As you prepare to welcome a new member into your family, we want to make sure you have the latest information on what you need to know for yourself and your new baby.
Pregnancy and Food Allergies
The Dietary Guidelines say the following: "when making food and beverage choices, women should know that unless it’s medically indicated to avoid for her own health, women do not need to restrict their choices during pregnancy or lactation to prevent food allergy from developing in their child.” The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Guidelines for Diagnosing a Food Allergy recommends that “a mother not restrict her diet during pregnancy or when breastfeeding as a way to prevent food allergy from developing in her child.” And the Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote that “no conclusions can be made about the role of breastfeeding in either preventing or delaying the onset of specific food allergies.”
Here are some helpful facts about breastfeeding and allergies:
- It’s not clear whether breastfeeding, or a mother’s diet while breastfeeding, has an effect on the development of food allergies.
- Exclusive breastfeeding for three to four months may protect against eczema in the first two years of life.
- Any breastfeeding beyond three to four months may protect against wheezing in the first two years of life.
- Breastfeeding for longer duration may protect against asthma, even after age five.
- Breastfeeding is ideal in many ways for your baby’s health. You can add complementary foods with breastfeeding and/or formula around 4-6 months.