Cochrane review recommends the use of breastfeeding for procedural pain in the neonatal period and beyond the neonatal period. There is also an Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine guideline on procedure-related pain in the breastfeeding infant, which advises that breastfeeding is the first line option for procedures such as heel-lance and venepuncture.

Sleep and Breastfeeding

Parents are frequently advised by family or friends that giving infant formula will make their babies sleep better - however several studies have found that breastfeeding parents get the same amount of sleep, or more. The Baby Sleep Info Source website from the University of Durham summarises the literature.


Breastfeeding parents may turn to bed-sharing to cope with frequent night time feeds. Co-sleeping increases the length of breastfeeding. Recently, advice on co-sleeping has moved away from strict avoidance to a more nuanced discussion of decreasing risk for those who want to co-sleep, while maintaining advice not to co-sleep for those at high risk (for example not to co-sleep on a sofa, with preterm and low birth weight babies, or when parents smoke or are under the influence of drugs and alcohol). There is clear Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative guidance on co-sleeping and SIDS risk, which is very helpful for parents and professionals.


Thank you for visiting the Hospital Infant Feeding Network. This website is a repository of relevant knowledge and best practice resources for health professionals. To join the conversation, ask questions and share your experiences please join us on Facebook or Twitter.


We will be running Q&A sessions on various topics, which will be advertised on our social media sites. Please email if you have ideas or want to get more involved. We welcome health professionals passionate about supporting breastfeeding and lactation in the hospital setting to join our steering group, please get in contact if this is you!

You may have noticed that we use 'additive' language on our website to refer to lactation and human milk feeding. This means that we might refer to 'breastfeeding/chestfeeding'. Chestfeeding is a term that some non-binary people use to refer to feeding their child at the chest if the word breast is not congruent with their gender identity. Using additive language helps reduce a feeling of exclusion for non-binary and transgender people, without taking away from the importance of words like breastfeeding and mother. There is a much more detailed description of the additive approach here.

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