oa Professional Nursing Today - Does breastfeeding prevent atopic disorders? : midwifery
Conflicting study results on the role of breast-milk feeding have been reported in the literature. These diverging results may be related to the complex interaction between breast milk, the intestinal milieu, and the immune system of both baby and mother, as well as the environment. Breast-milk feeding remains the gold standard of infant nutrition during infancy. Although its role in the prevention of atopic disorders in children is still not conclusive, there is evidence that it may protect some infants against eczema and that prolonged breastfeeding may afford protection against asthma in younger children. There is a lack of evidence that maternal dietary restrictions during pregnancy and lactation play a significant role in the prevention of atopic disease in infants with the possible exception of atopic eczema. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4-6 months should be promoted. Health care workers should refrain from prescribing unsubstantiated dietary regimens during pregnancy and lactation to mothers with a history of atopy in their children as such diets could be harmful to both the mother and her baby.
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