(HealthDay News) – Duration of breastfeeding is longer for mothers who frequently lie down and sleep with their infants for major sleep periods, according to research published online Sept. 23 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Yi Huang, PhD, of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues assessed the influence of bedsharing on duration of breastfeeding.

The researchers found that, after adjustment for covariates, increased duration of bedsharing was associated with longer duration of any breastfeeding, but not exclusive breastfeeding. Other factors associated with longer duration of breastfeeding included higher education, white race, previous breastfeeding, planning for breastfeeding, and not returning to work in the first year postpartum.

“This study provides strong evidence that bedsharing promotes breastfeeding by increasing breastfeeding duration, with the greatest effect found among frequent bedsharers,” the authors write. “However, these benefits must be tempered by the known safety risks associated with infant-parent bedsharing.”

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