2018 Volume 246 Issue 2 Pages 121-130
Co-sleeping and breastfeeding in the side-lying position have recently been pointed out as risk factors for suffocation in sleeping infants; however, there is no actual report on an “incident.” “Incident” is defined as a tense or sobering experience without a consequential fatal suffocation accident. It is important to understand infant suffocation incidents to prevent accidents during co-sleeping and breastfeeding in the side-lying position. We investigated factors and frequency of infant suffocation incidents associated with co-sleeping and breastfeeding in the side-lying position using a self-administered questionnaire survey of 895 mothers during their infant’s 1-, 4-, or 10-month health checkups. Co-sleeping and breastfeeding in the side-lying position were practiced by 28.3% and 56.0% of mothers, respectively; thus, 84.3% of the mothers surveyed were practicing either co-sleeping or breastfeeding in the side-lying position. Of those who received guidance from a medical professional, 36.1% practiced only co-sleeping while 60.1% practiced only side-lying breastfeeding. In the co-sleeping group, 10.6% had faced infant suffocation incidents, while 13.2% in the breastfeeding in the side-lying position group had faced similar incidents. Regarding factors associated with suffocation incidents while co-sleeping, the frequency of occurrence was significantly more in mothers of 1-month and 4-month-old infants compared with those of 10-month-old infants. Of mothers who faced suffocation incidents while breastfeeding in the side-lying position, 45% also had faced similar incidents while co-sleeping. These results demonstrate the importance of thoroughly educating mothers about the risks associated with co-sleeping and breastfeeding in the side-lying position for preventing infant suffocation.