Dr Suzanne Colson, senior midwifery lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, based her research on 40 healthy mothers and their healthy full-term babies, all of whom were breastfeeding at six weeks, as well as 14 bottle feeding mother-baby pairs. She found that those mothers who breastfed their infants lying down or semi-reclined in positions that mirrored the feeding positions of other mammals had the greatest success.
Dr Colson said: 'What was interesting to note is that when mothers were lying flat or semi-reclined babies could find the breast easier and in many cases attach themselves and feed whilst asleep.
'While further research needs to be done in this area, this study does challenge the current wisdom of teaching mothers to breastfeed in a fixed system of positioning and attachment.'
The research was presented at the Royal College of Nursing's 2007 International Research Conference in Dundee.
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