My husband has the worst allergies I have ever seen. I dread the first sign of spring because the second winter even thinks
about going away, he starts coughing, sneezing and sniffling; by
the time April rolls around, I am ready to move him over to the guest
room just so I can get some sleep at night. Summer brings a few months of relief, but as soon as fall comes along, the ritual repeats itself.

The bizarre thing about his allergies is his brother does not have them. He may occasionally get a headache as the weather changes, but he can happily mow the lawn, play with his son in the park or have his windows open while driving without being reduced to a wheezing ball of allergic reaction like my husband. I have long wondered what could be the reasoning behind this difference. Was his brother just made of stronger stock than my husband? According to my mother-in-law, it was a little more complex. The last time I mentioned my husband’s allergies, she told me he was not breastfed, but his younger brother was. Could this really explain the difference in how the two men responded to the changing seasons?

There is a reason that women produce breast milk, and that is to feed their babies. Breast milk is the natural, ideally formulated food source for babies and offers many amazing benefits for babies and their mothers. Even infant formula companies have begun including breastfeeding recommendations in their commercials in deference to the scientific proof that breast milk far exceeds the quality and benefits of formula for babies. Many researchers point out that babies who are exclusively breastfed are more likely to survive infancy due to lack of exposure to potentially contaminated or otherwise harmful food and water. In areas where these risks are not considered high, researchers still emphasize the importance of breastfeeding in terms of the health benefits for both mother and baby.

A woman who breastfeeds will heal from birth much more quickly and will return to her pre-pregnancy weight more easily. Breastfeeding also acts, for many women, as an effective form of contraception. For the baby, breastfeeding provides immunological agents that will protect him against disease. The mother will produce the specific antibodies needed to defend him against the germs and infections with which he comes in contact regularly. Research has also indicated breastfeeding protects babies from chronic illnesses throughout their lives including allergies, ear infections and digestive problems.

Source: VanLandingham Mark, et al. Contraceptive and Health Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review of the Recent Evidence, International Family Planning Perspectives, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 131-136, December 1991.