You might be hoping your little darling inherits your eye colour or hair type, but what about your allergies? If you have eczema, “hayfever”, or asthma, there are ways you might reduce the chances of your child suffering too.
Atopic disease includes common conditions such as eczema, asthma, food allergies, and other allergies that have symptoms including a “runny” nose. If you have atopic disease, your child is more likely to have allergies compared with a child born to a mom who doesn’t have atopic disease.
But the good news is that passing on your allergies might not be inevitable. Scientists have discovered that your child may benefit if you take specific probiotic supplements during pregnancy and provide them to your child through breastfeeding. Research suggests that some probiotics may be effective in reducing the risks of your child developing atopic dermatitis, or eczema — the most common allergic condition during infancy. The probiotics used in these studies are safe for you and your child. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider for more information about the type and amount of probiotic that could benefit your child.
Breastfeeding can also help reduce your little one’s risk of developing some types of allergies. This is because breast milk contains a combination of factors that helps your child’s immune system become more mature.
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Fleischer DM, Spergel JM, Assa’ad AH et al. Primary prevention of allergic disease through nutritional interventions. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2013; 1:29-36.
Kalliomaki M, Collado M, Salminen S et al. Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87:534-8.
Kim JY, Kwon JH, Ahn SH et al. Effect of probiotic mix (Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus) in the primary prevention of eczema: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010: 21: e386–93.
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Last revised: August, 2016
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