Sleep for the Nursing Mother

By: Jenn Kelner, CPA, CA
Certified Child Sleep Consultant

I recently received the following question:

“What is the best way to sleep as a nursing Mother?”

There are many different ways a nursing mother can sleep. In terms of actual sleeping position, I would recommend any position besides sleeping on your stomach. Ouch! But I’m assuming you mean, where should mom and baby sleep when mom is nursing at night?

Mother Kissing Toddler's Cheek

In my practice my number one concern is safety so when working with my families on sleep, my recommendations follow those of the Canadian Paediatric Society. When breastfeeding, having your baby near you certainly makes night-time feedings easier, so I recommend keeping baby in their own crib in your room. This is the safest place for them. Having your baby within arm’s reach for the first 6 months has also shown to protect against SIDS.

Follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep to provide the safest sleeping environment for your child, whether or not you are a nursing mother:

● Alone – on a separate sleeping surface from other people or pets, without blankets, pillows, bumper pads, toys, or other soft items.
● on their Back – not on their side or tummy.
● in their Crib – not on an adult bed, waterbed, arm chair, sofa or other soft bedding.

After 6 months you may choose to have your baby sleep in their own room. Night time feedings may have decreased by this time, and separate rooms might be needed so that everyone can get some more consolidated sleep at night. And who doesn’t love a great night’s sleep?