feeding has been linked to increased rates of SIDS
in some studies. Breastfeeding
literature has long reflected this but acceptance and publication has been slow in North American mainstream media
. The 1990s "Back to Sleep" campaign was well accepted while the connection between bottle feeding and SIDS was largely ignored.
A new (but sadly small) study, done in the US and presented at a Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention conference in Atlanta directly places the blame for 55% of the SIDS cases studied to formula feeding (or a lack of breastfeeding).
This study is receiving considerable North American mainstream media coverage. I have heard on Lactnet of reports in the Washington Post, The Associated Press, CNN headline news, Reuters news service and various local newscasters.
The report from the Washington Post 4/24/01 (under "Findings") page A10 follows:
"New mothers who don't breast-feed and those who smoke after
giving birth place their babies at strong risk for sudden infant death
syndrome, government researchers said yesterday.
Placing babies on their backs for sleep has long been the focus of
the campaign to prevent SIDS, which kills about 3,000 infants each
But a study presented at a Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention conference in Atlanta suggests that breast-feeding and
protecting babies from secondhand smoke may be just as important.
The study of 117 SIDS cases in Louisiana in 1997 and 1998 found
55 percent of the deaths could have been prevented had the
mothers breast-fed their children. Studies have shown breast-
feeding can help prevent respiratory problems sometimes related to
The study also said 27 percent of the deaths could have been
prevented if mothers had not smoked after delivery, exposing their
children to secondhand smoke.
- Compiled from reports by the Associated Press"