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Study Looks At Breastfeeding, Sleep

November 8, 2010, 5:14 PM by Kelli Grant

Study Looks At Breastfeeding, Sleep
It's likely something many new moms consider. If you stop breastfeeding, you'll get more sleep, right? According to a new study, that's wrong.

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics says mom won't get more sleep using formula. Researchers had 80 new mothers wear sleep monitors and found all new mothers got the same amount of sleep and were equally exhausted.

Julia O'Brien isn't sleeping much these days. She's nursing her one-month-old son, Liam, around the clock.

"I usually try to go to bed around 10 p.m. and then he usually needs to be fed around 11:30 p.m. or 12 a.m. and then he eats again around 2 or 3 a.m. and then again around 5 or 6 a.m.," O'Brien said.

Because of that demanding schedule, many new moms choose formula instead. With bottle feeding, dad can help out overnight. And some people believe formula fed babies sleep better.

"The point that we can now tell mothers is if you want to give up on breastfeeding because you think your baby is going to sleep longer or you'll be less tired, that's not true," Long Island College Hospital Dr. Stephen Turner said.

Turner says breast fed babies have a lower risk of obesity and allergies .

"Breast fed babies are less sick. They're getting antibodies in the breast milk; it helps protect them from illness," Turner said.

For Julia, the study reinforces her choice.

"It's wonderful to be able to bond with him and I think it's made the transition into motherhood a lot easier," O'Brien said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be exclusively breast-fed for six months and continue to receive breast milk for at least a year.

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