This monthâ€™s issue of the highly respected publication Pediatrics has a report that indicates that if a mother breastfeeds her newborn the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome more commonly known as SIDS drops by as much as half.
A German team of scientists working at the University of Munster has discovered what they believe to be a clear correlation between breastfeeding and a decrease of 50% in the occurrence of SIDS.
In the study, the scientists compared 1000 infants in a control group and found that children who were breastfeeding at one month of age statistically were half as likely to die from SIDS as those who were being artificially fed.
The report concentrated on infants that were simply either being breastfed or artificially fed and did not take into account babies who were feeding on a mixed breast/artificial diet.
But the report also indicated that there was considerable evidence that mixed baby feeding was also effective in lowering susceptibility towards SIDS. The research also indicated that breastfeeding was effective in all infant age groups from birth to 26 weeks.
The research scientists do admit that there are some parameters within the study that they could not control these included elements such as the socio-economic group of the mother and other elements of general health such as activities including drinking alcohol or obesity.
According to the report, nearly 75% of children who die from SIDS do so within their first 26 weeks, after that stage the possibility of death from SIDS diminishes rapidly. Their conclusion is that government bodies should promote natural feeding of all infants for the first six months whenever possible.