Pleasure is the Key

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What does a parent need postpartum?

Information shared by Dr. Alessandra Bortolotti at a recent Postpartum Doula Workshop

  • To be heard
  • Trust
  • Relationship
  • Relaxation
  • Intimacy: Sensuality – Connection
  • Respect
  • Consideration
  • Protection
  • Nourishment
  • Nurturing
  • To be accepted
  • Rest

What does a baby need?

  • To be fed
  • Nurtured
  • Loved
  • Changed
  • Sleep

My heart sang as Dr. Alessandra Bortolotti mentioned the work, DVD and books of Dr. Marshall Klaus a DONA founder, colleague, and dear friend whose life and work influenced and touched me so deeply.  Although he and Dr. John Kennell have passed on their research and influence is always with me at all our doula workshops around the world.

In Italian, there is no word for co-sleeping only co-divided sleep or not, so without a language for nighttime sleeping or night-time parenting as Dr. Sears calls it, I have to ask how has this changed our parenting?  All around the world traditionally bed sharing with our expanding families was the norm and today we have created boundaries, privacy and believe independence begins with our infants within the first week and months of being born.  We spend money to buy fancy cribs and even formula feed so our babies can sleep in their own bed.

I like to ask people do you like to sleep alone, or do you like to sleep with a partner?  

How would you feel if your partner asked you to always sleep in the other room – to define the hours you can have a cuddle or snuggle?

What shapes your beliefs about co-sleeping? Is it culture, media, marketing of baby supplies, or sexuality?

Dr. James McKenna has some powerful thoughts and research on co-sleeping. Watch below and

share your thoughts about co-sleeping.

I would love to hear your thoughts and stories so together we can hear voices from around the world.

  • Where did you sleep as a baby?   
  • Where did your baby sleep and why?
  • Where in your family story did people move to homes and spaces that began babies sleeping in their own space and children sleeping in their own beds?   

Look back to your grandparents, great-grandparents, or great great grandparents and we can all go back to a time that it was normal to have a family bed and in some parts of the world this is still the norm.

Alessandra shared the idea that puppies don’t sleep alone. What a thought! Animals don’t put their young in another room or space to sleep in nature.  John Bowlby says that Parent Attachment is first important relationship in our lives.

What are the changes before and now in your family and/or community/country?

Childbirth is a big transformation, and we each experience our own transformation from where we are with the influences of family, culture, religion, media, and personal experiences, taking time to ponder where your beliefs come from and it they will serve your and your baby’s needs are important questions to consider and discuss with your partner.


Dr. Alessandra Bortolotti is an expert psychologist of the perinatal period and mother of two little girls.

She is the Author of the book “Puppies do not sleep alone” (Mondadori) and “E if they then take the habit?” (The Green Lion), became a bestseller thanks to word of mouth of parents and co-author of “The First Look”. For about twenty years she has been dealing with the physiology of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, infant sleep and childcare based on contact. Dr. Bortolotti Conducts meetings after childbirth for parents in Tuscany.

Member of the board of MAMI (Italian Maternal Breastfeeding Movement), peer counselor in lactation according to the WHO / UNICEF model and is a freelance trainer on the issues related to the parenting and physiology of the perinatal period. Learn more about Dr. Bortolotti