Allergies or intolerances can develop in people of any age, for various reasons. But, when your baby is a newborn, the nutrition he receives can affect how likely he is to develop certain types of allergies.
Cow’s milk protein is the leading cause of food allergy in babies and children under three years of age. Rates vary by region but it is estimated that cow’s milk protein allergy affects 2-3% of the infant population worldwide.
The protective effect of breastfeeding for infants with a family history of allergy is well supported by many studies. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first crucial months is highly recommended as it is the most practical way to reduce the chances of your baby developing an allergy to cow’s milk protein.
If you suspect your baby might be allergic to cow’s milk protein, ask your healthcare provider for advice.
Agostoni C, Braegger C, Decsi T et al. Breast-feeding: A commentary by the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2009; 49(1):112–25.
Fleischer DM, Spergel JM, Assa’ad AH et al. Primary prevention of allergic disease through nutritional interventions. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2013; 1(1):29-36.