Breastfeeding and Allergies

breastfeeding and allergies

Benefits to Breastfeeding

There are many undisputed benefits to breastfeeding for both the mother and the child for at least the first 4-6 months. Breastfeeding is also a great way to help with child development up to 12 months as solid foods are introduced.

Breastmilk provides the perfect balance for the child’s development, supports their immunity, prevents disease and can even help reduce allergies among manyother benefits.

On the contrary, there is no evidence that avoiding foods in the diet of the mother during pregnancy has any effect on preventing allergic diseases in the baby.

Breastfeeding and Allergies: Does it help prevent them?

There is however, growing evidence to suggest that breastfed babies are less prone to develop allergies later in life.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), examining the latest research on how to prevent allergies in children, confirms that a growing body of evidence supports the early introduction of peanut-based foods to infants to prevent peanut allergies. “

For families with allergies, the mother should breast-feed for at least 4-6 months. This has been shown to reduce eczema and milk allergy in the child. It has also been shown to reduce risk of asthma for the first three years of life, but not after that.

There is no evidence that soy formulas prevent allergies.

Solid foods should not be introduced until at least 4-6 months.

Resource: American Academy of Pediatrics
Pediatrics: 2008;121:183-191