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Durham University

Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre

Postnatal Ward and Night-time Care

We have been researching mother-baby sleep on the postnatal ward since 2004. We are particularly interested in the relationship between maternal-infant proximity at night and its effects on feeding, sleeping and mothers' ability to care for their infants in the early post-partum period. Although rooming-in is now standard practice in UK postnatal units, we have found that the current stand-alone bassinet hinders breastfeeding initiation, and is a barrier to mother-infant interaction. We have also documented previously unacknowledged safety hazards associated with the use of stand-alone bassinets.