There is a hereditary risk of allergy if close relatives (father and mother or siblings) have an allergy (hay fever, asthma or neurodermatitis, for example). In this case you can already ask your doctor to fill in an allergy questionnaire for you. Take it with you when you go in to give birth. Then the clinic staff will be fully informed.
Being at risk of allergy doesn’t automatically mean your child will develop an allergy. The best protection against it is exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4-6 months so that the delicate immune system will not be irritated by foreign proteins – from weaning food, for example.
True cow milk is rare, at less than 1% incidence according to the World Allergy Organization (WAO).
If true cow milk allergy is rare, why has prevalence of allergic manifestations such as atopic eczema, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma, increased worldwide?
The KOALA Birth Cohort Study in Netherlands (n 2764) published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2008 showed that consumption of organic dairy products was associated with a reduced risk of eczema by as much as 36%.
Sources: WAO Journal 2010, British Journal of Nutrition (2008), 99, 598-605.