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By Dr. Amy Duong (see bio below)
In the past couple months, I’ve had many breastfeeding moms reach out to me for guidance when it comes to breast milk and eczema. Some moms have eczema themselves and others have babies that have eczema. Every case is different since the paths and factors that lead to acute and chronic eczema can be varied, including hereditary predisposition, drug therapy (steroids, antibiotics), a weakened immune system after childbirth, and of course the infamous food allergies!
Breast Milk and Eczema – Is there a Connection?
I wanted to take this time to speak to the connection between mom and child and how to address breastfeeding and eczema. There a couple of underlying factors in pediatrics that can cause baby eczema. First off, the organs in a baby are not fully formed and are more delicate in their first months and years of life. The physiological and physical constituents of children are still weak and immature; thus, they are more prone to express their toxicity more quickly, such as through the skin as eczema.
In addition, during the first years of life, a child receives energy and sustenance from its parents, especially the mother who can supply breast milk for their growth and development. When treating young children and babies, it’s important to always consider the mother and child as a unit, dependent on the other. Treat the mother, and thereby treat the child. Often times, there is a history of eczema, psoriasis, asthma or other inflammatory condition in either parent that passes to the child. In addition to hereditary predisposition, the health of the mom, which can be determined from her diet, lifestyle, and emotional stress, can transfer to the baby. Here is where the interesting connection between breast milk and baby eczema lies.
Through a full evaluation of the breastfeeding mother’s own health such as their past medical history, food allergies, digestive and immune health, and diet, we can improve her health and through her breast milk, affect her baby’s health. Breastfeeding has proven in medical studies to reduce the occurrence of asthma and atopic dermatitis in children later; however, it’s important that the breast milk is agreeable, and the baby doesn’t have a breast milk allergy, in order for the baby’s own immune and digestive system to assimilate nutrients well and provide optimal growth, development and eczema-free living.
Dr. Duong’s Recommendations:
- Treating the mom’s health (proper diet, sleep, and stamina).
- Ensuring allergen-free breast milk helps the baby thrive without the typical symptoms of eczema – rash, itchiness, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.
- Eliminate food allergies for mom and baby, most notable are dairy, gluten and eggs.
- Address yeast overgrowth properly, strengthen the liver’s detoxification pathways.
- Soothe the skin topically with a natural eczema treatment for babies.
Dr. Amy Duong completed her Naturopathic Doctorate at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, where she also trained in Acupuncture. She offers general naturopathic care with a special focus on skin disorders including eczema, acne and psoriasis as well as anxiety, depression and digestive concerns. Currently, Dr. Duong is based in Connecticut where she sees many lovely patients of all ages with common skin conditions and other medical concerns in her naturopathic medical practice. She also shares her expertise with people across the country and overseas through phone and Skype consultations. Visit www.naturalskindr.com for more information on her approach to skin care and to set-up an appointment.
Check out Amy on Instagram too!
Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.