First feeding may matter for allergies

  • The first formula you feed your baby may affect whether he will develop allergies in the future.

What you feed your baby from the start can make a difference in their long-term health. Breastfeeding is the most natural method of feeding your baby and provides clear immune-related and nutritional advantages to your baby. Breastmilk contains a perfect balance of nutrients, as well as antibodies to help protect your baby against infection.

Moms are encouraged to breastfeed, as this provides the best possible nutrition as well as other benefits for both the child and mom. In addition to this, breastfeeding helps reduce the risk that their child will develop allergies.

Consider when choosing to introduce infant formula, since studies have shown that babies can be sensitized to cow’s milk proteins by receiving less than one bottle of whole-protein formula in their first week of life. To reduce your baby’s risk for atopic dermatitis (AD) —a type of eczema—start out with a 100% whey-protein partially hydrolyzed infant formula.*

Good to know

Partially hydrolyzed formulas should not be fed to infants who are allergic to milk or to infants with existing milk allergy symptoms. If you suspect your baby is already allergic to milk, or if your baby is on a special formula for the treatment of allergy, your baby’s care and feeding choices should be under a doctor’s supervision.

*For healthy infants who are not exclusively breastfed and who have a family history of allergy, feeding 100% whey-protein partially hydrolyzed infant formula from birth up to four months of age instead of a formula containing intact cow’s milk proteins may reduce the risk of developing atopic dermatitis throughout the first year of life. The FDA has concluded that the relationship between 100% whey-protein partially hydrolyzed infant formulas and the reduced risk of atopic dermatitis is uncertain, because there is little scientific evidence for the relationship. 
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