This is a guest post by a Parent Blogger. The views expressed in this publication are of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc.
The debate of breastfeeding vs. formula has always been a hot topic among mothers.
Breastfeeding advocates insist that going all natural produces healthier children as babies receive better nutrients and develop antibodies against illness, not to mention helps mothers get their pre-pregnancy bodies back much sooner. But when reaching for a bottle is less time consuming and more publically acceptable, the perks of formula can’t be ignored. Soon-to-be mothers now may have to consider another factor when it comes to making a decision on a feeding method for their new bundle of joy. The argument that using formula allows mothers to catch more z’s than breastfeeding might now have some holes in it.
Contrary to popular belief, mothers who breastfeed do not receive less or worse sleep than mothers who choose to use formula, according a study recently published in Pediatrics, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study evaluated maternal actigraphically measured sleep, subjective sleep reports, and daytime functioning, as well as their relation with the feeding method status during postpartum weeks two through 12. The outcomes were objectively measured total sleep time, sleep efficiency, and sleep fragmentation, along with subjectively reported numbers of nocturnal awakenings, total nocturnal wake time, and sleep quality. Sleepiness and fatigue was determined using the Stanford Sleepiness Scale, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, or the fatigue visual analog scale.
It found that there was no difference in sleep quality or quantity between women who were exclusively formula feeding, exclusively breastfeeding, or combining both feeding methods. The study concludes that when encouraging women to choose the breastfeeding method, the information that formula feeding does not necessarily mean improved sleep should be included. When it comes to not breastfeeding, the risks should be compared to the lack of evidence that formula feeding benefits maternal sleep.