Breastfeeding for two to four months may lower the SIDS risk among infants

SIDS is an unexplained death syndrome among one year or less than one-year children, usually during sleep and this is known as sudden infant death syndrome. A new research has found that SIDS could be reduced by simply breastfeeding for two to four months of a newborn. Even the result is positive for partial breastfeeding cases. Partial breastfeeding is giving a baby some breastfeed, and some artificial feeds, either milk or cereal, or other food, according to WHO.

The researches reviewed 2,200 SIDS cases over 6,800 ‘controlled’ infants for the study and observed more positive response for exclusive breastfeeding than any breastfeeding. The study author John Thompson, from New Zealand’s University of Auckland, explained, “what is, perhaps, surprising is that there does not appear to be any benefit of exclusive breastfeeding over partial breastfeeding in relation to SIDS, though there are many other benefits associated with exclusive breastfeeding”.

Though how breastfeeding lowers the SIDS has not proved but according to the research report, the breastfeeding supports the immunity that prevents viral infections. Thompson added, “this (study) provides very strong evidence of the benefits of breastfeeding in relation to the protective effects with SIDS”.

The research suggests that two months of breastfeeding is associated with half the risk of SIDS among infants. Breastfeeding for four months lowers the SIDS risk more. “The peak incidence of SIDS is from two to four months, so this may be the most critical period in terms of the protective effect of breastfeeding”, Thompson suggests.


Dr. Jennifer Kurtz, chief of Neonatology at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York City, suggests the moms that breast-milk is the best for the new-born. She has also explained the problems of breastfeeding for working women. “Many don’t have great milk supplies, to begin with, and as the baby grows they need more milk and the moms aren’t able to keep up with the demand. Or, moms may also struggle if they need to go back to work. For a lot of working women, it’s stressful to carry a pump and create a schedule. With some jobs, it’s not easy to set aside time to pump, and it really becomes a challenge”.

Both of them suggest to follow the guideline regulated by American Academy of Pediatrics’ that recommends 12 months of breastfeeding for the infants and after that, it can be continued according to mother and baby’s wish.

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