Also significant in this study was that the more breastmilk the babies received, the higher these children scored. Being exclusively breastfed in the last month of life/before the interview reduced the risk, as did being partially breastfed. It increases the sensitivity of a mother to any changes in her baby. Because of their prematurity, these infants received the milk by tube rather than directly from the mother’s breasts, thereby separating the effects of the milk from the effects of the nurturing. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. (See Co-sleeping and SIDS). “MOTHER’S MILK: FOOD FOR SMARTER KIDS.” This was the headline in USA Today on February 2, 1992. In summary, babies who get breastmilk breath better. A breastfeeding mother also sleeps differently than her formula-feeding friends. Position your baby carefully. CONCLUSIONS: Breastfeeding is protective against SIDS, and this effect is stronger when breastfeeding is exclusive. Slings for Caregiving and Breastfeeding Baby, The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning, Baby Constipation: Stool-Softening Techniques. Since this study, over eleven more studies have concluded that breastfeeding builds better brains. Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is less severe in breastfed infants than in infants fed artificial baby milks. Your baby will receive important shots to prevent disease. It is also interesting to note that breastfeeding infants have higher blood levels of the hormone progesterone, and progesterone stimulates breathing. For more information on this topic, see The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning. These researchers concluded that aspiration of water or foreign milk might cause a stop-breathing episode in infants, a life-threatening episode that might not occur if mother’s milk accidentally goes down the wrong way. Not only does breastmilk have protective qualities for baby, but breastfeeding also does good things for mother, which indirectly may reduce the risk of SIDS. In addition, breastfeeding delivers antibodies known as immunoglobulins that may help protect infants from infection during the period they are most at risk for SIDS. Breastfeeding survival curves showed that both partial breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding were associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Babies who are breastfed or are fed expressed breastmilk are at lower risk for SIDS compared with babies who were never fed breastmilk. Meanwhile, baby is making his own antibodies. But they may not know that breastfeeding reduces baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Yet without the hormonal boost that breastfeeding provides, bottle-feeding mothers have to work harder at developing this heightened awareness. Keeping these issues in mind, let’s look at the actual studies that analyze the impact of breastfeeding on SIDS rates. (Consider what happens if you put the wrong fuel into a car. Besides the good stuff in breastmilk and the act of breastfeeding itself with its increased “touch time,” the way an infant breastfeeds may also lower the risk of SIDS. AskDrSears.com is intended to help parents become better informed consumers of health care. It's possible using a dummy at the start of a sleep also reduces the risk of SIDS. Nursing allows the jawbone and muscles of the upper airway develop better. When you put together all the benefits of breastfeeding, the good stuff in breastmilk, the special touch of breastfeeding, and the special actions of breast suckling, you have a compelling case that breastfeeding reduces SIDS and increases an infant’s chances of health and well-being. Breastfeeding fights against illnesses. Breastfeeding your baby reduces the risk of SIDS. The recommendation to breastfeed infants should be included with other SIDS risk-reduction messages to both reduce the risk of SIDS and promote breastfeeding for its many other infant and maternal health benefits. This protective effect increased the longer the baby was breastfed and if the baby was exclusively breastfed. Especially if they practice the rest of the attachment-parenting package, such as sharing sleep and wearing their baby. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the occurrence of SIDS by over 50 percent by improving the immune system, promoting brain growth, reducing reflux and a variety of other factors. Breastfeeding rates in the United States are suboptimal, leading to higher healthcare expenditures, and more preventable infant mortality. Not only does the … Respiratory and gastrointestinal infections contribute to the SIDS risk, and breastfeeding infants get fewer respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. The following is what we know. Breastfeed your baby. We must do more to create supportive and safe environments for mothers who choose to breastfeed.” Breastfeeding your baby can lower the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%, though experts aren't sure why. In the UK, more than 200 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year. Breastfeeding may reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, a new study says.. One of the ways in which breastmilk protects the infection-vulnerable infant is through the intramammary immune system. The study was an extensive one, looking at a total of 2267 SIDS cases and 6837 control infants, so the results of the study are significant. As we await the results of more research, we can continue to rely on common sense. "All health professionals should speak in 1 voice about the importance of breastfeeding, which now adds SIDS risk reduction to its long list of maternal and infant health benefits." Breastfeeding has a calming effect on a baby. (Postmortem examinations have shown deficient myelination—the covering around nerves that lets impulses travel faster—in the nerves around the respiratory control center in some infants who died of SIDS). This helps reduce the risk of SIDS. is a literature review on the protective effect against SIDS of both breastfeeding and pacifier use. They divided their subjects into two groups: those who were fed their mother’s milk and those who were not. Sadly, the world death rate … Special nutrients in human milk that are not in artificial baby milk may be the answer. The typical sleep patterns of breastfed babies might also offer some clues as to why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS. The results showed that for infants who received any breastmilk for any duration, the likelihood of SIDS was 60% lower. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. This statistic may sound alarming, but SIDS is rare and the risk of your baby dying from it is low. The increased maternal hormones (primarily prolactin and oxytocin) that are stimulated by baby’s sucking appear to provide a biological basis for the concept of mother’s intuition. Although myelination continues well into early childhood, the greatest degree of myelination occurs during the first six months of life. Dental studies show that breastfeeding babies develop better alignment of the oral cavity. When my wife, Martha, breastfed our eight babies, she invariably put them to sleep on their backs or sides. Breastfeeding May Help Protect Against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Researchers Say. If you do use a dummy, don't start until breastfeeding … In the meantime, it’s possible that any one of the protective effects of breastfeeding could lower the SIDS risk. “Breastfeeding to any extent and of any duration is protective against SIDS,” researcher Fern Hauck, MD, of the department of family medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues write in Pediatrics. Breastmilk Improves Breathing/Swallowing Coordination Newborns have to learn to coordinate breathing and swallowing during feeding. Human milk contains substances (such as cholesterol, linolenic acid, and taurine) that enhance the development of the central nervous system. Between two and six months of age (which, you’ll recall, is also the peak period of SIDS risk), a baby’s immunity is lowest, and the vulnerability to infection is highest. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Some studies have suggested a protective effect of breastfeeding against SIDS, while others have not. It’s probably a combination of all three, which proves breastfeeding reduces SIDS. Researchers in England studied three hundred babies who were very premature and weighed less than four pounds. Sooner or later, it doesn’t run right, and its engine control systems fail.) These videos explain ways to practice safe infant sleep and breastfeeding. Dr. Tonkin, a pathologist, speculated that the different muscle actions involved in bottle-feeding might contribute to the growth of larger tongues. Those premature babies who got their mother’s milk during the first five or six weeks of life averaged 8.3 points higher on IQ tests at age seven-and-a-half to eight years. Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. Breastfeeding mothers I have interviewed, especially those who co-sleep, most often place their babies on their sides facing them. Publicity about bedsharing with an infant often raises concerns and warns parents against it. They’re able to read subtle cues and changes in their infants. It is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition, with breast milk uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a growing baby. Their breathing passages are narrower, especially during sleep. Since tiny infants tend to have weak points in muscle support of their upper airways. The information presented in this site gives general advice on parenting and health care. Breastfeeding reduces SIDS by protects against RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infections. A cost analysis by Bartick and Reinhold estimated that SIDS-related deaths cost the United States $10,560,000 a year. I believe that someday a researcher will discover what savvy mothers have long suspected. Studies show that premature babies who breastfeed coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing more efficiently than d… setTimeout("__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'Reading', '45 seconds')", 45000); © 2020 AskDrSears.com All Rights Reserved. So vital are these brain builders that if a mother’s milk is short on these special nutrients, the mammary glands themselves make and deposit them into her milk. Visit your baby’s health care provider for regular checkups. In full-term infants, breastfeeding helps keep tiny airways open. Breast milk is all the nutrition your baby needs for their first 6 months of life. Between two and six months, when the antibodies derived prenatally from mother are at low levels and baby has not yet made enough of his own, the immunity factors in breastmilk fill in, taking over where the placenta left off and protecting the baby while his own immune system matures. Stuffy noses and airways and recurrent respiratory tract infections are frequent signs of allergies to artificial milk made from cow’s milk or bean milk (such as soy). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the baby’s first six months for a variety of health reasons, including reduced SIDs risk. Feb. 15, 2016 — The advice given to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, SIDS, has worked well, but the potential to save more lives exists. This is probably due to the fact that human milk is emptied faster from the stomach. Not only does breastmilk have protective qualities for baby, breastfeeding does good things for mother, which indirectly may reduce the risk of SIDS. The more stable the airway to breathing, the lower the risk of SIDS. The Breastfeed Your Baby to Reduce the Risk of SIDS (PDF 485 KB) handout helps explain the information in the videos.. Breastfeed Your Baby to Reduce the Risk of SIDS (Full Length/1:20) I suspect they can. This did not occur when normal saline (a physiological solution similar to the infant’s own blood) or the species’ own milk was squirted into the trachea. Any exercise of the mouth and throat muscle is helpful in keeping the airways open. I suspect that researchers have only scratched the surface of what amazing factors exist in human milk. Breastfeeders also tend to feed more frequently than their bottle-feeding friends, therefore getting more practice coordinating their swallowing and breathing. In this position, the breastfeeding pair has easier access to nursing at night. These cannot be manufactured or bought; they can only be made by mother. Researchers say the results suggest that the recommendation to breastfeed infants should be included with other SIDS risk-reduction information given to pregnant women. A new study has determined one monumental benefit of breastfeeding: it can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But the evidence isn't strong and not all experts agree that dummies should be promoted. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – sometimes known as "cot death" – is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby. In addition, breastfeeding delivers antibodies known as immunoglobulins that may help protect infants from infection during the period they are most at risk for … Many moms and moms-to-be know that breastfeeding ofers many beneits for moms and babies. What Happens When Your Son Is Circumcised? Researchers have found that breastfed babies generally sleep for shorter stretches and are a lot easier to wake from active sleep than non-breastfed babies (5,6). Oftentimes, babies who succumb to SIDS have had a “minor infection” in the days before death. Would it be presumptuous to call breastmilk a SIDS vaccine? Dr.Shirley Tonkin, a New Zealand researcher, told me she believes that breastfeeding infants are more likely to use their jaws and pharyngeal muscles in a sucking motion that enhances the development of muscles, bones, and lips—all of which helps keep their airways open better than those of bottle-feeding babies. Breastfeeding helps breathing in two ways: by helping the brain systems that control breathing to mature and by helping to keep tiny air passages open. “Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. I believe that an important piece of the SIDS puzzle is that some babies at risk of SIDS have overall disorganized physiology. The milk of each species of mammal is different and designed to ensure the best chances of survival for the young of that species. The new study was published online today (June 13) in … The newborn baby derives much of his immunity from his mother’s antibodies while in the womb. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. 8. Your Preemie's First Year: What to Expect. A new review of recent research studies shows that infants who were breastfed were about 60% less likely to die from SIDS than infants who didn't receive any breast milk. Here at Red Nose, we recommend breastfeeding your baby to reduce your risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy, including SIDS.. For example, breastfed infants may be more easily aroused from sleep than formula-fed infants at 2-3 months of age, which is within the 2-4 months peak age of SIDS cases. Researchers say there are many proven physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding, but it has been unclear whether breastfeeding specifically lowers the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. During my 50 years of watching mothers and babies, I have been impressed by the increased sensitivity breastfeeding mothers have toward their babies. These areas show changes that could be the result of delayed development and/or oxygen deprivation. From the Article "Breastfeeding is protective against SIDS, and this effect is stronger when breastfeeding is exclusive." This would be a group that is at high risk for SIDS. Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy. Ways in which breastfeeding is thought to reduce the risk of SIDS: Breastfeeding boosts brain development, particularly for the central nervous system, which is essential to respiratory control during sleep. Read on. Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). The risk of SIDS among exclusively breastfed infants was 73% lower. The breast glands respond by manufacturing antibodies, which are delivered to the baby through the milk. Because she can make new antibodies better and more quickly than her tiny baby can, mother updates her baby’s immunity with every feeding. Since GER has been implicated in apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs) and ALTEs may be a forerunner of SIDS, reducing GER could also reduce SIDS. All rights reserved. Breastfeeding and dummy use have a protective effect on sudden infant death syndrome by Alm et al. Human milk is not a foreign substance. Larger tongues will further narrow the already unstable airway of tiny infants. By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter. As a final perk, even if human milk goes down the wrong pipe and enters baby’s lungs, it does not irritate the lungs as much as formula can. Although these findings are based on observational studies and cannot prove a direct cause and effect relationship between breastfeeding and SIDS prevention, researchers say there are several plausible biological reasons. Red Nose also supports parents who bottle feed their babies through the other five evidence-based strategies that they can use to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infancy. Feeding, dummies and SIDS. In 2010, there were 6.15 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the US. Some think breast milk may protect babies from infections that raise their SIDS risk. This recommendation is based on research that shows breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50 per cent. If bottle feeding, hold your baby at a 45-degree angle and never prop … Also, studies on experimental animals have shown that the introduction of water or cow’s milk into the upper trachea (the beginning of the airway) can lead to apnea. If you are not breastfeeding, you can start a pacifier as soon as you like. But they say many of these studies included broader definitions of SIDS and methodological flaws that may have affected results. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Besides reducing respiratory infections that clog baby’s air passages, breastfeeding also helps keep little airways open by not exposing them to the allergens in foreign milk. This virus has been implicated in causing inflammation of the lungs that could contribute to SIDS. Breast milk also boosts infants’ immune systems and supports their brain development. June 13, 2011 -- Protection against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may be yet another benefit of breastfeeding. Find out more about breastfeeding your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS pdf icon [480 KB] external icon. For premature infants (those at highest risk for SIDS), this is a gradual learning process. A recent postmortem finding that SIDS babies have larger tongues lends support to Tonkin’s theory. It's OK if your baby doesn't want to use a pacifier. For premature infants (those at highest risk for SIDS), this is a gradual learning process. THE METHOD Besides the good stuff in breastmilk and the act of breastfeeding itself with its increased "touch time," the way an infant breastfeeds may also lower the risk of SIDS. The most convincing of which is that it provides vital fats, namely DHA for myelin, the insulating sheath around nerves that helps impulses travel faster. In fact, just two months of breastfeeding, even combined with formula, reduces SIDS risk, according to the new study in Pediatrics. New mothers are left wondering what to do as babies have a biological need to feed during the night and mothers are hardwired to respond. Red Nose recommends that babies are breastfed. Cindy, a breastfeeding mother, told me: “I can tell when my baby has an ear infection by the way she sucks.” Breastfeeding mothers tend to sleep with their babies, a nighttime parenting style that I believe decreases SIDS risk. 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