Objective To determine whether the use of sidecar cribs on the postnatal ward affects breastfeeding duration.
Design A randomised non-blinded parallel trial comparing sidecar cribs with standalone cots.
Setting Postnatal wards of the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Participants 1204 pregnant women intending to breastfeed were recruited at 20 weeks' gestation and randomised at 34 weeks to use either a sidecar crib attached to their bed (n=601) or a standalone cot adjacent to their bed (n=603).
Main outcome measures Duration of any, and exclusive, breastfeeding up to 26 weeks obtained by telephone follow-up.
Results 334 mothers were withdrawn or lost to follow-up from the trial; infant feeding data were therefore obtained for 870 mothers (433 intervention; 437 controls). Using an intention-to-treat Cox regression analysis, no significant difference was found between the two groups for duration of any breastfeeding (sidecar crib vs cot, hazard ratio (HR) 0.96, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.18), or exclusive breastfeeding (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.16) adjusting for maternal age, education, previous breastfeeding and delivery type. Bed sharing was not significantly more common in mothers randomised to sidecar cribs (67% vs 64%, adjusted difference 2.8%, 95% CI −3.5% to 9.0%). There were no adverse events.
Conclusion The use of sidecar cribs for mothers and infants did not improve the duration of any or exclusive breastfeeding, or frequency of bed sharing at home.
Trial Registration ISRCTN31466133
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