Breast-Feeding Best Bet Against Baby Allergies

Parents might consider breast-feeding babies with family histories of allergies. It could delay or prevent asthma, food allergies, or the skin condition eczema.

That’s an updated guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The group revised its suggestions after a review of studies on diet, allergies, and infants. The review confirmed that at least four months of breast-feeding will protect high-risk babies from wheezing and a cow’s milk allergy. Hypoallergenic formulas without cow’s milk can work as a substitute for breast milk.

Researchers couldn’t confirm that avoiding problem foods, such as peanut butter, fish, and eggs, during pregnancy or while breast-feeding prevented allergies. There also was no proof for waiting until after age 4 or 6 months to give babies certain foods. But the AAP still recommends delaying the introduction of solid foods until infants are at least 4 months of age.

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