Breastfeeding and cosleeping: A correlational assessment

Katherine J Gorman, Tennessee State University


Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a recommendation to increase breastfeeding duration to the infant's first year of life. Previously the recommendations were for the infant's first six months of life. This research examines if there is a correlation between breastfeeding duration and cosleeping. This study draws upon two areas of literature: breastfeeding research and cosleeping research. Data was collected from the Clarksville OB-GYN Clinic regarding current prevalence rates of breastfeeding and cosleeping. Thirty breastfeeding mothers who gave birth prior to January of 1998 were surveyed. This clinic was chosen due to the high volume of births. Over 500 babies are delivered a year through the Clarksville OB-GYN Clinic, providing a substantial research population. Research indicates that less than one in ten mothers continues to breastfeed at six months, leaving a potential sample population of fifty infants. The quantitative data will be analyzed using the Pearson Product - Moment Correlation Coefficient (r), Chi Square Distribution, and Cluster Analysis. Results indicate that mothers are sleeping with their infants. Fifty percent of the infants in the study coslept with their mothers, in body contact in the same bed. Twenty-three percent of the infants slept in their mothers bed, not in body contact. Breastfeeding in bed appeared to be a common practice, and the mothers who breastfed their infants in bed breastfed them for a longer duration than those who isolatory slept their infants. A high or large degree of correlation was found between cosleeping and breastfeeding duration. As the number of weeks the infants coslept with their mothers increased, the more weeks the infants were breastfed.

Subject Area

Social psychology|Developmental psychology|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Katherine J Gorman, "Breastfeeding and cosleeping: A correlational assessment" (2001). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3024619.