NEWS: SIDS & Formula ~ Yes, the connection exists
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|Wed, 07-25-2012 - 9:20am|
SIDS & Enfamil "RestFull" Formula ~ Yes, the connection exists
I recently posted a brief blurb on Enfamil's new "RestFull" formula ~ designed and marketed to "keep babies full" and "help them sleep longer." The vast majority of responses I have received have been from other concerned parents and those dumbstruck at this marketing tactic - not to mention slightly afraid at what we are going to see uninformed parents do with this 'thick' formula that 'expands' in babies' bellies.
I have also received a couple (2 to be exact) responses from people who state there is no possible way that a link can exist between formula, sleep/night-waking, and SIDS and that such statements are outlandish. However, ample amounts of research conducted the world-over, for several decades now, show time and again that not only is there a link between these factors, there is also strong causality that exists. And so, I will re-hash a couple items here and provide sources for those wishing to dig a little deeper into the data we have.
Babies who wake more frequently, and sleep lightly (i.e. are easily woken - or what some people call 'bad sleepers') are at a significantly lower risk for SIDS.
Babies who wake less frequently, and sleep more deeply (sometimes called 'good sleepers') are at a significantly higher risk for SIDS.
This is one reason that a formula which artificially 'fills' the stomach with chemicals and grains and goop, designed to expand internally and trick a baby's brain into thinking s/he is full, induces deeper/longer sleep, and in turn, may lead to an observable increase in SIDS cases.
In addition, the brain is on full throttle of development during the night-time hours. It is during the night that stress hormones such as cortisol decrease (unless a baby is left to cry or feels abandoned/alone) and growth hormones increase. This continues throughout adult life as well, which is why muscle is built and repairs faster during night time hours. However, in baby-hood, these hormones dramatically impact baby's brain development and organ growth. Because of this, babies are designed to wake easily to get necessary, frequent, high-quality nutrients all night long. It literally feeds their brain. Stuff a baby up with 'empty' calories -- or a formula concoction that is designed to keep a baby full but not provide frequent, rich, quality, all-night nutrients, and you impact brain development and organ growth.
Lower neuro firing and neuro connections (which occurs when a baby lacks essential nutrients during night time hours) puts babies into more of a comatose type state of mind. Some might interpret this as an 'easy baby' - one who is a 'good sleeper' - however, once again, we see an increase in SIDS as a result of the decrease in neurological activity.
Related to brain activity, sleep, and wakefulness are the components of breastmilk vs. formula. This gets into glycobiology, which is a topic large enough for a blog all its own. But essentially, glyconutrients are the components of the body's cells which are responsible for effective communication, healing, repair and re-building between and within all cells. Without them, cells break down, organs do not form just right, the brain (and lungs and heart and kidneys and stomach...) do not function at their normal capacity. Regulatory functions (such as respiratory and cardiovascular systems) get off kilter when glyconutrients are not present in necessary number = leading in turn to an excess of SIDS. Breastmilk, however, is PACKED FULL of glyconutrients -- it literally is liquid gold. Nature really has a perfect plan for the protection of tiny growing babies. Healing and health components are provided in ubber high quantity with every ounce of breastmilk that is consumed. While there are multi-millions of dollars to be made if a pharmaceutical company can replicate glyconutrients artificially (they also enable the body to heal cancer cells/tumors) so far NO ONE has been able to do so. Formula is entirely void of any glyconutrients.
All of these SIDS causes are especially true for babies born premature, or those who were induced to birth or electively c-sectioned, rather than triggering labor in their own time (when lungs are fully 'done' and birth hormones kick things into high gear naturally). Babies who trigger labor on their own experience the protective hormones that flood an infant's brain during labor/birth ~ another protective feature against SIDS. Unfortunately, artificial induction, elective c-section, and premature birth (along with formula feeding) is ubiquitous across the United States today. These are major components in why we have the highest rates of infant morbidity and mortality in the entire developed Western world.
Many reliable, valid, peer-reviewed studies show that formula fed babies have DOUBLE to TRIPLE the risk of SIDS due to the above mentioned factors. Formula was designed to be a survival tool for babies who absolutely could not get the human milk they need from any other source. Formula keeps babies alive more often, and for longer, than feeding straight non-human animal milk. However, it is severely lacking from what babies need to optimally grow and maintain their health. The new "RestFull" formula only promises to intensify all of these factors, in turn leading to a higher rate of SIDS.
Moral of the story: