Extended Breastfeeding Does Not Prevent Eczema

Breastfeeding and Eczema

There is no clear evidence that breastfeeding a baby for four months or longer prevents eczema in children, a new study reports.

The study, which was the largest and most far-reaching on the topic yet, dismisses the belief of many – including health ministries in Europe – that four months of exclusive breastfeeding will protect a child from eczema and other allergies. It concluded that babies who were breastfed for four months or more were just as likely to get eczema during childhood as babies who were weaned earlier. Scientists from King’s College London conducted the research, which was published online in the British Journal of Dermatology.

The World Health Organization, UK Department of Health and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services currently recommend that mothers breastfeed babies up to six months of age. Now, the researchers suggest that these guidelines regarding eczema need to be reviewed.

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