A study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine has shown that breastfeeding newborns is linked to their protection against common food allergies. The study was conducted in mice by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Milk from mice that had been exposed to egg protein provided egg allergy protection to their offspring, as well as to offspring of other mice who had not been exposed to egg protein. The study found that the offspring of egg protein exposed mothers did not receive a sufficient amount of egg allergy protection if they were not also breast fed. The the offspring with the greatest allergy protection came from egg protein exposed mothers that both birthed and nursed the newborn. The results of the study are consistent with new dietary recommendations which promote consumption of commonly allergenic foods such as milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish, while pregnant and nursing.
How often do you discuss breastfeeding with new mothers or counsel them about food allergies? Do you discuss the consumption of highly allergenic food during pregnancy?