Breast feeding and protection against neonatal sepsis in a high risk population.
Protection against neonatal sepsis by breast feeding was investigated in a developing community. A case-control study was carried out with 42 cases from a hospital and 270 controls, matched for age and socioeconomic conditions from the community. Exclusive breast feeding was extremely rare, most babies being partially breast fed and a few being given formula feed or animal milk. A highly significant odds ratio of 18 was obtained, showing that even partial breast feeding protects against neonatal sepsis in such a population.