Current situation within a sample of breastfeeding women in Ille et Vilaine concerning the prevalence and modalities of cosleeping

Sidonie Chhor

Keywords: breastfeeding, cosleeping, primary care


Cosleeping in breastfeeding is a very controversial topic in France as well as in the rest of the world and does not have clear recommendations. The World Health Organization (OMS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that infants sleep in the parental room for the first six mons of bed-sharing to allow optimal breastfeeding and reduce the occurrence of sudden infant death.

Research questions:

The objective of this study is to take stock of a sample of breastfeeding women in Ille and Vilaine (Bretagne, France) regarding the prevalence and modalities of shared sleep and more specifically bed sharing during breastfeeding.


Descriptive cross-sectional quantitative epidemiological study by anonymized paper questionnaire distributed in liberal general practices, paediatrician, midwife, Child Maternal Protection Centres (PMI) and at the hospital. The inclusion criterion was to be a mother breastfeeding an infant six months or less in Ille and Vilaine (mixed or exclusive breastfeeding). The primary endpoint was bed sharing in the last 15 days prior to the consultation.


Data collection conducted from July 25, 2018 to December 8, 2018. 400 questionnaires were analysed. During the night, 47% of breastfed infants usually slept alone in a crib in the parental room, 19.8% in a sidecare crib, and 6% in the parental bed. 66.8% of breastfeeding mothers reported sleeping with their child in the last 15 days prior to the consultation. The main reasons for bed sharing were breastfeeding, mother-child proximity and maternal fatigue. The sleeping conditions described by the French Coordination for Breastfeeding (COFAM) to minimize the risk of sudden death in the event of bed sharing were not met in the vast majority of cases.


The prevalence of cosleeping in this sample of breastfeeding mothers is high, it would be interesting to carry out a new national study to determine the prevalence of bed sharing in France.

Points for discussion:

current situation of cosleeping in breastfeeding

cosleeping patterns during breastfeeding

recommendations in cosleeping in breastfeeding