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E. Some Practical Advice for New Parents

Narrator: This is Science Today. New parents often decide to share the responsibility of waking in the middle of the night to prepare an infant for feeding. But Kathryn Lee, a professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, says while this is a great way for fathers to be supportive, it's not really efficient.

Lee: It's just that it didn't work in real life - it was the fathers who had to still go off and work during the day and maintain a job and usually has a higher income, but that income they count on during the course of childbearing. So to have him sleep deprived by getting up in the middle of the night is not cost effective.

Narrator: Besides, Lee says women - especially new mothers - are naturally more vigilant and can fall back asleep easier, whereas men tend to sleep right through the crying and have a harder time sleeping once they wake up.

Lee: I think there are other ways that the father can be more supportive. If he can come home early, so that she can take a late afternoon nap, then that would be probably much more helpful.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.