Breastfeeding, Formula and Sleep
by Caroline Jay
One of the common myths perpetuated about breastfeeding is that it causes your baby (and you) to sleep less soundly at night, as breast milk is somehow less ‘satisfying’ than formula.
Fortunately this isn’t actually the case – in fact, breastfeeding mothers appear to get significantly more sleep than their formula-feeding counter parts. Research has shown that mothers who breastfeed exclusively get on average an extra 40-45 minutes of sleep than mothers using formula. As it can take a while to prepare formula, this isn't entirely surprising - the extra time could simply be due to the fact of having to make up the bottle.
One really interesting thing the research highlighted, however, was that mothers whose partners shared the night feeds (in theory allowing them to sleep longer) STILL slept less than mothers exclusively breastfeeding. It seems that mothers automatically wake up when their babies do, and when they aren’t doing the feeding themselves, they instead lie there worrying about whether their partner is doing it properly. It seems that breastfeeding is definitely the most convenient option, not just for fathers, but for mothers as well!