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Examining Infant Bed-Sharing from a Nursing Perspective

Our current featured ANS article is titled “A Nursing Perspective on Infant
Bed-Sharing: Using Multidisciplinary Theory Integration
” authored by Marissa G. Bunch, MSN, RN, CPNP and Sadie P. Hutson, PhD, RN, WHNP, BC. Download this article at no cost while it is featured to learn more about the topic of bed-sharing, as well as the authors’ approach to theory integration. Here is a message provided by Marissa Bunch (now Dr. Bunch!) about this work:

After over a decade of work with families as a pediatric nurse practitioner, I recognized that philosophies of parenting and infant care advice often conflicted with what families were actually practicing in their homes. When it came to bed-sharing, there was a glaring mismatch between what I was telling caregivers and what many of them were actually doing; many were afraid to disclose that they were sleeping alongside their infant, despite the high prevalence of families who have shared a bed across cultures and throughout history.

 While there is a large push to encourage caregivers to eliminate bed-sharing due to an association with infant death, there is also a surprising lack of clear evidence that an unimpaired caregiver poses an inherent danger to their child during sleep. The evidence that is available varies depending on which theoretical viewpoint the researcher adopts. This article calls for nurses to acknowledge the various theories guiding this research and how those paradigms frame research results. The knowledge I gained from immersing myself in the theory behind infant bed-sharing informed my dissertation research with caregivers from Appalachia who shared a bed with their infants. I wanted to give my patients a voice and bring into the open what I was hearing behind the clinic doors. This article is part of the foundation for that work.


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