Breastfeeding for Just Two Months Slashes SIDS Risk
A large, international analysis suggests that breastfeeding for at least two months reduces a baby’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by almost 50 percent. According to researchers, mothers do not need to breastfeed exclusively to provide this important benefit to their infants.
Worldwide, SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies between age 1 month and 1 year. While earlier studies have associated breastfeeding with a lower risk for SIDS, this research is the first to determine the duration necessary to provide protection against SIDS.
Researchers analyzed the results of eight major international studies examining 2,259 cases of SIDS and 6,894 control infants unaffected by SIDS. Based on the results of the study, researchers are calling for "ongoing concerted efforts" to increase rates of breastfeeding around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a goal of having more than half of infants worldwide being breastfed exclusively for at least six months by 2025.