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Breastfeeding

Current government advice is to exclusively breastfeed infants for the first 6 months of life if possible1 and that there is no reason for women who are breastfeeding their babies to avoid eggs or other allergenic foods unless they themselves are allergic to them2.

It is known that maternal antigens to potential food allergens, such as eggs, can pass into breast milk and it was suggested previously that infants might be sensitised to foods by exposure to these antigens in their mother’s milk. However, there is only limited evidence to support this suggestion and the authors of a recent Cochrane review on the subject concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend antigen avoidance diets during breastfeeding to reduce the risk of subsequent infant allergies.

Although they observed that further research in this area is required3, in the meantime, there is no reason for women who are breastfeeding their babies to avoid eggs unless they themselves are allergic to them.

Sources

​1. NHS Choices http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/why-breastfeed.aspx

2. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/lifestyle-breastfeeding.aspx

3. Kramer and Kakuma (2012) Maternal dietary antigen avoidance during pregnancy or lactation, or both, for preventing or treating atopic disease in the child. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;9:CD000133. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000133.pub3.

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boiled eggs & soldiers