Breast and early solid feeding to prevent allergies?

Posted at 4:11 pm on 01/21/2015 by Powlin V. Manuel MD, MBA, MS.
There has been real confusion among parents about the advantage of breast-feeding and when to start solid foods. We (physicians) are responsible for the confusion as we keep changing the recommendation for introduction of solid foods. We used to advise parents to avoid early introduction in order to avoid allergies – the recommendation has changed recently.

The following the latest observation based on the studies of Nwaru, B.I. et al (2013):


1. Early introduction of wheat, rye, oats, barley, fish and eggs decrease the risk for asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic ensitization in childhood.


2. Longer duration of breast feeding, but not exclusive breast feeding was protective against development of non-allergic asthma.

The following is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics: Exclusive breast feeding for four to six months; follow it with introduction of complementary foods.

We suggest based on the current findings published by the researchers, to stay with exclusive breast feeding for the first four months, followed by all other foods during the first year along with continuing breast feeding.


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