Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

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Breastfeeding and SIDS

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of hospitalization with gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.

Breastfeeding motherA meta-analysis of 23 studies published up to 1997 examining the relationship between SIDS and breastfeeding found the overall risk of SIDS twice as great for formula fed infants compared with breastfed infants. Infant sleep studies have shown that breastfed infants are more easily aroused than formula-fed infants, which may be a mechanism for the protective effect of breastfeeding against SIDS.

Breast-feeding reduces the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by approximately 50% at all ages throughout infancy. Exclusive breast-feeding at age 1 month was associated with half the risk for SIDS. Both partial breast-feeding and exclusive breast-feeding were linked to a reduced risk for SIDS. Ever breastfeeding was associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.

The advice to breastfeed should be included as a prevention measure.


For More Information Contact:
Tina Goodwin, RN
Perinatal, Child and Adolescent Health
PO Box 95026
Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026

Phone: (402) 471-0165
Fax: (402) 471-7049

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