A new study shows that, contrary to popular belief, breast-feeding doesn't keep kids from getting eczema.
According to the Times, researchers tested 50,000 kids for eczema and other allergies. They also asked their mothers whether and for how long the kids had been breast-fed. They found that breast-feeding did not reduce incidence of eczema, and was in fact associated with a slight increase in risk, although scientists think that's because moms who noticed skin problems in their kids might have consciously decided to breast-feed for longer. Says lead study author Carsten Flohr,
We're not questioning the benefits of breast-feeding. But when it comes to prevention of eczema, neither breast-feeding itself nor prolonged breast-feeding seems to be protective.
As he says, breast-feeding may well have other benefits. But it's important to know which conditions it doesn't prevent, both so moms who can't breast-feed can feel less guilty and so we can develop actual preventive measures for these illnesses.
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