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The unexpected death of healthy newborn infant in the post natal ward is a traumatic experience for everyone — the mother, father, family, the midwife and the health care team. It is often an event like this that will facilitate the development of, or review of policies to guide best practice. In this case there was no policy on breast feeding related co sleeping and when a departmental working group was established to develop such a policy, they turned to the literature to ascertain what the evidence was.
This paper is a summary of some of the literature reviewed and focuses on sudden infant death syndrome and breastfeeding in bed, cultural practices, bed sharing and smoking and forms of co sleeping. The end result is a policy that reflects the mothers' ability to make her own choice based on information and evidence.
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© 1989 ACMI. Published by Elsevier Inc.