Women who breastfeed lower the chances that their baby might die of sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS.
A new study looked at more than 300 infants who died of SIDS and nearly 1,000 age-matched "control" infants. At 2 weeks of age, 83 percent of controls were being breastfed, compared to only 50 percent of SIDS infants.
Exclusive breastfeeding at 1 month cut the risk of SIDS in half. Partial breastfeeding at this point was also tied to a reduced risk.
The researchers recommend that public health messages aimed at SIDS risk-reduction should encourage women to breastfeed their infant through 6 months of age.