University of Virginia that the risk of SIDS is dramatically decreased with two months of breastfeeding. The researchers have observed breastfeeding does not have to be done exclusively for babies to benefit.
SIDS is the leading cause of death of babies who are between the ages of 1 month and 1 year. In this study it was observed there was almost a 50 percent lower risk of SIDS in babies who were breastfed for at least 2 months. There was no such benefit with less than 2 months of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding for longer periods of time lead to more protection from SIDS.
Researcher Dr. Rachel Moon of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital has said it's really great to let mothers know that there is a powerful protective effect against SIDS with breastfeeding for at least 2 months. International and national initiatives to promote breastfeeding are supported by the researchers.
It is not clear why there is protection from SIDS with breastfeeding. It has been suggested that the immune benefits of breastfeeding coupled with positive effects on infant sleeping patterns explain why breastfeeding lowers rates of SIDS.
This study has been published in the journal Pediatrics. Breastfeeding has been found to be protective against SIDS. This is very significant since the leading cause of postneonatal infant mortality is SIDS. Clearly women should be encouraged to breastfeed their babies.