A new research investigated over 9000 infants from various cultures and countries and found that breast feeding for just 2 months can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or cot death by almost 50%.
“The other important finding from our study is that any amount of breast-feeding reduces the risk of SIDS — in other words, both partial and exclusive breast-feeding appear to provide the same benefit,” explains the lead researcher, Fern R. Hauck, a professor of family medicine and public health sciences at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
SIDS is defined as the sudden death of an infant, who is less than a year, which cannot be understood after an autopsy, investigation at the time of death and review of child medical history.
According to a report, in 2015, SIDS was responsible for around 1600 deaths in the United States, where this syndrome was the leading cause of death among infants with age between 1 to 12 months.
Prof. Hauck and his team said that there already exists evidence that breast feeding lowers the risk of cot death, but their research is possibly the very first to establish a link between breast-feeding duration and reduced risk of SSID-related deaths.
The team extracted the data from eight studies that covered a total of 2259, who died of SIDS and 6894 babies who did not die of SIDS. After analyzing the results, they found that breast feeding for at least 2 months halves the risk of SIDS. The team says that the results were convincing and consistent; although the babies were from different cultures and countries. The team suggested that breast feeding rate should be raised worldwide to lower the risk of SIDS.
The World health organization (WHO) is targeting for the year 2025 for at least 50% of the babies to be breast fed for a minimum of first six months after their birth.