SureBaby Blog

Peanut Allergies and Breastfeeding Linked!

Posted by Alissa Robson

What happens when two hot-button issues collide? Peanut allergies and breastfeeding are at the heart of recent research out of Australia.

According to a study from the Australian National University, children who are exclusively fed breastmilk for the first six months of their lives had a 1.5-times greater chance of having a nut allergy by the time they started school.

The study also concluded that children who were fed other foods and fluids had a higher resistance to nut allergies.

But there are conflicting results, or at least other studies that point to the many health benefits of breastfeeding, including those that say breastfeeding over the long-term can actually help reduce allergies.

Australian Breastfeeding Association spokeswoman Merideth Laverty raised the very valid point that the findings in individual research studies like this one – particularly those on hot-button issues like peanut allergies – could turn many women off of breastfeeding; an outcome that she sees as less than desirable given the many health benefits that have been linked with breastfeeding.

But on the other side, Professor Marjan Kljakovic from ANU makes a good point as well:

“Peanut allergy accounts for two-thirds of all fatal food-induced allergic reactions. It is important for us to understand how feeding practices might be playing a part.”

Which side of the peanut allergy / breastfeeding debate are you on? Do the pros or cons of one outweigh those of the other?

Let us know in the SureBaby comments!

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