As a Lactation Expert in private practice, I have spent a lot of time supporting mothers in their homes, in the spaces that are most comfortable for them. This very often means nursing in their beds. I have sat on hundreds of different beds, and supported these mothers in them, teaching them to nurse in “side lying” positions, and also offering safe sleep information. I am an advocate for co-sleeping, an umbrella term for many forms of sleeping near a baby, and am an even bigger advocate for safe bedsharing instruction.
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Blog Post Written byKelly Maher, Successful Breastfeeding Expert.
The truth is, bedsharing actually can be safe when you follow the rules, and one of the most important rules is: use a firm mattress. (Click here to learn more about bedsharing safety.) In my practice, it is rare to find a mother using a mattress that is suitable for safe bedsharing. Typically the mattresses are too soft, which creates dangerous indents for baby to roll into when laying next to baby. Until recently, the only mattress I have ever confidently been able to recommend for mothers to use has been futon mattresses, as they are the only mattress that is firm enough to stay flat when laying next to baby. Who really wants to sleep on a futon mattress? The problem is, futon mattresses are incredibly uncomfortable, and wreck havoc on the spine. The last thing a new mom needs is back pain! Ouch! Now, I have FINALLY discovered a mattress that is both firm enough for bedsharing AND comfortable! This is life changing you guys!
It all started when *I* needed a new mattress, as ours was beginning to sag. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, and since I was bedsharing I needed a mattress that was firm. Through a Facebook ad I came across a mattress called GhostBed. (FYI, I am writing this because I love this product- GohstBed by Nature’s Sleep did not ask me to write and they have not compensated me for writing this either.) I was immediately intrigued by the mattress, and decided to give it a try! They even had a 101 day money back guarantee. Not to mention it is incredibly affordable.
Fast forward to the day my GhostBed arrived. It was heaven. It was such an upgrade from our uncomfortably firm, spring mattress we were previously using. I immediately put it to the test and took a looooong nap with my son, and it was fabulous. The mattress did not sag when I layed on it, and my baby did not roll toward me. For bedsharing purposes I would compare the level of firmness (or lack of sag for that matter) to that of a futon, but the comfort of the GhostBed is ABOVE and beyond. I have now been using the GhostBed for about six months, and the mattress is still just as firm and comfortable as the day it arrived.
I am confident recommending this mattress as a safe, and comfortable platform for bedsharing. It is also very comfortable without a box spring too! It is recommended when sleeping with your baby to place your mattress on the floor, away from walls. Our other mattress was NOT comfortable at all when on the floor. The GhostBed almost seems to be enhanced by it. We have two GhostBeds, one on the floor in my son’s room and one in my bedroom on a box spring. They are both equally pleasant to sleep on, and both the perfect firmness. Now, when I teach my prenatal breastfeeding classes and support moms postpartum at home, I always tell them about the GhostBed, and safe bedsharing of course.
What’s even better than all of this????? This family run company is breastfeeding friendly! I had the pleasure of speaking with Ashley Werner, Director of Social Experience at GhostBed by Nature’s Sleep. This is what she had to say:
“As a very health-conscious individual, I always knew that breastfeeding would be the only source of nutrition for my son the first six months of his life. The way I see it, the abundance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc. present in breastmilk is the best gift I can give him!
I began sleeping on the GhostBed around the 6th month of my pregnancy. My prior mattress was too soft and was causing me increased lower back discomfort, especially since it was my first pregnancy and my body had never held so much weight in my stomach area before. Once I switched to the GhostBed, within about a week my lower back pain disappeared completely, and I spent the remainder of my pregnancy getting unusually great sleep for a preggo!
Naturally, once my son was born, breastfeeding him in my GhostBed was easy, relaxing, and stress-free. I’m well aware of the risks of having an infant in the bed, but because the GhostBed is a firmer mattress, it took many of the risks away.
As a full time working mom, getting my sleep at night is critical. Of course, waking up when the baby cries in the middle of the night is part of the job as well. But being able to bring him into my GhostBed with me while we nurse made the entire experience much more manageable.
At 17 months, we are still going strong nursing! Luckily I no longer have to wake up in the middle of the night to feed him, but first thing in the morning and right before bed we nurse. I get some strange looks when people hear that I still breastfeed, but I love it and so does my son. It provides so many wonderful benefits to both mommy and child that I see no purpose in weaning until I am ready.”
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE