Yet another reason to give breastfeeding a shot: it may significantly reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a new study published in the July issue of Pediatrics and online today. Exclusive breastfeeding may reduce SIDS risk even further.
Plus: Saving Babies from SIDS
The study was a meta-analysis of 18 past studies that examined the relationship between breastfeeding and SIDS risk. According to researchers, babies who were breastfed for any length of time had a 60 percent reduction in their SIDS risk, while those who were exclusively breastfed for six months had a 73 percent reduction in risk.
Plus: Protecting Your Baby from SIDS
Researchers believe that the reduced SIDS risk may be due, at least in part, to the immunity boost provided by breastfeeding as well as the fact that breastfed babies awaken more easily from sleep than do bottle-fed babies during the peak period of SIDS risk from 2 to 4 months of age.
Plus: Stressed About SIDS?
Although past studies have linked bed-sharing with longer breastfeeding, co-sleeping has also been linked with an increased SIDS risk. As a safer breastfeeding-friendly alternative, researchers recommend room-sharing over bed-sharing.
Would this news have any impact on your decisions about breastfeeding?