Pregnant women and new mothers receive several messages regarding the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for babies in the first year of life. Breastfeeding is thought to reduce the risk of allergic rhinitis, asthma, food allergies and eczema in children.
However, a new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, has observed no significant difference in allergies found between children who were ever breast fed versus those formula fed.
‘Breastfeeding reduces the risk of allergic rhinitis, asthma, food allergies and eczema in children. But, no significant difference was noted in allergies found between children who were breast fed versus those who were formula fed.’
Lead author Quindelyn Cook said, "We found both groups had similar numbers of kids with hay fever. We also found both groups had similar numbers of kids with asthma, eczema and food allergy."
Allergist Christina Ciaccio, MD, study author and ACAAI Fellow, said, "We know breastfeeding is good for babies, and new mothers should continue to breastfeed. Larger studies need to be done to determine how these results might apply to the larger population."