Because she can make new antibodies better and more quickly than her tiny baby can, mother updates her baby’s immunity with every feeding. 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. Larger tongues will further narrow the already unstable airway of tiny infants. 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. Your Preemie's First Year: What to Expect. Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. For more information on this topic, see The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning. Meanwhile, baby is making his own antibodies. 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. Breastmilk Improves Breathing/Swallowing Coordination Newborns have to learn to coordinate breathing and swallowing during feeding. Would it be presumptuous to call breastmilk a SIDS vaccine? The more stable the airway to breathing, the lower the risk of SIDS. This would be a group that is at high risk for SIDS. Therefore supports the idea that breastfeeding reduces SIDS. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. One of the ways in which breastmilk protects the infection-vulnerable infant is through the intramammary immune system. A recent postmortem finding that SIDS babies have larger tongues lends support to Tonkin’s theory. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Breast milk is all the nutrition your baby needs for their first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding and dummy use have a protective effect on sudden infant death syndrome by Alm et al. An October 2017 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has linked breastfeeding to a significant reduction in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. 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. Keeping these issues in mind, let’s look at the actual studies that analyze the impact of breastfeeding on SIDS rates. By age six to nine months, he is more capable of defending himself against infection. Breastfeeders also tend to feed more frequently than their bottle-feeding friends, therefore getting more practice coordinating their swallowing and breathing. Not only does breastmilk have protective qualities for baby, breastfeeding does good things for mother, which indirectly may reduce the risk of SIDS. Yet without the hormonal boost that breastfeeding provides, bottle-feeding mothers have to work harder at developing this heightened awareness. Can formula-feeding mothers attain this high level of sensitivity to their babies? Here at Red Nose, we recommend breastfeeding your baby to reduce your risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy, including SIDS.. Human milk is not a foreign substance. (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). Breastfeeding is known to be beneficial to the health of infants with boosting immunity and preventing conditions like asthma — though not all moms are able to exclusively breastfeed. This virus has been implicated in causing inflammation of the lungs that could contribute to SIDS. 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). They’re able to read subtle cues and changes in their infants. They divided their subjects into two groups: those who were fed their mother’s milk and those who were not. After birth, these antibodies gradually disappear. 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. If you are breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is going well before offering a pacifier. 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. These areas show changes that could be the result of delayed development and/or oxygen deprivation. Some think breast milk may protect babies from infections that raise their SIDS risk. Putting infants to sleep on their backs or sides rather than on their stomachs may lower the risk of SIDS. Studies show that premature babies who breastfeed coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing more efficiently than d… Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is less severe in breastfed infants than in infants fed artificial baby milks. From the Article "Breastfeeding is protective against SIDS, and this effect is stronger when breastfeeding is exclusive." Breastfeed your baby. These videos explain ways to practice safe infant sleep and breastfeeding. 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. Breastfeeding survival curves showed that both partial breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding were associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome. “Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) – sometimes known as "cot death" – is the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby. In fact, just two months of breastfeeding, even combined with formula, reduces SIDS risk, according to the new study in Pediatrics. 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. 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. 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. “MOTHER’S MILK: FOOD FOR SMARTER KIDS.” This was the headline in USA Today on February 2, 1992. This protective effect increased the longer the baby was breastfed and if the baby was exclusively breastfed. This recommendation is based on research that shows breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50 per cent. 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. In this position, the breastfeeding pair has easier access to nursing at night. 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. In 2010, there were 6.15 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the US. In addition, breastfeeding delivers antibodies known as immunoglobulins that may help protect infants from infection during the period they are most at risk for … Public health messages that advise expecting mothers on ways to reduce SIDS risk should include breast-feeding, the researchers said. Special nutrients in human milk that are not in artificial baby milk may be the answer. This statistic may sound alarming, but SIDS is rare and the risk of your baby dying from it is low. The following is what we know. When mother is exposed to a new germ, glands in her intestine make infection-fighting cells specifically for this germ. 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. Visit your baby’s health care provider for regular checkups. Not only does the … 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. Dr. Tonkin, a pathologist, speculated that the different muscle actions involved in bottle-feeding might contribute to the growth of larger tongues. Oftentimes, babies who succumb to SIDS have had a “minor infection” in the days before death. Newborns have to learn to coordinate breathing and swallowing during feeding. Researchers in England studied three hundred babies who were very premature and weighed less than four pounds. 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. While both experience and research have long suggested that breastfed babies are intellectually advantaged, the difference has usually been attributed more to the nurturing or to the character of the mother than to the type of milk. Respiratory and gastrointestinal infections contribute to the SIDS risk, and breastfeeding infants get fewer respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. During my 50 years of watching mothers and babies, I have been impressed by the increased sensitivity breastfeeding mothers have toward their babies. Your baby will receive important shots to prevent disease. 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. The risk of SIDS among exclusively breastfed infants was 73% lower. Breastfeeding May Help Protect Against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Researchers Say. Studies show that premature babies who breastfeed coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing more efficiently than do their bottle-feeding mates. 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). For infants who were breastfed at 2 months of age and older, the risk was 62% lower. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.Although the cause is unknown, it appears that SIDS might be associated with defects in the portion of an infant's brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.Researchers have discovered some factors that might put babies at extra risk. Human milk contains substances (such as cholesterol, linolenic acid, and taurine) that enhance the development of the central nervous system. Being exclusively breastfed in the last month of life/before the interview reduced the risk, as did being partially breastfed. These cannot be manufactured or bought; they can only be made by mother. 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. Some studies have suggested a protective effect of breastfeeding against SIDS, while others have not. 6 The most cost-effective strategy for reducing SIDS is expanding breastfeeding intervention efforts. 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. Although myelination continues well into early childhood, the greatest degree of myelination occurs during the first six months of life. But the evidence isn't strong and not all experts agree that dummies should be promoted. 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. setTimeout("__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'Reading', '45 seconds')", 45000); © 2020 AskDrSears.com All Rights Reserved. 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. The results showed that for infants who received any breastmilk for any duration, the likelihood of SIDS was 60% lower. Nursing allows the jawbone and muscles of the upper airway develop better. "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." I suspect they can. Many moms and moms-to-be know that breastfeeding ofers many beneits for moms and babies. Especially if they practice the rest of the attachment-parenting package, such as sharing sleep and wearing their baby. For premature infants (those at highest risk for SIDS), this is a gradual learning process. The typical sleep patterns of breastfed babies might also offer some clues as to why breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS. It's OK if your baby doesn't want to use a pacifier. 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. I believe that an important piece of the SIDS puzzle is that some babies at risk of SIDS have overall disorganized physiology. 8. Any exercise of the mouth and throat muscle is helpful in keeping the airways open. Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs during pregnancy. 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. Researchers say the results suggest that the recommendation to breastfeed infants should be included with other SIDS risk-reduction information given to pregnant women. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. What Happens When Your Son Is Circumcised? Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. She may be more aware of changes in her baby, even while they both are sleeping. When my wife, Martha, breastfed our eight babies, she invariably put them to sleep on their backs or sides. Dental studies show that breastfeeding babies develop better alignment of the oral cavity. Find out more about breastfeeding your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS pdf icon [480 KB] external icon. Hauck, F. Pediatrics, June 13, 2011; vol128. In summary, babies who get breastmilk breath better. Feeding, dummies and SIDS. What is even more intriguing is what we do not yet know about how human milk benefits human babies in general and how breastfeeding reduces SIDS in particular. Breastfeeding your baby reduces the risk of 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. Breastfeeding releases hormones which aid rest and relaxation in the nursing dyad and make mother and […] Each year researchers discover new factors in human milk that are beneficial to babies. However, scientific literature lacks uniformity in the definitions of breastfeeding (whether partial and exclusive). The breast glands respond by manufacturing antibodies, which are delivered to the baby through the milk. 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. 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. It increases the sensitivity of a mother to any changes in her baby. It's possible using a dummy at the start of a sleep also reduces the risk of SIDS. As we await the results of more research, we can continue to rely on common sense. In the UK, more than 200 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly every year. (See Co-sleeping and SIDS). The harmony between a breastfeeding mother and her suckling infant has an organizing effect on baby’s sleep/wake cycles, probably as a result of the cue-response sensitivity of the breastfeeding pair. 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. Babies who are breastfed for at least two month right after birth cut their risk of death due to SIDS by half, New York Daily News reports. (Consider what happens if you put the wrong fuel into a car. For premature infants (those at highest risk for SIDS), this is a gradual learning process. A breastfeeding mother also sleeps differently than her formula-feeding friends. 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. The information presented in this site gives general advice on parenting and health care. CONCLUSIONS: Breastfeeding is protective against SIDS, and this effect is stronger when breastfeeding is exclusive. The recommendation to breastfeed your baby is often a difficult subject, as not all women can, or choose to breastfeed. Red Nose recommends that babies are breastfed. If you are not breastfeeding, you can start a pacifier as soon as you like. We must do more to create supportive and safe environments for mothers who choose to breastfeed.” Also significant in this study was that the more breastmilk the babies received, the higher these children scored. But new research suggests that it’s human milk itself rather than (or in addition to) the process of breastfeeding (or the skills of the mother) that enhances brain growth. Position your baby carefully. 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. While six months of breastfeeding is recommended, only two months of breastfeeding is … Babies who are breastfed or are fed expressed breastmilk are at lower risk for SIDS compared with babies who were never fed breastmilk. Exclusive breastfeeding without any use of formula for any duration appeared to provide the biggest benefits. If bottle feeding, hold your baby at a 45-degree angle and never prop … The new study was published online today (June 13) in … is a literature review on the protective effect against SIDS of both breastfeeding and pacifier use. Their breathing passages are narrower, especially during sleep. 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. Since this study, over eleven more studies have concluded that breastfeeding builds better brains. Breastfeeding has a calming effect on a baby. Read on. Breastfeeding rates in the United States are suboptimal, leading to higher healthcare expenditures, and more preventable infant mortality. These special cells travel through her bloodstream to her breasts, where they announce the presence of the enemy germ. All rights reserved. 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. A cost analysis by Bartick and Reinhold estimated that SIDS-related deaths cost the United States $10,560,000 a year. Breastfeeding for at least 2 months halves the risk of SIDS but the longer you can continue the more protection it will give your baby. A new study has determined one monumental benefit of breastfeeding: it can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Sadly, the world death rate … In full-term infants, breastfeeding helps keep tiny airways open. 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. Publicity about bedsharing with an infant often raises concerns and warns parents against it. Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. In the meantime, it’s possible that any one of the protective effects of breastfeeding could lower the SIDS risk. In this study, researchers identified 288 studies on SIDS and breastfeeding from 1966 to 2009 and narrowed their analysis to 18 studies that met basic research quality criteria. Whether it is the milk, the mother, or the method that is responsible for the lower SIDS risk in the breastfed infant is hard to tell. 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. This helps reduce the risk of SIDS. If you do use a dummy, don't start until breastfeeding … This is probably due to the fact that human milk is emptied faster from the stomach. This usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. Breastfeeding survival curves showed that both partial breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding were associated with a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Breastfeeding reduces SIDS by protects against RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) infections. AskDrSears.com is intended to help parents become better informed consumers of health care. Breastfeeding your baby can lower the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%, though experts aren't sure why. Breastfeeding mothers I have interviewed, especially those who co-sleep, most often place their babies on their sides facing them. 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. I believe that someday a researcher will discover what savvy mothers have long suspected. Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). 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. “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. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Authors said it was unclear why breastfeeding protected infants from SIDS but discussed several possibilities, including better arousal from sleep in breastfed babies. But they say many of these studies included broader definitions of SIDS and methodological flaws that may have affected results. Brain-building substances and elements called “growth factors” have recently been discovered in human milk. Breastfeeding fights against illnesses. Since tiny infants tend to have weak points in muscle support of their upper airways. 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. 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. 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) Mothers don't have to breastfeed exclusively to get the benefit, either. The milk of each species of mammal is different and designed to ensure the best chances of survival for the young of that species. It is also interesting to note that breastfeeding infants have higher blood levels of the hormone progesterone, and progesterone stimulates breathing. The newborn baby derives much of his immunity from his mother’s antibodies while in the womb. I suspect that researchers have only scratched the surface of what amazing factors exist in human milk. There are hundreds of substances in human milk that aren’t in artificial milk. Breastfeeding may reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, a new study says.. But they may not know that breastfeeding reduces baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Because SIDS occurs much less frequently in breastfed infants, it is speculated that breastfeeding protects infants against SIDS. 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