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Why breastfeeding is part of Safe Sleep

27 Nov, 2023

What are the benefits of breastfeeding and why does Red Nose recommend it? Our Chief Midwife Jane explains why.

The recommendation to breastfeed your baby is often a difficult subject, as there are some women who breastfeed and some who don’t.

Red Nose, recommend breastfeeding your baby to reduce your risk of sudden and unexpected death in infancy, including SIDS.

This recommendation is based on research that shows breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.

Red Nose understands that not all women breastfeed. Thie role is to inform all parents of the ways they can reduce the risk of sudden infant death. Once you know the risks, you can then make the best decision for your family.

“Parents should be informed of the benefits of breastfeeding, and those not breastfeeding should be encouraged to follow the remaining five safe sleep recommendations to help reduce the risk," Red Nose Chief Midwife Jane Wiggill advises.

“Red Nose supports parents who bottle-feed through our five other evidence-based safe sleep recommendations to keep your baby as safe as possible.”

Why is breastfeeding the optimal source of nutrition for a baby, and for how long should you breastfeed your baby?

“Breastfeeding has multiple benefits for both babies and mothers,” says Jane. “We know that breastmilk is the optimal food for babies for their growth and development."

"Breastfeeding is a wonderful opportunity to boost your baby’s immune system, as breastmilk contains antibodies that help fight infection and protect against tummy bugs, colds, chest and ear infections. The severity of the symptoms is often reduced as is the time the baby takes to fight the infection. Breastfeeding also helps your baby develop good bacteria in their digestive system."

“Through breastmilk, your baby will get all the nutrition they need to grow well, while also being protected from harmful bacteria,” Jane explains.

The World Health Organisation recommends that parents exclusively breastfeed their babies up to six months of age if possible.

“Once your baby turns six months, you can start to introduce complementary healthy foods into their diet,” Jane says. “And breastfeeding can continue right up to two years of age.”

If you want to know more about how breastfeeding prevents SIDS visit Red Nose

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