BMJ article on bedsharing uses old data and shows bias.

After the BMJ article with the attendant publicity, that bedsharing is dangerous for all babies, this refreshing response from the Durham University Sleep Lab and the Helen Ball team provides a strong critique

Carpenteretal2013ISIScommentary1 2

Two short exerts from the article:

The authors draw particular attention to the situation for breastfed infants of nonsmoking
parents in the absence of alcohol consumption according to whether the
infant slept in a cot in the parental room or in the parental bed (1st row in the above
table). They predict a SIDS-rate of approximately 1 per 10,000 babies for the
former group, and 2 per 10,000 babies for the latter. The current rate of SIDS in UK
is 1/3000, or 3.4/10,000, which means that both sleep locations for breastfed
infants of non-smoking parents in the absence of alcohol experience very few SIDS
deaths. It is curious, therefore, that the authors issued a press release to call
attention only to this small difference in predicted SIDS rates for breastfed babies of
non-smoking parents who bed-share compared to room-sharing–while ignoring
the hugely inflated risks associated with hazardous bed-sharing environments. It
appears as though the authors choose to target breastfeeding mothers in this way
as they are a sub-group with strong opinions about the benefits of bed-sharing,
even though the infants of these mothers contribute negligibly to UK SIDS rates.

They also say:
” it is important to be aware that the data upon which these analyses are based are now 15-26 years old (although referred to as ‘recent’), and have been compiled ad hoc from a heterogeneous
collection of studies performed in different countries at different time points, using different methods and definitions for data collection (i.e. it is based upon data that
are neither comprehensive nor systematic). It can therefore provide only weak evidence for informing public health policy, and parental infant care behaviour in 2013

 

For the Unicef response, follow this link:

http://www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/News-and-Research/News/UNICEF-UK-Baby-Friendly-Initiative-statement-on-new-bed-sharing-research/

 

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