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Breastfeeding may delay onset of food allergies

Allergies are often hereditary with 30-50% of children developing an allergy if one parent has an allergy and 60-80% developing an allergy if both parents have one. Exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first 6 to 12 months can allow time for the child's immune system to develop and hence they may delay food allergies. Exposure to allergens early in life can trigger an immune response. Colostrum, the milk secreted by the mother in the first few days after birth, contains lots of proteins and antibodies which help support the infant's immune system. Breast feeding can also decrease the chance of developing asthma and eczema. However, some babies may react to foods consumed by the mother that come through the milk. These reactions may present as colic, restless sleep, frequent colds, eczema and skin rashes. Milk is the most common food consumed by the mother that may affect the baby.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by About

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Article Source Details

About: Breastfeeding may delay onset of food allergies

Date: 10 January 2005

Source: About

Author: Judy Tidwell

URL: http://allergies.about.com/cs/breastfeeding/a/aa073100a.htm

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