Breast feeding

Breastfeeding and asthma  

There are so many benefits to breastfeeding that the Department of Health advises women to breastfeed exclusively (only feeding your baby with breast milk) for the first six months if possible. You can continue breastfeeding alongside other foods after that, for as long as you, and your baby, want to. Some research even suggests that breastfeeding may help reduce the chance of babies developing asthma.

Sometimes it isn’t possible for women to breastfeed. If you decide to bottle-feed your baby, speak to your midwife or health visitor about the best milk formula to use.

More information on breastfeeding can be found on the NHS Choices website or on the NCT website.

If I’m taking asthma treatment can I breastfeed?

It’s safe to breastfeed your baby when you’re taking asthma medicines. You should continue to take your asthma medicine as prescribed.

  • Inhaled asthma medicines won’t affect your baby when you breastfeed.
  • Only very small amounts of asthma medicines pass into breast milk and these are no risk to your baby.
  • Medicines prescribed for asthma don’t affect your body’s ability to make breast milk.
  • If you’re able to, breastfeeding is the best choice for your baby.

Are there foods I should avoid giving my baby?

You may have heard about previous advice to avoid giving children foods that contain peanuts before the age of three if there’s a history of allergy in the child’s immediate family (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergy or other types of allergy). This has now changed because the latest research has shown there’s no clear evidence that this will help reduce the risk of your child developing a peanut allergy. Talk to your GP or health visitor if you still have concerns.

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Last Updated: Aug 2014
Next Review Due: Aug 2017

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