New Study Shows Breastfeeding Decreases Risks of SIDS
Breastfeeding as long as two months shows has benefits
As a lactation consultant, I often hear regret from moms when they state that they “only nursed for ...” (insert perceived short time here.)
That always bothers me, because any distance that a mom makes in her breastfeeding journey, is a win to me.
New research also agrees, showing that moms who breastfed for just a couple of months, may have a significant reduction in the risk of SIDS.
In the United States, more than 80 percent of mother’s begin breastfeeding in some capacity at birth, but the number drops to about 22 percent for exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months.
Statistics like this may beg the question to some moms, is it worth doing at all, if you don’t plan to go the distance? And new research says, yes! Absolutely!
It does not have to be an all or nothing type of decision.
Realistically, I know that some mothers have no interest in breastfeeding from the start, while others find themselves at barriers that seem impossible to overcome, and decide that formula is a better option.
The truth still remains, the longer you breastfeed, the greater the benefits will be to you and your baby, but this new study shows that breastfeeding for at least two months cuts a baby's risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome almost in half!
SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies between 1 and 12 months, so this is not information to take lightly.
Interestingly, this study also showed that partial or combination feeding (breastfeeding and formula feeding) was also beneficial in lowering the risks, which was great news for the mommas that were not able to sustain their infant 100 percent from their breastmilk. However, exclusive breastfeeding, and longer durations did in fact decrease the risk of SIDS even lower.
At the end of the day, babies need to eat — and ultimately that’s our entire goal. Regardless if they are fed from the breast or the bottle, we believe we will get to the same outcome; beautiful, smart, thriving kiddos.
That said, breastmilk has many exciting benefits to mom and baby both. And if it is part of your plan, I am here to help you and baby reach whatever goals that you have set for yourself!
About the Author
Holly Erwin, LVN, IBCLC, is the virtual lactation consultation at Cook Children's. As a mom of three boys and has worked as a pediatric nurse for over 11 years within the Cook Children's Health Care System. When not working, she spends her time running to and from sports for her boys, being outside with her family and dreaming of traveling with her husband of 10 years. For now, she settles for their bi-annual date-night! Click here to learn more about the Virtual Lactation Consultant Program.
Through her own children and the thousands of moms that she has helped over the years, Holly found a special interest in infants and breastfeeding. In 2015, she became internationally board certified as a lactation consultant and now works as an IBCLC virtually through the Cook Children's telemedicine department.