Cesarean Delivery & Food Allergies

Children born by C-section to allergic mothers are more than 4 times more likely to develop proven egg allergies than are peers born vaginally, according to a fascinating study in the August 2003 Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Parents of these children were more than 7 times more likely to report the children developing allergies to egg, fish, or nuts. What could cause this? C-section delays the colonization of the baby’s gut with beneficial bacteria. Other research has shown that these beneficial bacteria help prevent allergies and improve immune function.

I strongly recommend breastfeeding, and all the more so for children born by C-section. Breastfeeding promotes beneficial bacteria in the gut. Earlier research suggests that mothers taking active cultures of beneficial bacteria during the third trimester and during nursing can help prevent allergies as well.

Published on: September 08, 2003
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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