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Nasty Mamas Have Healthy Babies: Sucking On Your Baby's Dummy Prevents Diseases
Nasty Mamas Have Healthy Babies: Sucking On Your Baby's Dummy Prevents Diseases

The women who suck on their baby’s dummy before they give it to the child are considered nasty by society but the health facts consider them the stars.

According to the new research sucking on the baby’s dummy before giving it to them reduces asthma and eczema.

Researchers believe that transfer of microbes could increase the bacterial diversity of babies’ digestive systems and boost immunity.

'We know these bacteria are important for development,' said Dr Wilfried Karmaus from the University of Memphis, who has studied asthma and eczema, but who was not involved in the new research.

Being delivered through a vaginal birth, for example, exposes babies to more of their mother’s bacteria and has been linked to fewer allergies in childhood.

However, no one has ever looked at transfer of bacteria through dummies before, Dr Karmaus said.

For the new study, researchers recruited pregnant women at one Swedish hospital and followed them and their children for three years.

The 184 infants in the study were particularly allergy-prone because 80 per cent had at least one parent with allergies.

When the babies were six-months-old, 65 parents reported 'cleaning' their dummies by sucking on them.

The children were tested for allergies at 18-months-old and 46 of them had eczema and ten had asthma symptoms.


The transfer of bacteria in the mouth from parents to babies may help strengthen a child's digestive system which could in turn boost immunity

Those whose dummies had been sucked on by their parents were 63 per cent less likely to have eczema and 88 per cent less likely to have asthma, compared to the children of parents who did not use the cleaning technique.

By 36-months-old, however, the difference had disappeared for asthma.

Parental dummy sucking was still tied to a 49 per cent lower chance of a child having eczema, the researchers from Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital in Gothenburg found.

There was no clear link between parents’ dummy cleaning method and babies’ sensitisation to common allergens, such as cats, dogs, eggs or peanuts, at either age.

In a smaller analysis of 33 infants, the same researchers found that babies whose parents did suck on their dummies had different types of bacteria living in their mouths to those whose parents did not.

'This is a simple measure which is really, really nice,' Dr Karmaus said. 'But we need a trial to be really sure that this is protective.'

A gold-standard trial would involve randomly assigning some parents to regularly clean dummies by sucking on them and others to never use that method.

Source: The daily Mail


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