Can I keep baby in bed after the birth?

Q: I'm due to give birth soon and would like my baby to stay in bed with me in hospital after the birth.

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Midwife Nikki replies:

Sleeping with your baby isn’t recommended, either at home or in the hospital, for the first six months, and especially not if either you or your partner smokes, as this further increases the risk of cot death.
If you have your baby in bed with you after the labour, you’re likely to be exhausted and your baby may be at increased risk of suffocation or being squashed by you.
Once at home, it’s a good idea to let your baby sleep in your room in a cot for the first six months. This advice follows a study, led by Professor Robert Carpenter of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, that showed for babies under 8 weeks old, bed-sharing increased the risk of cot death by 1.6%.

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