Their peer-reviewed commentary piece appeared in the European journal Acta Paediatrica stating: “There is no such thing as infant sleep, there is no such thing as breastfeeding, there is only breastsleeping.”
The researchers, according to Notre Dame News, are hoping the term ‘breastsleeping’ will be used to describe women who bed-share with their infants to manage their breastmilk supply and strengthen their relationship with their child.
The article was drawn up based on 25 years of research into ‘breastsleeping’, with data showing that immediate and sustained contact encouraged a foundation for optimal infant breastfeeding, neonatal attachment and brain growth.
McKenna and Gettler were inspired by the term ahead of the ‘Safe to Sleep’ campaign that has been launched primarily in the United States.
The campaign goes against bed-sharing and “the campaigns are potentially undermining breastfeeding.”
In their research, McKenna and Gettler make the point that over many years behavioural and psychological studies show how ‘breastsleeping’ women show behavioural sensitivities to their infant when they are awake and during sleep.
Read more about the ‘breastsleeping’-inspired research here.