Even Partial Breast-Feeding for First Few Months Lowers SIDS Risk
New research confirms that breast-feeding for two to four months of a newborn’s life can significantly reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).It’s still unclear how breast-feeding might offer protective effects against SIDS, but there are several theories, the study authors said. Some research has indicated that breast-fed infants are more easily aroused from sleep than formula-fed infants, which might help them to wake if they’re having trouble breathing. Differences have also been found in a mother’s response to her infant’s behavioral cues, depending on feeding mode, which may also affect the baby’s sleep and arousal patterns. Additionally, research has shown that breast-feeding provides immune benefits that help prevent viral infections. Such infections are associated with an increased risk of SIDS, the study authors said. Whatever the reason, “this (study) provides very strong evidence of the benefits of breast-feeding in relation to the protective effects with SIDS,” the author noted.