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Breast milk can reduce risk of cot death, new study reveals

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Nov 1, 2017, 12:46 pm IST
Updated : Nov 1, 2017, 12:47 pm IST

Find out what researchers have learned.

Representational Image. (Photo: AFP)
 Representational Image. (Photo: AFP)

Breastfeeding  can reduce newborns' risk of cot death by half, new study reveals.

Researchers also say the longer the better too, as they will receive greater protection, Daily Mail reported.

Previous research has found breast milk can help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, this is the first study to reveal the time frame to ensure the baby gets what it needs which is two months.

"Our study found babies who are breastfed for at least two months have a significant reduction in their risk of dying from SIDS," Co author Dr Kawai Tanabe, of the University of Virginia, told the Daily Mail. Adding, "Breastfeeding is beneficial for so many reasons, and this is really an important one."

"The other important finding from our study is that any amount of breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS - in other words, both partial and exclusive breastfeeding appear to provide the same benefit," study leader Professor Fern Hauck, of the University of Virginia Children's Hospital explained in the report.

While there has been a decline of such incidents in the past 20 years, it still remains a leading cause of death among babies.

Based on the study's findings, researchers call for more efforts to be made to increase rates of breastfeeding globally. The World Health Organisation (WHO) hopes that by 2025 more than half of the world's infants will be breastfed for at least six months.

"It Is great for mothers to know that breastfeeding for at least two months provides such a strong protective effect against SIDS," Dr Rachel Moon told the Daily Mail and supports efforts to promote breastfeeding.

Apart from the study's results, breastfeeding also helps reduce infections, diarrhoea, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, boost a child's IQ and various other health issues.

Tags: breastfeeding, sudden infant death syndrome (sids), health, milk, babies