breastfeeding & sids

Today I read a very interesting and comprehensive story about SIDS ,and some new research indicating that infection may play a role in some SIDS deaths. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when people write about SIDS, absolutely no mention is made of the fact that it has been conclusively proven that breastfeeding lowers a baby's risk for SIDS. Or, put more accurately, not breastfeeding raises a baby's risk for SIDS.

Along with parental smoking, and baby's sleep position, breastfeeding is one of the few things parents have any control over with respect to protecting their babies from crib death. Yet, our cultural boas against breastfeeding means that most parents don't get this message clearly, or at all.

If some cases of SIDS are linked to viral or bacterial infections, this may explain one of the reasons why breastfeeding is protective. Formula-fed babies are demonstrably and significantly more likely to contract bacterial and viral infections.