yelled at me when I fell asleep with my daughter in my arms after I nursed her while laying down. That was 26 years ago, I can’t believe hospital nurses haven’t learned anything regarding co-sleeping yet. Seriously, if I knew then what I know now…

    • Kim, this is a late reply but……a lot of OB nurses do not understand mother’s instinct.

      I’ve fallen asleep with my two youngsters when they were infants. They’re grown now, but I remember falling asleep after the peace of nursing like it was yesterday. how I love being a mother!

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cassie, My OB said WHAT?!. My OB said WHAT?! said: “If You Keep Trying To Sleep With The Baby, We Will Take Her Away To The Nursery.” http://bit.ly/czBPpn [...]

  7. This is the policy at our hospital too.

  8. I still wonder why hospital staff thinks mom and baby are their ‘property’. Do they forget if every woman had a homebirth, the maternity ward would be shut down? Without patients to tend to, you have no job!! So be nice, engage brain, and keep your mouth shut thankyouverymuch!

    • The “keep your mouth shut” point is especially good. Hey doc. Can it. And quit with the crazy rushing around at the last minute before birth. It’s distracting and annoying.
      And hospital staff thinks that the patients are their property because they have protocol that supports that idea. Why? Because the state wants to separate moms and babies. Because babies belong to Uncle Sam. That way there is dissociation from the get-go -not to mention genital mutilation. It’s so that baby will grow up to be a soldier or to make soldier babies.
      Completely sickening.

      • Huh? I’ve had three hospital births, the first two with, *gasp* epidurals. The only reason I did not have one the third time was because she was born 3 hours after my water breaking, 2.5 hours after I started having contractions, and 40 minutes after getting to the hospital. There wasn’t time. I remember the “protocol” being that you don’t sleep with the baby in your bed. But no one had a fit about it. I had rooming in with all three (the last baby was born at a MILITARY TREATMENT FACILITY on a large military installation and rooming in was REQUIRED), so I don’t know where your separation and dissociation theories come from. And, given that i am MARRIED to a soldier, perhaps my children will choose that route. But if they don’t, it’s BECAUSE of the freedoms we enjoy that are provided by Uncle Sam.

        I get very upset when I feel like I have to defend my positions on breastfeeding, cosleeping, birthing, etc., as I’m sure you do. It is not a contest, and each mother has to do what they see fit to raise a healthy child. And the vast majority of children do grow up healthy and well-adjusted. You bear and raise your children as you see fit, and I will do the same. But don’t think you know the secret recipe to perfect children.

  9. As an L&D nurse, I have to agree with this statement, though probably not the way it was delivered. Hospital beds are narrow and hospital floors are HARD. I’ve seen babies end up on the floor with a thud and requiring x-rays and unnecessary worry for all involved. As a mother who co-sleeps, I also know that when its not MY bed, its just not the same. Most women on PP units practically insist on sleeping with the head of the bed on some sort of incline, just because they can. This makes a sort of “slide” which actually encourages babies to hit the floor. Add an abdominal incision and a little percocet and it’s the perfect recipe for disaster.

    You have to respect the roles of L&D/PP nurses: we don’t want any harm done to your infant. And you have to respect the rules of the house. Not to be blunt, but, if you don’t like the rules, don’t give birth there. I had three homebirths and there was noone there to wake me and yell at me if I fell asleep with my infant on my chest. I also have a queen sized bed with a soft plush carpet floor.

    It’s a 2-3 night stay for most. Please don’t give the nurses a hard time. If something happens to your baby, a perfectly good nurse may get fired. A perfectly good baby friendly hospital may get sued and lose its maternity department.

    Though I agree with the sentiment, as a maternity nurse, I usually put it this way. “As a co-sleeping mom myself, I understand how wonderful and safe co-sleeping is. However, while you are here with us, we ask you to understand that this is not the safest environment for co-sleeping. We ask that if you feel sleepy you place your baby in the crib. Thank you for understanding and know that you are only here for a few short nights, and you will have your infant home with you and be able to co-sleep very soon.” Then I usually ask the mom if she is aware of safe co-sleeping behaviors and continue the conversation if she seems interested. I also am willing to help a sleepy mom breastfeed by bringing the baby back to her when he/she wakes, and if she is very sleepy and I’m not incredibly busy, I will stay in the room with her and talk to her while she’s breastfeeding to help keep her awake.

    I am very PRO co-sleeping (despite my family’s urgings) and have safely done so for 6+ years and 3 kiddos. So please understand that this was said to this mom because not everyone understands how to safely co-sleep and the hospital can’t take responsibility if something goes wrong. And seriously, hospital beds are not designed well for co-sleeping.

    • I don’t co-sleep just because I never got any sleep–I turned into a zombie because every time baby twitched, I jerked awake (and now, at 9, he’s even more of a flopper, lol). But I absolutely respect a parent’s right to choose their sleeping method.

      I like the way you put things–how you would address a parent; it was considerate and explained the limitations of the hospital in a clear way. And your advice about having a homebirth makes perfect sense. But what was said to the OP, how it was said, was totally inappropriate. I would have felt very threatened if someone had said that to me…While I probably wouldn’t have given the nurse a hard time per se, I would have let her know that I didn’t appreciate her words.

      • I don’t think my newborn is safe in the bassinet. I can’t stabalize her heart rate or temperature in the bassinet. If you can show me there are no benefits to skin to skin contact and constant breastfeeding great, otherwise the baby is staying on my chest. No I will not put the hospitals legal concerns above my child’s safety, sorry. Besides I don’t know how the baby physically could fall out of the bed. I had the bed at an incline and the bed was a standard hospital be with solid sides from the head to 1/3 of the way down and the bed rails to keep the patient from climbing out of bed. The baby wasn’t going anywhere except my lap. The hospital bed with its high solid side was much more secure than any regular bed I’ve ever seen. Maybe some L&D departments don’t use hospital beds? Honestly I can’t understand how a bed with solid sides is less secure this a bed with no sides. The L&D nurses saw me cosleeping for almost three days and did nothing but smile. One of the nurse commented about another couple to another nurse that the couple was asleep with the baby between them and she would come back later to check the babies vitals. These were very narrow beds slightly narrower than a standard twin I’d guess.

    • well put. Thank you

    • Our hospital had no problems with co-sleeping, and in fact, the OB who did our tour of the post-partum wing actually suggested co-sleeping when someone asked, “Where will the baby sleep?” The person went on to ask, “…but won’t the baby fall out of the bed?” and the OB’s response was, “It turns out that that doesn’t actually happen.” It sounds like you’ve had a different experience, especially with meds involved, but I guess this OB’s experience was more positive.

      Not only that, but my hospital bed was not overly narrow, had a great rail on the side, and a pillow nestled nicely between the rail and the mattress to fill any gaps, so I was quite sure that the baby wasn’t going anywhere (not that she would have anyway…she couldn’t roll over yet). I felt completely comfortable co-sleeping in that environment, and the staff said not a word on the topic.

      Then again, I’m not entirely sure that the staff even knew that we were co-sleeping, because they mostly left us to our own devices, and certainly didn’t come into our room during the middle of the night.

    • I appreciate your input. I wonder if it would be possible to get changes made to where an LD nurse could say, “Co-sleeping can be dangerous in this type of bed/environment. We ask that you lay your bed flat and fill any gaps with rolled linens/pillows.” Like a previous poster, I have never been able to sleep well with my baby in the bed (or even the room!) but those first few nights, that was the only way I could get him to sleep (especially after a c/s where you can’t physically rock/walk them to sleep). It seems like there could be a compromise made that makes both sides happy.

      • Not if hospital policy states no co-sleeping. I’m in jeopardy of loosing my job should something unforeseen happen. I am a co-sleeping mom as well, but surgery, exhaustion, narcotics, and co-sleeping are a recipe for disaster. And as previously stated even for a vaginal delivery the beds are not appropriate.

        • Yes, I understand the hospital policy- that is what I meant by getting “changes made.” I meant changes to the hospital policy, sorry for not being clear. I am actually not a co-sleeper (except those first few days when I can’t tell if it is night or day!) but I actually believe that there are several reasons mentioned on this page that co-sleeping in the hospital might actually be *safest* if those two guidelines are followed (bed laid flat and lowered, pillows filling any gaps between mattress and rails).

          1) If you had a c-section YOU WILL NOT BE ROLLING OVER IN YOUR SLEEP :) Narcotics or not. Trust me, I don’t think you could have paid me to roll over.

          2) Those bassinets on wheels are dangerous and a recovering/sleepy/drugged mom is, IMO, way more likely to have an accident where baby is dropped or injured transferring baby back and forth between her bed and the bassinet. Trust me on this too, because I was a “fall risk” with my VBAC due to several dizzy spells etc.

          So unless the nurses want a full-time job of transferring babies back and forth from mom to bassinet, it seems like this is a better solution…

          • NO KIDDING! After my first when I had a c/s, once we were home, there was twice in the middle of the night that I tried to change a diaper. I got up, carrying my baby to the changing table (since we were cosleeping) and I got sooo dizzy I was afraid I was going to pass out and drop her. I immediately set her on the changing table, got on the bed, and made dh change her and go get me a glass of water.

          • I would love to see LOWER bassinets so mom can actually reach baby from the bed. I didn’t feel safe co-sleeping at the hospital for reasons stated above, especially since I had such hip/pelvic pain issues that I couldn’t sleep on my side for months after the birth, but man it was annoying to have to wake myself up to nurse and then put kiddo back in the bassinet. I got woken up and lectured the one time I fell asleep with him in my arms while nursing.

        • SO GET SOME THAT ARE. Or not and women will have babies at home and you can shut down the L&D.

          No more longwinded bullshit excuses please.

          • Nurses don’t make hospital furniture decisions. Buracrats sitting in offices (who have never seen an actual patient) do. That’s part of the problem.

    • Cheers Kathleen.
      I appreciate your input. This is my submission, and the full context is down below. I had been given permission by my Ob to co-sleep due to constant feeding requirements and me being very weak. He had even written it in the notes, and I had seen it, the day nurse had seen it, and the NUM had seen it. This woman just wanted to play Vigilante. I see the same thing with some of my palliative patients. Doc says they can have a beer after dinner, but some nurses refuse to let them because “you shouldnt be drinking in hospital or on medication” yet the doc has written his OK for it in the notes, and is well aware of the risks.

      • Yes, docs write orders all the time, but there is a thing called nursing judgement and if it’s for the safety of our patients we can refuse. Also docs orders do not supercede hospital policy. So your MD can write it’s ok, but if policy says no, it’s still no. If the MD doesn’t like it he can practice elsewhere.

        • I know all about “nursing Judgement”, and I work in a palliative hospice, where it is common to see the patients on all kinds of narcotics, but it is standard care in the facility that if the doc writes its OK for them to have a beer (since they are dying, why deny them this pleasure?) then all but this one bitch of a nurse will give it.

          Same goes where I was when I had my daughter. Its actually policy that Co-sleeping is not a problem if mum is not on narcotics, and I was not on narcotics. Again, just a bitch of a nurse!

          I am more than happy to say this, because I AM a nurse, and thats all these women are!

        • this is why people hate nurses. You are there to care for patients and fill doctors’ orders. Go to med school if you don’t like it.

          • Nurses are also there to be advocates for the patient and also for the doctor’s orders, when the situation requires it. Please don’t think that because the doctors write orders, that nurses don’t have any input or clinical judgement. If you believe that, you might as well suggest that nurses and midwives are replaced by robots. I’m not defending the nurse/midwife in question, but I do defend the profession.

          • Nursing judgement is also the reason people love nurses. My OB missed my delivery, L&D managed my induced labor without an epidural and delivered my baby. Somehow the hospital managed to loose my pediatrician so my very health newborn saw the head of the NICU. The perinatologist was very nice but never spent an entire two minutes with my daughter. Basically all our care for almost 4 days in the hospital was nursing judgement. I had I one nurse who was like this, toe the line on hospital policy ad say no to every thing if possible. The other nurses used there brains and made judgements based on the individual situation and were amazing.

    • I hate to point it out once again, but NOT every woman has the option to “just give birth somewhere else” if we don’t like it. Women in the military, or in prison, or other extreme circumstances, don’t get a choice. It’s the hospital, risk medical discharge on charges of malingering, or nothing. I appreciate the input from “the other side,” but not every woman has it that easily.

      • That was my thought Mama Wrench.. I don’t have the choice to deliver at home due to my health conditions. I have never (in six births) needed interventions but my conditions exempt me from home birth or a midwife I guess. :( I can’t find one that will take me :( So I HAVE to deliver in a hospital.

        I must say though.. one of the “rules of co-sleeping” is no drugs (prescribed or otherwise) so if mom is on percocet or a like drug she shouldn’t be co-sleeping.. BUT if mom is not on any drugs (and is breastfeeding.. another rule of co-sleeping, no bottles) she is safe to co-sleep. The baby will likely spend the night on Mom’s chest or in the crook of her arm snuggled safely against her (which means less risk of falling off the bed).

      • Exactly MW, as the wife of a military man, I have a little more choice than active duty military women, but they are still fighting me tooth and nail against going to the birth center that the midwife FROM THE MILITARY CLINIC suggested. I had a horrible hospital experience and do not want to deliver there again. Just walking into the hospital or even driving by makes my skin crawl. I’m glad I didn’t have an issue with sleeping with my son. The nurse on the shift was actually very nice and helpful. She woke me up gently and said that the hospital had a policy against co-sleeping, but if I wanted to sign the waiver, I could. She just couldn’t continue to let me sleep with him until she informed me of that. I had her put him back in the bassinet (because I honestly felt I was too out of it even with a natural delivery to sleep with him safely). She asked if there was anything she could get me and handed me my water, then turned the lights out for me and told the other nurses not to disturb me for a few hours. I really appreciated her, but the other nurses were just flat out rude.

      • Military wives and active duty most certainly can have a birth outside of a hospital if they choose. It’s easiest if you switch to Tricare Standard but some bases will refer mom’s out to civilian care providers from time to time. I can done it and I have seen it done with dozens of my military friends over the years.

        (and if you are in prison, you have lost your rights to choose anything, IMO)

        • The civilian spouses do have the option to go offbase, but a woman who’s on active duty orders don’t for the most part. It all depend on the base and the region.

    • I kind of agree – maybe after a vaginal birth it would be okay, but you are compromised on several levels with a major incision plus pain meds. Co-sleeping advocates always say that if you’re going to do so, you should not be under the influence of drugs/alcohol in your own home, and this should probably extend to the hospital. Once that Percocet reached my bloodstream, all bets on lucidity were off … LOL

      But that would imply that you can actually “sleep” in a hospital. For me, at least, there was nothing like a strange bed and being placed on the end of a hall to keep me awake for the duration! :?

    • Look, i didn’t want to give birth at the hospital, I got transported so don’t you DARE tell me not to give birth there if I don’t want to follow policy. I am not STUPID, I knew how to make sure my child was safe. In fact, I didn’t even care if he slept IN my bed, i just wanted him in the room and was told that was a no-no, because what if he choked or something? I said, if I had a vaginal birth I would be AT HOME RIGHT NOW and then what I would do without you to “save me?”

    • I can completely understand what your saying,, hospital beds definitely aren’t the safest place to be co sleeping. When you go home , you can do whatever you want,, but while in hospital it’s better to have the baby where it’ll be safe.. I had 2 homebirths and co slept with both in my bed, so I am an advocate for co sleeping. I chose hb and therefore didn’t have to deal with that issue of hospital rules.

    • I’m all for SAFE co-sleeping. Thats the #1 rule of co-sleeping. And as PRO-cosleeping I am, I dont think the hospital bed is the place for SAFE co-sleeping. There are SO many factors including small unfamiliar bed, narcotics if used, and exhaustion being just a few of them. It’s ok to want to co-sleep, but in your own SAFE bed at home is probably a better place. My hospital I delivered at was non-cosleeping. If I wanted to do that bad enough, I would have pursed a home birth.

    • You are the nurse I wish had taken care of me after all of my (necessary, but still ugh) C-sections. <3 Love your compassion, empathy, professionalism.

    • Kathleen, thats a lovely way to put it :)
      Our local hospital encourages co-sleeping, but they have rails on the beds that they put up and get the mum to sleep on one side of the narrow bed, then jam a pillow against the rails, they then teach you how to lay so you wont/have a less chanse of rolling on the baby if feeding laying on your side. The night nurse who taught me this is absolutely amazing :)

  10. I know you all hate it when I just jump into one comment, but -

    Having an infant sleep in the bed with parents has been implicated as a cause of SIDs due to inadvertent smothering of the infant. While cosleeping can be a wonderful thing, a side bed that does not allow the parent to roll over the infant is imperative.

    Certainly though this doesn’t keep infants from being in the room with mom, just that she shouldn’t sleep with the baby in her bed.

    • aarr, doc, could you please post some links for your research that support that statement. Give me a half hour and I’ll put some up (or someone more on the ball then me will) that say the opposite, co sleeping helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
      FYI – I am with Toni (above) on this one. After a C/S it is so painful to move much less maneuver yourself out of bed and pick up a baby out of a bassinet. On chance I could roll over and squash DS in my sleep because everytime I moved I woke up with shooting pains everywhere. Yes, he slept with me, for both our sakes

      • “On chance I could roll over and squash DS in my sleep…”

        Honestly, notwithstanding the research supporting bed-sharing, I look at it this way: If I’m likely to roll over my baby at night, it’s a wonder I haven’t rolled off my bed.

      • I meant “no chance”, sorry slightly dyslexic today

      • But studies also show after a C-section patients should be getting out of bed 4 hours post-op, which is just in time for that second feeding most likely.

        • Studies? So do you see this in practice? I wasn’t allowed “out of bed” the entire 24 hours following my c-section. Granted, I was on the evil of all evils- Mag sulfate- but, even once it was discontinued it was war trying to get in and out of bed for days. And my docs/nurses seem overly impressed by my “quick recovery” and even let me go a day early. They didn’t seem to see a lot of c-section moms running around 4 hours post-op.

        • Just jn time for that second feeding? 4 hours? I freaking wish! For us try half hour! My boy is an eater! He went through 10 diapers in day 1! If I had a c sec we would and didnt cosleep, we would have been screwed, because I was alone till 4 days pp and calli g a nurse in that hell hlle was usless!

    • Plenty of babies have died from SIDS in a crib too.

      In fact it is most co-sleepers’ opinions that their babies are less-likely to die of SIDS when next to their mothers for the simple reason that nursing mothers are hyper-aware of their babies. My husband can turn the radio on full blast in the middle of the night and not wake me up but if my daughter so much as sighs, I’m awake.

    • Hey doc, what about napping (not like you get a good night’s sleep in the hospital anyway) with the baby on your chest? Both bro and sis-in-law did this with the last two and it seemed perfectly safe. I totally understand the fact that hospital beds are FAR from ideal for cosleeping in the “normal” way with baby next to you but it seems like it’s pretty safe to have baby on your chest.


      • This is anecdotal but for me, this one anecdote is enough. When I was a kid, one of my aunts fell asleep with her baby on her chest. He slid off her and somehow got wedged against her and suffocated. He was about a week old and she was extremely sleep deprived.

        I like the co-sleepers that go in the middle of the bed or attach to the side – to me that’s the best of both worlds. Baby’s safely enclosed but close enough to easily reach.

    • “I know you all hate it when I just jump into one comment, but -”

      Then why do it? If you know that we don’t appreciate it then what’s the point – you’re own entertainment? A need to feel right?

      Do you honestly think that we haven’t heard that same opinion in a million different places? Do you think that you’re somehow the first person to (gasp) pronounce us cosleepers as putting our children at risk? We could argue with you about it until we’re blue in the face and post our own differing statistics but it never means squat to you. Perhaps that’s why we don’t like it when you pop in.

      • sigh – “your” . . . my English major mother would be appalled at my grammar.

      • Cheers!

        I don’t hate Dr. Fogelson — I do enjoy his blog. But this drive-by parenting advice is just obnoxious. Dr. Fogelson, go tell the Japanese how much all of their co-sleeping babies are endangered. They’ll be fascinated.

        And I do kinda give the hospital a pass on this one, as much as I love cosleeping (and despite the fact that the staff at the hospital with my first baby actually encouraged it, in that narrow hospital bed), because this is a big area of liability (and my expectations of hospitals are fairly low).

        Threatening to take a baby away for it? Oh no. Oh hell no.

    • Dr. Fogelson, I would be particularly interested in your thoughts on an earlier post this week–where a doctor deliberately hurt a 16-year old mother during birth.

    • A baby being smothered is NOT SIDS. In SIDS the cause of death is not known/baby is sleeping and just stops breathing, a huge difference between that and suffocation. There is research that has found that sleeping with your baby actually helps them regulate their breathing and their heart rate, reducing the likeliness of SIDS, particularly when the mother is breastfeeding.

      Honestly the connection at night between a breastfeeding mother and her baby is something you could never understand without experiencing, but believe me a mother is more aware of her baby than anything else in the world, and they even wake up before the baby does, sensing that they are about to wake up.

      It’s only dangerous when the people sleeping with baby are using sleeping medications, or drugs, or if you’re sleeping on the couch or in a chair. I have heard so many mothers tell me they’ve fallen asleep with their baby in the chair or on the couch because they are afraid to sleep with them. Essentially by creating this fear of sleeping with your baby is causing more suffocation deaths because of moms falling asleep on the couch/chair with the baby.

    • If a baby is smothered, it died from being smothered NOT from SIDS. Seriously. Also, this implies that no baby ever dies alone in a ‘safe’ crib, which is an insane notion.

      Cosleeping is an exceptionally safe way of sleeping, with a few precautions it’s safer than letting an infant lie alone in a crib, with no one near to help if it needs it.

      Perhaps no one likes when you chime in because your opinions are clearly biased and disdainful of those of us who choose other than the established, mainstream method. A method which has numerous faults and dicey ‘science’ to back it up. :/

      I’m interested to hear your opinion on the above as well.

      • Come on ya’ll. Don’t take it so personally, and have the guts to allow an opposing opinion without attacking.

        There have been many documented cases of infants being smothered by parents. In some cases it was parents under the influence of alcohol, in other cases not. These are avoidable deaths.

        Of course infants have died in cribs. Many of those deaths are thought to be from smothering as well, supported by the decrease in unexplained crib death after the promotion of Back to Sleep.

        • We’re not attacking you. We asked for links to studies and so far while scrolling through the comments, I haven’t seen you provide any.

          I have seen moms providing several links to studies showing that co-sleeping reduces the chance of SIDS, though.

        • I realize that you’re getting slammed with a lot of posts, but did you look at the evidence I provided before responding? ;-)

          Before Back to Sleep, public health dogma officially held that babies HAD to sleep on their stomachs for fear that they would experience reflux and choke. Back to Sleep came on aggressively to combat this well-intentioned and sincerely believed misinformation.

          My mother tells some humorous tales of how as a baby, I always slept on my back, and she would stay up all night hunched over the crib to turn me back around. She was freaked out that something horrible would happen every time I rolled onto my back.

          We can all get a good laugh now, but if Back to Sleep has taught us anything, it is that public health officials can be, have been, and will again be wrong. And when it comes to sleep sharing, we know from the best available evidence that they are wrong.

          • ^^^ this too!^^^

            *public health officials can be, have been, and will again be wrong”

            To the good Dr and anyone else looking for a fight, pay attention to the above. I am willing to bet the VAST majority of us “wackos” that choose something other than mainstream, do so because we know the above truth and have decided to think for ourselves. And in doing so, often choose the most “natural” path- because we feel it safest or best for our children. Not because we hate doctors, judge formula feeding moms, want a medal/trophy/or whatever else everyone assures us we WON’T get by having a natural, drug-free childbirth. We don’t want our child to catch measles or die of SIDS.


          • Addit about the “back to sleep” campaign…
            It never ceases to amaze me the amount of kids with flat spots on the back of their head and their hair wearing off because they are always in one position. Some even require orthopaedic treatment. I also am still stunned by the amount of kids that DO sleep on their backs who die a SIDS death.

            I am also appalled by how much stress we put ourselves through by panicking when our babies roll themselves to the side or belly. Its what they DO! I have had one side sleeper and 2 front sleepers. One of these since she was 2 weeks old. I had a friend lose her daughter to SIDS 2 years ago, and while she is very vigilant now with her new baby because the one she lost was found face-down, I still fail to see how strapping the kid down alone in a cot is going to help when her husband smokes, and she stopped breastfeeding at 3 months.

        • “There have been many documented cases of infants being smothered by parents. In some cases it was parents under the influence of alcohol, in other cases not. These are avoidable deaths.”

          This is not under dispute. But such cases are not SIDS. The comment I had a problem with was this…

          “Having an infant sleep in the bed with parents has been implicated as a cause of SIDs due to inadvertent smothering of the infants.”

          That statement is illogical and false. And no, it’s not personal. However, I have a problem with statements like that, especially the implication that cosleeping is inherently unsafe because of such a faulty premise. I don’t like the idea that families are being encouraged not to cosleep on the basis of such erroneous statements.

      • Aren’t everyone’s opinions biased? I thought he delivered his opinion in a very respectful way.

        • Me too. AND specifically said he’s pro-cosleeping. Y’all. Dr. F’s comment relates to hospital beds. If you jump on him every time he says something, it makes us all look bad.

          • Pro-cosleeping? Not really. He states specifically that there should be a separate side bed for baby to be safe; whereas co-sleepers argue that mom and baby in one bed is safe.

        • Agreed. I am glad Dr. F comes on. Sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I don’t, but it makes me think through my opinions and thoughts…which is always a good thing.

    • First of all, smothering is not SIDS. It is suffocation.

      Second, you will find two types of research on this matter. The majority does not control for such contraindications of sleep-sharing as mind-altering substance use, smoking, and severe obesity. The second (and best available) body of research actually involved observing parents in the act of sleep sharing. Click around here for information: http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/ References are here: http://www.nd.edu/~jmckenn1/lab/pubs.html

      And finally….access to a woman’s baby is a right and not a privilege. This nurse had no right to punish the mother for her parenting choices.

      I actually don’t mind you visiting here, by the way, as long as you’re carrying away some new knowledge and insights. :-)

      • Good points. The use of substances did increase the rate of cosleeping related SIDs deaths, though the control of these elements did not result in an elimination of the risk in many studies. There are certainly benefits of cosleeping, and it has been shown to increase nighttime breastfeeding.

        Ann Med. 1998 Aug;30(4):345-9.
        Side sleeping position and bed sharing in the sudden infant death syndrome.

        In the last decade there have been major reductions in the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rate following prevention programmes in Australasia, Europe and North America, mainly due to changing infants from the prone sleeping position onto their sides or backs. This report reviews previous SIDS observational studies with data on side sleeping position and bed sharing. The relative risk for SIDS calculated from previous studies for side vs back sleeping position is 2.02 (95% CI = 1.68, 2.43). This result suggests that further substantial decreases in SIDS could be expected if infants were placed to sleep on their backs. With regard to bed sharing, the summary SIDS relative risk is 2.06 (1.70, 2.50) for infants of smoking mothers and 1.42 (1.12, 1.79) for infants of nonsmoking mothers. Public health policy should be directed against bed sharing by infants whose mothers smoke as they carry an increased risk of SIDS from bed sharing in addition to their already increased risk from maternal smoking. __For infants of nonsmoking mothers, who have a low absolute risk of SIDS, the 40-50% increase in risk needs to be balanced against other perceived benefits from bed sharing, such as increased breastfeeding.__
        Scragg RK, Mitchell EA.

        • You’re a creep. Babies who die of SIDS get that on their death certificates because there *is* no discernable cause of death, even after home investigations by social servies, autopsies, and interview after interview about their parenting skills while they’re trying to figure out how to grieve for their baby. It’s not the same as smothering, and you should know that.

          How many grieving parents have you insulted here today–do you even have any idea? Do you know that when SIDS really strikes, it’s horrifying? That parents can walk into the room where they’ve placed their breastfed infant, on their back, into their empty crib, with a fan on in the room–and find them cold and gray? Do you know that?? Do you, REALLY??

          What you’ve done here makes it apparent that you have absolutely no compassion for parents who really have buried their children because of SIDS. IT’S NOT THEIR FAULT, and you are an absolute creep for insinuating that it might be. You’ve done that by equating SIDS with smothering.

          If you are going to enter a conversation about co-sleeping and toss SIDS around so casually, then you’d better expect some kind of reaction.

          • You’re reading a lot more into my comments than there is. Its not about who’s fault it is. Its just a matter of nomenclature. I am under the understanding that a baby that dies in a bed with mom is classified as a SIDS death. Its ‘sudden infant death’.

            Read the above quoted study. Obviously they are including bed deaths related to cosleeping as SIDS deaths, as do many studies on the subject.

            Obviously if an infant is found dead in a crib, its not the parent’s fault. If it is found dead under their body, it is.

          • But if the baby was found smothered, the cause of death would be classified as asphyxia, not SIDS.
            Right? It certainly should be.
            In any case, smothering does not cause SIDS.
            Because by it’s own definition, SIDS means sudden death without cause or explanation.
            If there IS a cause or explanation (ie. smothering), it is by definition not SIDS.

          • Crib death – Sudden infant death syndrome

            Definition per 2nd Intl Conf on SIDS, WHO ‘Sudden and unexpected death of an infant (generally, from 2 wks to 6 months of age, while sleeping) who was well or almost well before death which remains unexplained after an adequate autopsy’ SIDS by ethnicity–US Asian 0.5/1000; white 1.3/1000; black 2.9/1000; Native American 5.9/1000 Risk factors SIDS is ↑ in premature ♂ infants < 6 months old, lower socioeconomics, prior SIDS death with same mother, children of narcotic–heroin, methadone, cocaine–users, smokers, single mothers DiffDx: Involuntary smothering by exhausted mother who 'co-sleeps' with infant Pathogenesis: Unknown–theories abound Prophylaxis: Am Acad Pediatrics recommends placing infants on backs to sleep."

            McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

            So take it up with McGraw-Hill. We can argue about what should be called SIDS and what shouldn't be, but calling me a creep because I am espousing an accepted definition of the word is rude.

          • Um…the “Involuntary smothering by exhausted mother who ‘co-sleeps’ with infant” part is under “differential diagnosis” (i.e. DiffDx), and *not* the definition of SIDS.

          • You know what? You’re right. It is in the differential diagnosis. I did not interpret it right.

            The previous referenced article does use SIDS in description of cosleeping related infant death though, as do many other papers.

            Getting bent out of shape over language seems silly to me. SIDS is a syndrome, which is to say it is a constellation of symptoms. Syndromes by definitions are not diseases. They are patterns of symptoms or events that are seen to occur together.

            Fibromyalgia is a syndrome. We don’t know exactly what it is, but we know it exists. When somebody figures out why some people have those symptoms will the fibromyalgia sufferers of the world freak out if somebody still calls it fibromyalgia?

          • I think that if you’d like to argue that co-sleeping can lead to accidental suffocation, and can back that up with studies, then people will want to know about it. No one wants to put their baby at risk. However, conflating suffocation (accidental or otherwise) with SIDS is helping neither your case, nor the safety of infants.

          • You are way to stuck on nomenclature. A dead infant is a dead infant, who cares what you call it.

            Please see the reference above Scragg et al published in a respected peer reviewed journal, clearly quoted, referring to cosleeping related infant deaths as SIDS deaths.

          • “A dead infant is a dead infant, who cares what you call it.”

            You’re a doctor. There’s a difference between suffocation and sudden unexplained death, just like there’s a difference between suffocating someone (accidentally or otherwise) and an unexplained death. If it was a full grown human, you’d not say what you just said. Suffocating a human, intentionally or not, is completely different from finding a dead human, and after doing everything medical science knows how still not finding any reason for why that human is dead. Would you say “a 60 year old man is a 60 year old man” in that case? I sincerely doubt it. It’s not a nomenclature issue. It’s a diagnosis issue. Honestly, sir, I’ve been impressed by you, but this dismissal of reality is surprising. One should not say who cares when comparing an unexplained death to a case of manslaughter.

          • I think the problem is that EVERYONE cares what you call it. Maybe not you, the doctor. But everyone else. Because SIDS is a REAL thing completely separate from suffocation. I have a friend who had her sleeping baby die of SIDS- IN HER ARMS at church. And there was nothing she could do. So, the reasoning remains- if it is determined that a baby died of SIDS in a co-sleeping situation, there would also be NOTHING the mother could have done to prevent it.

            Suffocation is preventable. SIDS is not suffocation, which it why the definition you quoted includes the phrase “which remains unexplained after an adequate autopsy.”

          • Good lord! All I can say about that is at least she was in the right place to ask for family prayer and assistance. *hugs* to her!

          • “Getting bent out of shape over language seems
            silly to me”

            Sorry but I must interject. Did you not recently write a blog post about being tired of hearing the word “unnecesarean” as opposed to “unindicated cesarean?”

            I think we all get bent out of shape over words sometimes when it’s something that matters an awful lot to us.

        • First of all, let’s not call Dr. Fogelson a creep or any other names and stay focused on the veracity (or falsity) of his claims.

          Dr. Fogelson, I feel at a strong disadvantage not having access to the full text of the article that you referenced. The best I can do is go from the abstract, and you can correct me if I’m missing some factors that the actual article covers.

          Consider the following factors (besides smoking) that can impede the safety of bed sharing: Obesity, sleeping pills, psychotropic substance use, sleep surface (e.g. water beds, hide-a-beds, and other super-soft surfaces), NOT breastfeeding, and sleep apnea. The only adequate research will be that which controls for multiple factors (which, to be fair, the aforementioned does consider breastfeeding). It’s not wonder that when sleep specialist James Mackenna challenged public health officials on their anti-cosleeping campaign, they responded that they just wanted to “simplify” the message with “never, ever, ever.”

          For further information, search for and download a copy of the following:
          Understanding Mother-Infant Cosleeping With Breast Feeding As Adaptation Not Pathology: Toward A New Scientific Beginning Point

          James J.McKenna Ph.D. and Sarah Mosko Ph.D.

          In light of this evidence, one could draw an analogy between sleep sharing and teen sex. Do we take the “abstinence-only” approach, telling parents its verboten when in reality many of them will do it anyway? Or do we opt for the “practice safely” approach, knowing that there will always be parents who bed share and taking the time to educate them on how to do it safely? These are important questions for family physicians and pediatricians to be addressing.

          On a separate note, as other posters have pointed out, your contention that sleep sharing increases SIDS is not supported by any research. On the contrary, bed sharing is more likely to reduce SIDS:

          • I love this post!

            As an aside, does anyone know why medical professionals and public health officials have no trouble being direct and unequivocal about no bed sharing, back to sleep, vaccination schedules, etc, but are so darned afraid to encourage breastfeeding because they don’t want to make a mother feel guilty?

    • I know enough not to roll off the bed in the middle of the night, what makes you think I’d roll on my baby?

      • It’s happened. Is it because they were bad parents?

        As to giving advice on the subject to my patients, I generally leave it to the pediatricians to give my patients advice on what to do with their children. I know lots about fetuses, far less about babies.

        • Often, it’s parents who co-sleep dangerously. Inebriation with alcohol, prescription drugs, and EXHAUSTION are 3 scenarios in which co-sleeping is considered dangerous. When done safely, co-sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS in infants–particularly breastfed ones. Your one article doesn’t refute numerous others that similarly come from reputable sources.

        • Are you also aware that most babies who die while co-sleeping are bottlefed? There is safe co-sleeping and there is un-safe co-sleeping. I think most co-sleeping advocated will say that yes, co-sleeping is not for everyone, but it doesn’t mean it’s not for anyone.

    • As a mom who has lost a baby to SIDS, I find your statement irresponsible. SIDS is NOT caused by parents rolling over on baby or by baby being smothered in any other manner. If you know what killed the baby, then it is not SIDS. My Katie died for no apparent reason. That is SIDS, that is why there is research to find the cause and hopeully a cure for SIDS.

      • I am so sorry your loss.

        There will never be a cure for SIDS, as it is not a disease. It is a syndrome (the last S in SIDS). syndromes are not diseases, they are just patterns of symptom or behavior we see. If we figure out why babies who are found dead died, we’ll call it that thing, not SIDS anymore.

        So in that sense, we can call smothering not SIDS if we like, though plenty of peer reviewed articles do refer to that as SIDS.

        You all are way too caught up in nomenclature. Different syndromes get called different things over time.

        • You’re arguing about nomenclature and yet you’re completely missing the part where what you’ve said is WRONG. SIDS != smothing. Two different things. SIDS is a catch all for coroners to put on death certificate/autopsy report for when they DON’T know why a baby has died. It isn’t a REASON why a baby has died–they can’t figure the REASON out.

          Suspected “REASONS” include babies alone in cribs that stop breathing while sleeping and are unable to rouse themselves, formula feeding, or other issues related to respiration and heart rate. When they pin down what it is that causes babies to mysteriously die in their sleep, SIDS will no longer exist.

        • Doctor, you’re the one that continues to insist on using a term in a context you know and we know to be 100% false, and insulting to true victims of SIDS as well as responsible co-sleepers. Moreover, your only defense for doing so are your ‘peer-reviewed studies’ inappropriate use. Who’s really caught up in nomenclature here?

        • Perhaps if the peer review people would spearate out the various causes of unexpected death into smothering and not smothering. They might be capable of disserning a cause. But if they insist on lumping them all in together then no there will never be a cure for SIDS. Too bad more MD’s aren’t trained in the scientific method.

        • “You all are way too caught up in nomenclature. Different syndromes get called different things over time.”

          What you’re dismissing as mere nomenclature is actually a salient factor in this dialogue. You are effectively blaming sleep sharing women for causing SIDS when you and I *both* know that SIDS is of unknown cause.

          • It was never my intention to say anything about SIDS as a specific entity. You all took issue with that. My point was that infants have indeed been found dead under their parents, and the nurse asking a mother not to do that is not committing some crime. She is following a fairly common thought. You all believe differently, and you may be right. I apologize for any offense in calling it SIDS.

            But attacking some phantom person for believing differently, however you may disagree, is ridiculous. Its vitriolic hatred. Its like any superconservative web site you all would hate. Its like Skeptical OB, which I am sure you all hate. Its like…..Fox News.

            >> And this is why so many women don’t want a hospital birth.

            This was in my opinion the most important comment of all. Folks that want a homebirth experience should homebirth. Birth in a hospital, even if unmedicated and unintervened,

          • Lest I add to the avalanche… ;)

            If I want a homebirth WITH AN EXPERT ATTENDANT, I have to a) go to another state, or b) ask a midwife to break the law. It’s very easy to say, “You want a homebirth experience, have a homebirth,” but — newsflash! — the laws in this country simply do not allow that for the majority of women.

            I support homebirth and hope to have any and all future children at home, but the solution to the problem in modern obstetrics is NOT a mass exodus to homebirth so we can all have the “homebirth experience.” I think the solution is respectful, evidence-based care available AUTOMATICALLY to ALL women, even women who read SOB rather than MOSW, even women who don’t know anything besides what they’ve seen on A Baby Story.

          • Great post, Laura. I’d also add….we’re having a home birth. Why is it necessary to say “home birth EXPERIENCE” and tack on that extra word?

            It’s a subtle shift in language. And in all fairness, Dr. Fogelson was probably unaware when he chose this wording. ACOG’s anti-homebirth position paper, in all of its Papa Bear paternalism, basically states that we women are so shallow that we care about our little twinkle-lights “birth experience” more than having a healthy baby. But women don’t choose home birth to have an “experience.” We choose it to have evidence-based care that respects our autonomy, our dignity, and the integrity of our families (i.e. not feeling God-given entitlement to snatch a baby away for “monitoring” or as punishment for sleep sharing). If Big Medicine wants to dismiss that expectation as wanting a mere “experience,” so be it. But don’t expect women to stop fighting for it.

    • And yet there is a baby friendly hospital in New Hampshire that has every baby co-bed with their mothers. Not a single sids death and not one baby has fallen out of bed. Co sleeping should be encouraged for ALL babies and mothers (IE baby sleeping near mother in the same room… same thing as rooming in) and co bedding for families comfortable with such arrangements. The single biggest risk factor for SIDS is breastfeeding, so as long as the mother isn’t giving formula it’s a safe bedding arrangement.

    • Nicholas, you have seriously stuck your foot in your mouth. SIDS is an unknown cause, with links to being APART from Mum while sleeping, as well as smoking, bottle feeding etc. SMOTHERING is a KNOWN cause.

    • Dude, you really need to familiarize yourself with the work of Dr. McKenna.


    • Then explain how Japan had, for several years, the lowest SIDS rate in the world and they have NEVER used cribs. “Baby sleeps between the parents as the river is protected by the mountains.” SIDS used to be called “crib death” and by percentages, more babies die from SIDS in the crib than with responsible parents who deliberately and safely bed share with their babies.

      The studies that showed bed sharing not being safe included cosleeping on couches and chairs (known safety risks) and ‘accidental’ cosleeping where parents fell asleep, exhausted, without meaning to and without making their sleeping area safe for baby, because they’d been told by people like you and that stupid flawed study, that it wasn’t ever safe to share sleep with baby and the idiotic modern practice of going from room to room every night has made them so tired that they aren’t safe to care for an infant, much less sleep with them.

      Not that sidecarring the crib isn’t great for families who want separate sleep space and definitely should be recommended to parents who just don’t want to cosleep or are afraid to–that is applaudable that you did mention that–but parents who are safe, responsible cosleepers should not be discouraged from safely sharing sleep with their babies.

      And, of course, I’m sure someone pointed out that smothering/suffocation is not SIDS. It’s no different in outcome and it’s no less tragic, but SIDS almost always occurs in cribs, typically in babies that have been formula fed and in homes where the parent(s) smoke(s).

    • Dr Fogelson, I understand what you’re saying, though I think a distinction needs to be made between safe and unsafe co-sleeping. If the mother is under the influence, if either parent smokes, if there are lots of heavy blankets, if there are gaps where the baby can get caught and/or fall, and/or the mother isn’t breastfeeding, then co-sleeping isn’t a good idea. From what I’ve read, a mother should only co-sleep if she’s breastfeeding and following the other safe co-sleeping guidelines. The position a mother puts herself in when breastfeeding in bed, with her legs drawn up under the baby, and her arm above the top of the baby’s head (and used as a pillow for the mum), makes it nearly impossible to roll onto the baby. I know another mentioned Dr McKenna’s research, but I’d echo that. I personally wish that parents were given info about safe co-sleeping instead of just being told it’s dangerous; after all, we’re given info about safe cot sleeping – we should know all the options. The hospitals here who are trying to gain UNICEF Baby Friendly status will have to start teaching about and supporting safe co-sleeping, so I do think that will help to get more of the medical professionals here on board with that. My Health Visitor even admitted that in places where co-sleeping is the norm (such as China), SIDS doesn’t seem to be a big problem. Anyway, I’m rambling now – the time change has confused my body. ;-)

    • Dr. Fogelson.

      I appreciate that you are here, listening to us. Many of us gravitate here because we have experienced some of the worst behavior in your profession – and being more aware of how words impact the doctor/patient relationship can truly enhance your practice.

      In my case, there would easily be over a dozen quotes that belong on this site. These come from four different practitioners (one of whom later lost her license for abusing patients). I was one of those patients – though I never filed any grievance. I was coerced into an unecessary c-section and treated pretty badly at the hospital.

      There is also a fairly well-read contingent on this website. There are many other health professionals contributing as well as lay-people that are well-informed. I am not a health professional – but am a PhD biologist with special training in statistics. Be careful not to dismiss our sophistication, and we will respect yours.

      More to this particular topic. I strongly urge you to look at some of the data compiled by McKenna on co-sleeping and some of the international data. The data on co-sleeping and suffocation as compared to SIDS are complex. There are apparently discrepancies in how different professionals use terminology. I understand that SIDS is for unexplained deaths and that cosleeping infants that die are usually thought to be from suffocation (overlying).

      I happened to co-sleep with all of my children – and was instantly aware of their every movement and breath. It also allowed a working mom to successfully breastfeed until child-led weaning, where if I’d been up to feed my child – I would have stopped in less than a month. Having had the c-section – I see both that it was impossible for me to get up and get my child to feed him; and that the hospital beds are a bit precarious for cosleeping. My other two were born safely at home, attended by a midwife.

    • Dr. Fogelson. I like you — I really do. You don’t work in the most progressive state in the Union, and I am really happy to hear you have allowed the natural birth community to teach you something. It speaks volumes for your open-mindedness and lack of elitism.

      And it’s a bit of a salve (to me a least) for some battle scars I’ve accrued with another online OB.

      So, cheers to you. Sincerely.

      But really — what were expecting when you flew in and dropped ‘cosleeping is unsafe!’Come on. You *knew* how that comment would be received.

      As much as I like you, I have trouble with the way that you never come on this website but to defend another medical professional and/or criticize a mother’s understanding. I know you’ve said that it’s because you’re not aggressive by nature, but it seems like (and I don’t believe this is the case) you’ve simply never read a comment on here, given to mother at a vulnerable time, that you consider indefensible.

    • I call bullsh*t.

      1) Co-sleeping, provided the parents sleep in a real bed rather than a waterbed, a memory foam contraption, a raft of multitudinous pillows and soft blankets, or a couch, is perfectly safe. Apparently you are not familiar with the research of Dr James McKenna, an expert in maternal bonding and infant sleep. Or Dr William Sears, a pediatrician and expert on attachment parenting. Or various anthropologists and primatologists who have noticed no soaring rate of SIDS in cultures where co-sleeping is common, such as Japan, which interestingly has one of the lowest rates of maternal AND neonatal mortality in the world.

      Breastfeeding appears to be a critical factor (Dr McKenna’s research showed no cases of SIDS in babies who slept with their mothers who were exclusively breastfed). Also extremely important appears to be not being a smoker, and not being rendered unconscious by drugs including alcohol (the parents, not the baby, obviously, as babies don’t smoke or drink).

      Anyone who can learn to not roll over on a cat or dog while sleeping can learn to not overlay a baby. Instincts work. Mothers have even been filmed making their arms into roll cages for their babies while they sleep.

      2) Guess what SIDS used to be called before a lobby of baby gear manufacturers got together and pushed for a change? “Crib death” or “cot death.”

    • You know, 90% of SIDS happens in an infants own bed (funny that since it’s also known as “cot death”) of the 10% that also includes car seats, bouncers, asleep on someone’s shoulder(yeah, I know someone that happened to, they picked their baby up, carried them downstairs and baby was dead) on a changing mat (yeah, know that one too, mother watched in horror as her baby died whilst she was changing the nappy), on the sofa and anywhere else that’s not in their bed.

      Babies that die in their parents bed are more likely to be formula fed. Fox News did an article on SIDS and a doctor suggested they looked into how many were formula fed, they couldn’t find a breastfed SIDS in the last 3 years.

      Babies are twice as likely to die in a different room to the parents.

      SIDS doesn’t have a cause, if it’s going to happen it will happen anywhere. As a mother who held my child through her every moment until she died in my arms, I can tell you that if my child was going to die, I’d rather be holding them in their last moment.

    • Having an infant sleep in the bed with parents has been implicated as a cause of SIDs due to inadvertent smothering of the infant.

      Aren’t SIDS and “smothering” two completely different things?

      • Sorry. I see that many already posted comments thinking the same thing I was.

        I don’t think people are just being picky about words. Words mean something. We know from the studies that have been done that parents are drastically more likely to smother/over-lay a baby when they are very sleep deprived or have been drinking or doing drugs. These are controllable safety issues–just like avoiding bedding that may entrap. There are completely safe ways to bed-share with an infant.

    • Hey bro?

      God, can you BELIEVE these self-important MEN who presume to tell women how childbirth should be. This world used to be a matriarchy, where the chief healers were women. For a REASON. That MD doesn’t mean jack shit to me or anyone else with half a brain. This guy wasted his whole life in “school” and paid big bucks for the privilege of becoming a drone for Uncle Sam, following his protocol to create separation between moms and newborns. Fuck him sideways for sure.

      Also, very nice blaming smothering on mom as accidental. What about when dad smothers the baby out of jealousy or whathaveyou and mom finds the dead child thinking it’s SIDS? Yeah that happens WAAAAAAY more often.

    • Hello two years later. I just have to say that I’m pretty sure my son would be dead if I didn’t co sleep! For the first few weeks he would spit up and aspirated several times a night to which I had to immediately suction his nose and mouth and sometimes flip him upside down. I am terrified of putting him in a bed by himself because I would have no idea if he’s ok. The idea of smothering is so far out there! My husband could be shaking the bed snoring and in out cold but if my son wiggles his toes it wakes me up! I exclusively breast feed so feeding during the night is so conveniant when he is right next to me.

  11. Dr Fogelson: The research on mother and infant bedsharing shows that in breastfeeding pairs, a mother sleeping with their infant is safer than that infant sleeping alone. Please, please, please do the families that you work with a service by throughly reviewing the research of Dr James McKenna. I would respectfully venture to say that a post-abdominal surgery mom sleepily lifting a newborn in and out of the plastic container may be less safe than said baby being kept snugly next to mom.

    • ^^ awesome point^^
      Those wheeled bassinets are death traps.

    • This is a good point. It was a few days before anyone in the hospital would let me hold the baby without help after my surgery. And it was days before I was allowed to get out of bed (even though I felt like I could) to be able to walk over to a bassinet. If she hadn’t slept in my arms she wouldn’t have had anything to eat. The nurses were just to busy to remember to bring her too me or to respond to my call when other Mommies were busy in labor.

  12. SIDS is not “smothering”. It is unexplained death. Women who practice co-sleeping safely will not roll onto baby. It is impossible because of the positioning in which mom and baby sleep when safely co-sleeping.

  13. yeah, once my daughter started rolling off the bed and I woke up ad augt her before she hit the ground.

    I was a little nervous about sleeping with my baby in the hospital bed… Before I had her in my arms. After my csection, rolling over required an act of god. So my baby on her back in the crook of my arm was VERY safe. She wasn’t rolling, I wasn’t rolling. And I only took ibuprofin for pain.

    contrast that with her napping in the plastic fish tank. Started fussing so I tried to reach her. Even raising the bed, I ouldnt :( I had no nurse call button. Then, she starts choking/gagging on some mucous and I couldn’t get her! I did manage to grab her by the arm and pull her to me that way.. Because when a momma thinks her baby is in danger, she finds a way!

    • Yep thats exactly why we coslept!

    • I had a very similar experience with one of my kids. It might have been section #2 – where I was allowed up & about much earlier than the first time. And I guess b/c of some other factors I was ABLE to get up much earlier than before.

      Anywho, being able to get up did not mean I was Speedy Gonzalez. It still took time, and patience, and it involved a great deal of pain. I was on Ibuprofen only…Once I almost DID drop my baby off the bed, b/c a nurse came in, screeched at me, while I was sleeping, and it startled me awake enough that both the baby and I came off the bed a good few inches, and THAT started her slide to the floor. But I had my hands on her and was able to grip her a little better. If the nurse had woken me gently or Hell, not woken me up AT ALL (I still don’t think she ever gave me a reason why she was in the room, I hadn’t been alone very long), I would never have come CLOSE to letting her slide away.

      In the WHEELED, plastic bassinet, my daughter started to fuss quite a bit, then threw up. I was combo feeding breastmilk/formula (well, technically colostrum, my milk wouldn’t come in for another 4 days). This was shortly after a formula feeding. I had not been mobile for very long, my husband had stepped out of the room to get something from the car downstairs, and my call button had been knocked to the floor when I tried to sit my bed up a little.

      Since the baby was swaddled up, I ended up being able to pull the bassinet to me a little, tip it up, and when she started to roll, I grabbed the front of the swaddle and took care of her. It was a pretty horrendous 30-45 seconds. Not long, but enough for me to freak out!

    • This was my experience exactly. And I had a terrible hospital experience after my cesarean, but one thing I didn’t have an issue with was co-sleeping. No one said a word about my baby sleeping in my arms in the hospital. No one rolled over or fell off. I can’t even see how that would have happened.

  14. REGARDLESS, that’s threatening the mom and not allowing her choices in the matter. Mom, I hope you were able to check out right away.

  15. Option 1: Over. My. Dead. Body.

    Option 2: Fine, get me my AMA signout papers and we will be on our way.

    Just a little thought here, I had a nurse walk in while my husband and newborn son was born to take our vitals. She said, “Oh, how sweet,” unwrapped his arm as gently as possible, took his temp, wrapped him back up and left our room. So, just remember there are some understanding nurses out there!

  16. This one makes my whole chest tighten up and hurt. THIS is one of the main reasons why I give birth at home.
    Docs – take note – When I push that baby out, it’s MINE. And anyone who comes near better have a darn good reason for it, and my permission. Otherwise prepare to lose an eye.

    • “THIS is one of the main reasons why I give birth at home.”

      I know, right? If Big Medicine is sooooo adamant that women not choose home birth, it may behoove this establishment to WOO us back into the hospital with more humane, respectful, and (gasp!) evidence-based treatment. For the time being, however, they’re trying another strategy: Squash the competition by prosecuting midwives and forcing women into hospitals. Sigh!

      • I would if I could, but for me it is not safe to be without someone on-hand with a drip…

        I must admit though, taking away my right to CHOOSE a homebirth with a midwife does still piss me off. Its pretty disgusting that the scare-tactics have gone this far.

  17. Well I guess they would be appalled with us because we both did it!!


  18. And for what its worth, my communication with the natural birth community is not for entertainment purposes. When I started blogging I was trying to talk to other doctors. I had no previous intention to create a dialogue with the natural birth community. It just happened organically.

    This involvement _has_ changed my practice, and my proactivity in teaching my residents to let things happen without intervention whenever possible. I have given talks to hundreds of doctors on topics you would all be proud of, all because of the dialogue that grew from my blog.

    So I find it bit funny that I always get attacked, given that I am one of the few docs that is actively in support of natural birth. I do understand the data, and respect that people have underlying reasons for choosing homebirth and natural birth that is not quantifiable.

    • Ftr, (since the implication is that ‘I’ attacked in a personal manner, which is confusing to me…) I did not ‘attack’ so much as take issue with a statement that is clearly false. I’m very grateful if your perspective has changed and you are able to see things from outside the usual medical mindset. :D However, I will always take issue with statements like the one I quoted above. It’s not personal. I’m sorry if you thought so. :/

      • Except that the statement is not clearly false. You just don’t believe it. There are certainly pros and cons to cosleeping, but there have been cases of neonatal deaths from parents smothering there children, and as a previous poster pointed out, babies have fallen out of hospital beds of cosleeping mothers.

        • Oh, I absolutely do not dispute that there have been deaths from the reasons you stated. But saying that a smothered baby died of SIDS, THAT is false. If a baby was smothered, it died of asphyxiation. That’s a knowable, preventable, totally regrettable cause. It is not, however, a sudden, unexplainable death. Aka, SIDS. Equating the two with the implication that cosleeping causes SIDS because babies have been smothered…that’s what I’m struggling with here.

        • I’m sure no one here believes that smothering/suffocation/asphyxiation absolutely can’t happen. It can. It can happen in a parent’s bed, it can happen in a crib, it can even happen in a carseat on a long car ride. If the proper precautions are taken the risk can be minimized but it is never eliminated. Some babies may even owe their lives to their cosleeping mothers who stirred them during episodes of undiagnosed apnea.

          What everyone is trying to say is that you can’t *cause* SIDS. Once there is a cause then its not an unexplained ‘sudden’ death.

          • “What everyone is trying to say is that you can’t *cause* SIDS. Once there is a cause then its not an unexplained ‘sudden’ death.”

            Yes, thank you. My issue is the equating of cosleeping as a ’cause’ of SIDS…when in fact it can prevent it. Precautions must be taken, absolutely, but the same can and should be said about ANY sleep space for an infant.

    • Thank you for sticking around and learning more. Just one point, you are in a community of very educated women, who have often been traumatized by your peers. Might I just suggest that given that you are putting MD in your name that if you are stating fact you might like to support that with research so we can all learn.

      • This exactly. Dr. Fogelson, you may be an absolutely wonderful, caring, understanding of natural birth doctor and I’m extremely glad to hear that you have learned something through your interaction with the natural birth community, but many of the woman who frequent this site have been treated very horribly at the hands of those in the medical profession who do not share the same views or behave in a caring manner.

        We rarely see you come out in support of the views of this site and if you do it’s generally followed by a big but. Are you allowed to have your own opinion? Absolutely. Are we allowed to disagree with that opinion? Again, absolutely. And when you consider the nature of the site and the conflicting view points that you often have, you really shouldn’t be surprised by the reactions.

        If there was a website that was advertised as being for those who were in favor having hospital births with an epidural and I went in and started commenting on how I feel about interventions during labor and delivery, I wouldn’t expect to be welcomed warmly. I fully believe that everyone should be allowed to have the birth that they want (I had an epidural with my first son and it was a great birth) but they wouldn’t know that, they’d only see my rather differing opinion butting heads with theirs. I think it would be silly to expect any other reaction.

      • “a community of very educated women, who have often been traumatized by your peers”

        Yes! I love this! I had a homebirth and so did not give any OB’s the opportunity to traumatize me, but I love conversations like these because they always remind me how incredibly smart and educated so many women are (and that just because there isn’t an “MD” at the end of our name, we’re just as or even more knowledgeable in many areas)!

    • The only problem I have is with misinformation, wherever it comes from. I think you stepped on some toes with your assertion that co-sleeping is not safe because of links to SIDS and lumping suffocation into the category of SIDS-related deaths, when the fact is they’re not the same.

      Really, though, you ought to familiarize yourself with Dr. James McKenna. And ask yourself how we survived this long if co-sleeping is so dangerous. Remember, in terms of history, both recent and prehistoric, and in terms of a lot of modern populations, having your infant sleep far from you would be considered unusual and even dangerous.

    • Thank you so much for being invested in dialogue with patients with the intention of giving the best care possible! Being so open to criticism and suggestion, especially in an area of personal expertise, is something that is very difficult for even the most humble. :)

    • How do you have time for a practice when you’re on blogs all day spewing misinformation?

      • I know right? I really takes a long time to stay abreast of current literature, so I can make sure to never say anything that is true.

        • A year and several months late, but I just have to say, I seriously bust out laughing at that one, so hard I nearly fell off the couch, and scared my toddler in the process.

          It seems to me, Dr. Fogelson wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t open minded and looking for new info, and yes, this is a case where people can never be too careful, about practices concerning a child’s wellbeing, however while we all need to constantly be on the look-out for the absolute best way to do things, we also need to be very careful with our words to avoid giving misinformation that could possibly lead to harm.

          Props, however, for saying that he usually leaves this side of things to the pediatricians.

          Now if only we could get a few of them to travel to primitive villages to study co-sleeping and parenting, and health habits, maybe we could make some real headway on the subject.

    • I’ve read your blog. You were amazed that episiotomies not only weren’t necessary, but that the medical community knew it and chose not to belive it or act on it. I was amazed that you consider yourself cutting-edge even though you obviously aren’t very good at the old cause and effect, scientific method thing. You definately have the personality of a follower rather than a leader. You are not one of the few doctors supporting natural childbirth, although you may be one of the few medical school professors who are. Thus explainng why the quality of OB is lagging with each graduating class since the invention of the fetal monitor.

    • Honestly, I like to see you pop up. I like reading your input. I’m not going to beat the SIDS horse to death any longer. The issue many people have with this comment is the *way* it was said. The nurse threating to remove the woman’s child from her posession for not following the *rules*. I understand that hospitals have rules in place for a reason, but to tell a woman that she doesn’t have any control over her family simply because she’s in the hospital doesn’t exactly curry favor.

      Had a nurse approached me in the manner of Kathleen H. (above), I probably would have been understanding or at least attempted to work out some middle ground. Had I been approached in the manner of the nurse in the original quote, you bet there would have been hell! I would have held onto my baby, refusing to give it up, and should anyone have attempted to wrest the baby from my grasp I would have been shouting assault and battery. I would also be demanding AMA papers because I refuse to let people treat me that way.

    • Thank you for clarifying your intentions, Dr. Fogelson.

      You know, there’s a town in Montana, Butte, that is more Irish-Catholic-American than even Boston. (Hear me out. I’m going somewhere with this). St. Patrick’s Day is a huge to-do there, and the town becomes a Mecca for obstreperous drunken college students. Well, for many years, Butte had a colorful character who donned an orange tie to the bars every St. Paddy’s Day. (He may still be around. I haven’t been back for awhile). He did it just for the thrill of starting brawls.

      Seeing as you knowingly had no prayer of coming on to this site to win converts to the anti-cosleeping cause, I hope you took the time to remove your orange tie first. ;-)

      • Excellent analogy!! I find it particularly so as I live 40 miles from Butte, MT (Dillon) I think Butte celebrates harder than the Irish for St. Pattys Day.

  19. I don’t think sleeping with your baby is intrinsically dangerous. I slept with all nine of mine. I was always aware of where they were. I never had a small infant fall off the bed, and I never almost rolled on to one. I did have older babies who were crawling wake up and crawl to the edge and fall off a couple of times. I think at that point they were not always sleeping right up against me the way a newborn would, so my awareness was less. There was a rug there, but we put a crib mattress down there where any older kids could come in and sleep, and it made the distance off the bed less also.

    Now I get that hospital beds are not great for cosleeping. ( Although no one disturbed me when I did it when I had to stay in the hospital a couple of days with my third baby. ) Since it has advantages for breastfeeding and some mothers want to do it, why not make beds in the maternity ward safer for co-sleeping? There really isn’t any reason why standard hospital beds have to be used there. I know that some nursing homes have put mattresses on the floor for the safety of old people, as an alternative to restraining them. So why can’t a maternity ward work that way? You could make the bed so it would move up for the convenience of doing postpartum exams, and then put it back down to near floor level. Also, cover the floor with something less hard. It doesn’t seem that this would be too expensive, when you compare it with what hospitals spend on all kinds of high tech stuff.

  20. I just want everyone to think about how difficult it would be for a coroner to determine if a co-sleeping baby died as a result of smothering or SIDS. I would imagine that they look very similar or even the same. I *hope* that that is why Dr. F likened smothering and SIDS. On autopsy I would think they look the same.

    • The fact that the end result can look similar is undoubtedly why the “differential diagnosis” (i.e. DiffDx) for SIDS that was quoted by Dr.(?) Fogelson was “Involuntary smothering by exhausted mother who ‘co-sleeps’ with infant” — a differential diagnosis can be (and I assume is, in this case), a list of other conditions that can have similar symptoms.

    • A qualified coroner can tell the difference between unexplained death and asphyxiation. There are certain markers, or qualities, the lungs, throat, and even eyes display when asphyxiation occurs.

  21. This is mine.

    FTR, I didnt get much choice about a hospital or homebirth. I was too high-risk (resting HR of 150) for a homebirth to be safe, which is why hospital births should exist ;) .

    I even had my Obstetricians signature in the notes and yes I had seen it, and the Nurse the shift before this one had confirmed it, that I was to be allowed to Co-sleep. The reasoning for this is because I am both diabetic, and had a condition called Graves disease. I was too weak to get up constantly and feed her, and she needed to be fed pretty much hourly because her glucose levels were rather low and I didnt want artificial feeding. As I sleep on my back, and was cradling her in my arms, the doc and my first nurse had determined there was no problem with letting this go ahead. This one overnight nurse though took it upon herself to play vigilante. The NUM came on in the morning to hear me tearing her a new cornshoot though when she actually DID try take her away, and she was not to nurse me again.

    I co-slept until Simone was 8 months old, when I went back into hospital for a thyroidectomy.

    • A nurse tried to kidnap your baby? I never dreamed they would actually try to kidnap her! I’m so, so sorry you dealt with that. No one touches my children without my permission. I’m so glad you tore her a new one, and I hope you went so far as to file complaints all the way up the chain. Threatening you the way she did, and then attempting to steal your child, that’d be criminal in any other circumstance.

      • LOL I didnt need to file a complaint, the NUM took it on herself to let my Ob and the daynurse know, so all I had to do was sit back and watch this woman be very loudly scolded!

        The only reason she kept coming in was both me and Simone needed 2-hourly blood glucose monitoring as I had given myself twice the normal loading dose of my insulin in Labour by not realising my husband had already done it for me, so we were being monitored pretty closely because my low BSL was translated through the placenta, so Simone was low too. Funny enough this was actually WHY the ob said to co-sleep and wrote explicitly that I was allowed to! Normally its up to the nurse in charge of night shift (who incidentally didnt have a problem with it either LOL). That was the only negative the whole 4 days there so all in all it wasnt too bad.

    • fantastic that you ticked all the boxes and stood up for yourself & your bub.

      Sorry your submission has been hijacked.

    • I totally get that. I have PGP and I had a section with GA so as soon as I woke up I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t move well on my own.

      I couldn’t lift her out of the cot on my own so had to ring the buzzer each time, sometimes that would mean I needed to be sat up too. In the end she was taken to the nursery as she could be fed quicker and wouldn’t disturb everyone waiting for them to hand her to me.

      I however didn’t get the support to have her in with me. I could only sleep on my back too. They were forever coming in and taking her off me because I’d doze with her in my arms, one time they took my nipple too because they didn’t bother to check if she was feeding!

  22. Exactly right. As I said before, I am a high risk patient. Only one hospital within 2 hours of me will take me as a patient (all are under the same health service anyhow, so would just send me to it even if I booked into another, even if I went private!), and I am not going to risk my life homebirthing when I know that in my circumstance it is NOT safe. There was no choice in the matter. I had to birth in this one place, or drive 2 hours. Australia can be bad for this (lack of choice), but at the same time, Insurance companies and hospitals cannot tell us the policies and doctors we have to use.

  23. Try and you may find yourself without a head. New nurse please. :)

  24. Birth in a hospital, even if unmedicated and unintervened, is still birth in a hospital. Hospitals have all kinds of rules, some good and some stupid. They have to have them, or the employees of the hospital will have no idea what to do. The idea that the hospital is going to be whatever you want it to be is disappointingly incorrect.

    • Which means that any mother who wants do be able do ‘whatever’ she wants needs to be lucky enough to be low-risk?

      Personally, if you’ve written special instructions for one of your patients, do you expect them to be followed when you’re not around?

      • I am fortunate to have a great group of partners that care for my patients when I am not around, and I have complete faith in their abilities and intentions. I do not however presume to tell them how to practice medicine.

        I try to influence issues like delayed cord clamping and immediate skin to skin with my own actions, and hopefully that happens a little more when I’m not around because of it.

        • I’m sorry if I was unclear.

          These were orders written for the nursing staff, I assume. The OP had her OB’s permission to cosleep, particularly since she had to nurse her baby every 1hr due to low blood sugar.

          If a nurse had a problem with instructions like this, would *you* expect to be contacted, or is the correct protocol that your patient be confronted and ultimately threatened?

          Or are you saying that you don’t write special instructions for your patients out of concern that a partner might be in charge of them at any given time and prefer to practice medicine differently?

          • We all practice pretty collegially, and i’ve never seen a patient get threatened over wanting to do something a little differently. To be honest, here in South Carolina in my tertiary center, these issues don’t come up a whole lot. I try to push some natural birth ideas when I’m around, but what my partners do is their business.

            I’m not aware of any policy for or against cosleeping in my hospital, but if it were a policy I doubt I could get an exception to it very easily. Personally I don’t think cosleeping in a hospital is a great idea. The beds are high, not particularly wide, and often have the backs up. Add this all to a patient potentially on narcotics and bad things could happen.

            A bunch of people have talked about how much better it would be after a cesarean to be able to cosleep with baby. Given that patients immediately after cesarean are typically taking narcotics around the clock, that seems a particularly dangerous cosleeping arrangement to me.

          • Dr. Fogelson, you’re missing her question, or deliberately avoiding it. She’s asking about whether you would expect explicitly written orders to be violated and your patient abused in contradiction of those orders. For example, moving away from the cosleeping thing, if you had a patient with specific food requirements, and you wrote that she was to receive a chocolate bar (I have no idea why someone would need a chocolate bar, but hey, this is a wild example) every 4 hours. Would you expect that a nurse would say “Chocolate bars are dangerous. You’re overweight as it is. If you try to eat a chocolate bar on my watch, I’m going to put you on a clear liquids diet. I don’t care what the doctor wrote.” This is the same thing that happened here. Would you expect a nurse to get away with countermanding your orders and verbally abusing and threatening your patient? Especially if the charge nurse and the nursing supervisor also have an issue with the nurse in question’s behavior?

          • We just interpet the question differently.

            The idea that I would need to write a note to keep a nurse from abusing my patient is completely not part of my frame. Our L and D has great nurses who take great care of patients. I don’t fear what they are going to do, and don’t have a lot of patients that are looking for an experience substantially different that what is typical in this area.

            If I did request something specific be done my patient, at the patient’s request, I’m sure they would follow it unless there was a countermanding order from another attending physician who was present.

          • You’re starting to get the point.

            MOST of the nurses looked and saw yes, reasonable order, not against hospital policy, I wasnt drugged so not a safety risk, and it was beneficial. There WAS however one twit that went AGAINST that. In Australia, ONLY the Specialist you are seeing and his REGISTRAR (who gets his orders from the Specialist anyhow) can change the order on your chart, therefore there is no way there were any other orders.

            The point is that one twit nurse played vigilante with no reason whatsoever to do so except that she was uncomfortable. Same one wanted to formula feed instead of me feeding expressed colostrum and breastfeeding her myself, but hey, we have already realised and established she IS a moron.

            Now do you see?

          • I’m curious as to how many patients you’ve had NOT take narcotics after a cesarean? I was prescribed Tylenol 3 (1000) and Ibuprofen (800) and had to have my prescription changed (during which time I was in terrible pain) to acetaminophen (I have zero response to codeine and my husband is seriously allergic, so it was unnecessary and potentially dangerous for me to take it) and 600 of ibuprofen (as I react badly at 700 and cannot take more than 600 at a time).

            That was all I ever took–two tylenol and three ibuprofen every six hours around the clock. I never needed anything else and I wonder how many moms are overmedicated because less isn’t attempted first?

    • I do have to ask why I’ve received conflicting information from different nurses. Both stated their information as “hospital policy,” but both stated completely opposite viewpoints.

      • facility policy vs ward policy vs doctor policy usually. I know of 3 docs in my hospital that will routinely give certain medications together because it is their policy. Not necessarily the policy of the hospital, but they will not operate unless the pt has received these meds…

        HTH :)

    • What it’s *worth*, bro, is exactly fuck-all. You know, this is kind of a women’s space for ladies to tell their stories. And you are invading because you just HAVE to penetrate like a typical BRO. Isn’t that what you’re doing when you shove your fingers up ladies to “check their dilation” (shudder) when you can damn well see completion by palpating and taking note of the mother’s urges/behavior?

      Way to try make this about you and your edumakation…which clearly sucked.
      You are making our case for us.

      • You, Wampa, are the asshole. Every comment you leave is hyperaggressive and misandric. You’re constantly spoiling for a fight and *your* opinions are worth fuck-all because you deliver them in such a nasty, abusive way.

  25. So, one of my nurses scolded me for letting my son sleep on me at the hospital. He might get hurt! And I thought – he DIDN’T SLEEP AT ALL in that darn plastic box next to my bed, you moron. What else am I supposed to do? Just let him scream his head off? I got absolutely NO sleep while I was in the hospital except when I allowed my son to sleep with me.

    • My daughter was the same, I could have written that post. Every time she was put down she cried for a feed. She’d happily sleep on me (with bad PGP and post section I could only sleep on my back) but would wake the moment she was put down. Because of how bad I was I had to get someone else to pass her to me.

  26. When I had my son, That night he wouldnt sleep unless I was holding him, and I didnt know what to do, so I buzzed the midwife in and told her and she put him in my bed and tucked him in :) I’d had a csection, so I couldnt move.

    Just going to add my now 4 month old daughter was a vbac :)

  27. That was the only complaint I had with my last baby – the nurse kept getting on to me for letting the baby sleep on me.

  28. I was encouraged to sleep with my baby in hospital. My baby wasn’t put in the plastic thing even once. she spent all her time in my arms, or my spouse’s arms. the nurse even helped me get into position with the baby and latched her on for me so i could get some rest with my little angel :)

  29. I know you all hate it when I just jump into one comment, but -Having an infant sleep in the bed with parents has been implicated as a cause of SIDs due to inadvertent smothering of the infant.While cosleeping can be a wonderful thing, a side bed that does not allow the parent to roll over the infant is imperative.Certainly though this doesn’t keep infants from being in the room with mom, just that she shouldn’t sleep with the baby in her bed.

    Uh, for a doctor, you are terrible misinformed. SIDS and smothering are two completely different things.

  30. When i had my son at an army hospital, a very mean Post Partum nurse came in and -yelled- at me for holding my son while i was sleepy. i was the only one in the room and i was trying to breastfeed. (this same nurse also snuck a bag of formula into the room when i was walking with my son to get my own carton of milk). My son was very sleepy from all the staydol i was given about an hour before he was born. They made us stay in the hospital another day because he wouldn’t nurse and they were very pushy about using formula.

    With my daughters birth at a different hospital they were a bit more relaxed. I had a c section and was alone at night so they HAD to take her to the nursery because i couldn’t get out of bed. (especially the first 24 hours when i still had my cath in) but when i fell asleep with her on my chest, the nurse came in and just put up my side rails and put an extra pillow on my one side so -I- didn’t roll causing her to flop on the floor. The nurse was apologetic when i stirred momentarily and said she would come back in a few to take my Blood pressure.

    Very different hospitals. Very different treatment. VERY VERY different nurses.

  31. Can you believe that in Burlington, VT I wanted someone to take my son for a few minutes (I was exhausted after 24 hours of natural labor and my husband had gone home…and admittedly I was not yet bonded with my child) and was refused? The nurses refused and forced me to sleep with him all night. Now, I am glad about that…

  32. Oh, that is too mean. Mothers love to be with their child as well as the child needs the love and care from their mothers, not from their nurseries. No wonder there are many mothers who want to give birth on their own houses, not on hospital, eh.


  33. I did not cosleep at the hospital. I just did not sleep at all during the night. All of the nurses told me if we were both asleep the baby could not stay in the room with us! So I gave birth and stayed awake all night both nights. My husband took over during the day! We are pregnant with baby #2 abd using a midwife and a birthing center!

  34. With my 1st baby (Nov 2008) the nurse actually told me that I was spoiling my baby by having her in bed with me… I chose to ignore her and we co-slept and breastfed until after she was 2years :-)

    With my 2nd baby (Nov 2011) the nurse said nothing about me having the baby in bed with me. During the night she just came and raised the railing of the bed on the side baby was sleeping…

  35. I was told the same thing when I dozed off with my first son nestled on my chest. I’m not even a huge fan of co-sleeping. However, every new mother does it. How can you not? Sheer exhaustion. Women are amazing creatures. We can sleep without sleeping. Be safe, have common sense. I would remove all the blankets and pillows around my baby and put him at arm’s length away.

  36. I was in labor for 3days before my second son was born.
    I don’t necessarily hold to co sleeping…by that I mean I nap with my babies while nursing in the middle of a queen bed all the time, but not at night/when overly tired/in a strange bed/when my husband is in bed with me.
    After he was born he would cry whenever not in someones arms, I was exhausted… 3 days is a long time not to sleep… the nurses got fed up with me constantly paging them to help settle him down. I got fed up with their instructions to keep him in his separate bed. Finally tucked him inside my nightgown, skin to skin, and tucked the blanket tightly around his shoulders and then under my arms. Think baby sling secure… best night sleep possible in a hospital ward room. I plan on doing it this way first/only this way when new baby comes.

  37. I feel so fortunate that the nurse I had in the hospital for the night after my last birth actually gave me tips on how to safely and comfortably sleep with my son. She said,” we really aren’t supposed to, but everyone falls asleep with their baby and it isn’t really a big deal.”

  38. God, Doctors are such zombies. And if not a zombie, he is a pervert who will sexually assault you WHILE GIVING BIRTH and then KIDNAP YOUR CHILD.

    They wait until you are afraid and feeling desperate and then take FULL advantage. This is a massive problem indicative of the pervasive misogyny in our society.

    These sick POS “doctors” enjoy seeing women in pain and fear. They ENJOY IT. It gives them lots of control and satisfaction. Then they get on these boards to mansplain/handmaidensplain and bully some more. But they are going down fast.

    Fucking sickening and shameful. And I am spreading the word far and wide. Women are refusing hospital births like never before.
    Soon, medicine will be placed back into the hands of healing WOMEN, where it should be.

  39. My son was born in a German hospital and they encourage co-sleeping. However, they have this wonderful, detachable/reatchable solid side that they will put onto your bed if you want your baby to sleep in there with you. It keeps your baby from falling out- American hospitals need to get on board with this idea!

  40. i had a normal med-free v-delivery. slept with my son in the hospital bed, with my arm wrapped around him. side rails up, he was fine. the nurse was fine with it.

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