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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/Chestfeeding

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/chestfeeding 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.

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