SIDS prevention and breastfeeding

SIDS prevention and breastfeeding

breastfeeding baby

New parents and expectant parents often ask me about the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). SIDS is still the leading cause of death for infants between the ages of 1 month and 1 year, but education and control of environmental factors have helped reduce SIDS deaths in the US steadily for decades (the risk is now approximately 1 in 2000 according to the National Institutes of Health). But we still want to do all we can to protect babies where we can.¬†There are many different ways we can reduce a baby’s risk of SIDS, from sleeping in the same room with parents, on their back on a firm surface, to temperature control, and more. A new meta-analysis of SIDS research published by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows the impact breastfeeding has on reducing SIDS risk and the results are impressive.

According to the article, infants who are exclusively breastfed have a reduced likelihood of SIDS by 73%. Interestingly, the researchers also found that breastfeeding for at least two months, even if it wasn’t exclusive breastfeeding, cut the risk of SIDS in half. And that is in addition to all the other known benefits of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is a huge piece of the puzzle of reducing SIDS risk for infants.

So even for families who don’t expect that exclusive breastfeeding for the long-term will be the right fit for their families, it is important to remember there are still strong benefits to any level of breastfeeding. To increase your odds of success, work with your doula and/or lactation consultant to make a feeding plan and get the information and support you’ll need to make your breastfeeding journey a success.

Got questions about breastfeeding or SIDS? Contact me now.


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