Babies should be breastfed if they are to increase their chances of surviving Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) the organisation SIDS and Kids has advised.
The new recommendation comes off the back of new research which apparently shows breastfeeding is not only generally helpful, but helps specifically cut the rate of SIDs.
Jeanine Young is the Chair of the SIDS and Kids National Scientific Advisory Committee, and she spoke of the new research on the ABC this morning:
“We’ve known for a very long time that breastfeeding is extremely important – the more we discover about breastfeeding the more important it becomes,” Ms Young says.
“And now, research has shown that breastfeeding your baby regularly more than halves the odds of a baby dying suddenly and unexpectedly.“
Breastfeeding will become the sixth addition to the ‘safe sleep’ messages from the organisation, which now include:
1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side;
2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered;
3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after;
4. Provide a safe sleeping environment;
5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult care-giver for the first six to twelve months
6. Breastfeed baby if you can.
Ms Young went on to tell The Australian:
“Breast milk contains immune benefits that cannot be replaced by artificial formulas, no matter how hard the industry tries to improve their ingredients,” she said.
“We know that breastfeeding reduces the respiratory and gastro-intestinal infections that children experience, and we know that about 45 per cent of babies that die suddenly and unexpectedly had an illness in the previous two weeks.”
Ms Young said there was thought to be a link between breastfeeding and harm reduction rates back in 1991 but that a study at the time discredited the link but that now other studies had shown ‘for certain’ there was a specific benefit that helped infants avoid sudden sleep deaths.
Please share this new information with any women you know who might be pregnant or who have babies under 12 months old and help spread the word…..
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