Study: No Extra Sleep for Formula vs. Breast-Feeding Moms

Moms-to-be thinking of going the formula route in hopes of gaining some extra zzz’s each night may want to think again.

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, a mother who breast feeds and one who formula feeds will get about the same amount of sleep each night. “The perception is that the breast-feeding mom is up day and night, always breast-feeding,” Miriam Labbok, director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was quoted as saying in Pediatrics. “But when you’re bottle-feeding, you’re up day and night always bottle-feeding, too,” she continues.

Hawley Montgomery-Downs, an assistant professor of psychology and coordinator of the behavioral neuroscience program at West Virginia University in Morgantown and the study’s lead author explained in the article that while “there is some small evidence that infants who are breast-fed sleep less, no one has ever looked at the mother’s sleep until now.”  However, after conducting the study, which tracked new moms’ sleep habits using a watch-like monitoring device over a period of 2 weeks after baby’s birth to 12 weeks, ”we found absolutely no difference in the mother’s sleep based on how babies were fed,” said Montgomery-Downs.

These new findings come as music to breast-feeding advocates’ ears–they’re, of course, hoping undecided moms-to-be will now be swayed toward the idea that breast is best, and in doing so, allow their babies to reap the many health benefits natural feeding is shown to provide. Regardless, the good news is that when it comes to sleep for mom, breast and formula are on equal footing.

Does this new study change your mind on breast feeding vs formula feeding? Share your thoughts with us!

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  1. by Josh

    On November 10, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    If Dads do half of the feedings (not an option with breast feeding), the mother certainly gets more sleep!

  2. by Natasha

    On November 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    If you want dad to help out, pump and he can give baby a bottle. Works just as well as formula, but much, much better for baby!