Eczema and Breastfeeding

It is no secret that breastfeeding has huge advantages for the baby.  Breastfeeding will aid in the development of the baby’s immune system and decrease the chances of a baby developing allergies.

Eczema and allergies are closely related so it stands to reason that breastfeeding your baby will be of benefit if eczema runs in the family.  If one parent has eczema there is a 30% chance the child will develop eczema.  If both parents have or had eczema there is an 80% chance of their child developing eczema.

Colostrum may prevent allergies developing

A study in the 1999 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, showed that colostrum, the milk produced by the mother after the first few days of her baby’s life may help prevent the development of inherited allergies.  The study also showed that colostrum, which is high in protein and antibodies, promotes the production of antibodies in the child.

Allergies are more prone to develop if a child is exposed to allergens early in life.  Breastfeeding a baby exclusively for the first 6 – 12 months will allow the immune system to develop more fully and will therefore reduce the risk of the child developing allergies or eczema that are triggered by foods.

Breastfeeding has many advantages

Breastfeeding your baby has many advantages.  Decreasing the chances of them developing allergies or allergy related illnesses like eczema and asthma make it all the more important.

It is very rare for a baby to be allergic to their mother’s breast milk.  They can however react to a food the mother has eaten and passed on in her milk.  The most common signs of this are the baby developing colic, frequent colds, skin rashes or restless sleeps.

The usual culprit is dairy foods in the mother’s diet.  Cutting all dairy out of the diet will usually help.  The mother should also avoid any foods that she is known to be sensitive to.

It is not known conclusively if breastfeeding will reduce the risk of allergies developing later in life but if you can give your baby an initial allergy free period that has to be a bonus.

Eczema during pregnancy

A woman’s eczema is often altered during pregnancy.  For some the eczema will resolve whilst for others eczema that has laid dormant for years will flare up.

Click the link to find out more about eczema and pregnancy.

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