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Prospective study on the atopy preventive effect of maternal avoidance of milk and eggs during pregnancy and lactation

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The preventive effect of maternal avoidance of cow's milk and eggs on the development of atopic dermatitis and sensitization to food allergens was studied in a prospective trial with families at high risk for atopy. intervention included encouraging exclusive breast feeding for at least 3 months and delaying the controlled introduction of solid foods. In addition, one group received a maternal diet with the complete avoidance of milk and eggs in the last trimester of pregnancy and during the period of exclusive breast feeding, another group had the same diet starting after delivery, and mothers of the third group had no dietary restrictions. The period prevalences of atopic dermatitis as well as the rates of specific sensitization to eggs and milk at 6 and 12 months were not significantly different between groups. We were unable to demonstrate a significant preventive effect of maternal diet.


While breast feeding should be promoted for children at risk for atopy, mothers can be encouraged to stay on normal diet during pregnancy and the breast feeding period.

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atopic dermatitis


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Herrmann, M.E., Dannemann, A., Grüters, A. et al. Prospective study on the atopy preventive effect of maternal avoidance of milk and eggs during pregnancy and lactation. Eur J Pediatr 155, 770–774 (1996).

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