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Is there a link between breastfeeding and eczema.....

(10 Posts)
randommummy Mon 21-Feb-11 19:52:42

This might be a result of over analysis of the causes of everything. I breast fed DD1, only for about 10 days but I did, DD2 was straight on the bottle as I was so demoralised from my initial experience. I decided to give it another go with DS1 and mananged 11 weeks. DD1 and DS1 both developed eczema, DD2 is the most robust of the 3 of them! I've done a bit of reading which suggests that there might be a link with breast feeding for less than 7 months and eczema as well as breast feeding for an excessively long time. Has anyone had any similar experiences?

changeforthebetter Mon 21-Feb-11 20:06:05

Unless you are used to reading clinical research (which I am not either) then be wary of much of the information on the internet. The demonstrable links between not breastfeeding and the development of eczema are slight. However, given the myriad of other known protective and growth-promoting qualities of human milk, it is always going to be the preferred choice in terms of infant health (totally accept that it's the mother's choice how to feed her baby).

"breastfeeding for an excessively long time" sounds like formula marketing-speak curious but that's a whole other argument.

If you are interested then this is a reliable source which does not just highlight pro breastfeeding research but all work in the area.

ZuzuBailey Mon 21-Feb-11 20:12:30

DD1 - BF for 2 weeks then FF - no eczema.

DS - BF for 3.5 months, then FF - eczema started at about 3 weeks.

DD2 - BF for 6.5 months, no formula at all - no eczema.

AngelDog Mon 21-Feb-11 21:14:27

My understanding has always been that bf (of whatever length) makes allergies & eczema less likely.

That was also what I was told by the pharmacist who runs the Drugs in Breastmilk helpline for the Breastfeeding Network (she is also a bf supporter).

That sort of link is always a general statistical trend, and may or may not be apparent in the case of any individual baby(ies).

ambarth Mon 21-Feb-11 22:00:59

Me FF eczema

DD bf for 5 months eczema

ds bf for 2 years eczema

So confused

Bilbomum Tue 22-Feb-11 11:08:47

Me FF moderate eczema

DS bf for 2 years severe eczema

DD bf for 19 months no eczema

Think it's more to do with genetics personally....

LoisSanger Tue 22-Feb-11 11:11:39

DS bf for 9 months no excema
DD bf for 9 months moderate excema

ShirleyKnot Tue 22-Feb-11 11:13:45

Me - FF - no excema
DS - BF for 6 weeks then FF - no excema
DS2 - BF for 3 months then FF - infantile excema, now completely gone.

suiledonne Tue 22-Feb-11 11:14:01

DD1 BF for 11 months - eczema (and a host of allergies, asthma etc)

DD2 27 months still BF - No eczema, allergies or health issues of any kind.

foxytocin Tue 22-Feb-11 11:24:10

Me - no eczema

dd1 bf till 5yo moderately severe eczema.
dd2 still bf at 2.5yo. v mild eczema.

main difference, moderate allergy to egg and mild allergy to dairy which I was consuming (egg but not diary)till she was diagnosed with at 2.5yo. She was also getting dairy in other places in her diet though. I stopped eating egg and eczema cleared up significantly. I suspect with 2 allergens others untested still existed plus environmental factors were at play here.

dd2 is not allergic to egg or dairy.

most importantly, pronounced history of eczema on paternal side of the family including, I believe, egg allergy which no one in the family had been diagnosed with but from family stories, I began to suspect.

So genetics play a big role in eczema. However, I would not do anything different, knowing what I know now. I have faith that without breastfeeding her eczema would have been worse. In fact, she was starting to develop asthma at 2yo which made me push for allergy testing. Breastfeeding made parenting an uncomfortable child easier.

Also I went with breastfeeding because I was scared of diarrhea and vomiting in babies which is much more prevalent and for which the evidence for breastfeeding is robust. I work full time and they attended/attend nursery full time and while they have had the odd icky nappy, neither have ever suffered a bout of D&V despite exposure to many children who have. In fact, at nearly 6, dd1 had her first vomiting episode and did not know what it was and how to react to it.

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