"Even for women who aren't going to be able to breastfeed on a regular basis, really try to do so right after birth. It's different from the milk produced even a few days later, because it's packed with a lot of factors that get the baby's immune system off to a good start."
Catherine Field, nutrition professor, University of Alberta, also had this to say about breast milk:
“We know it’s the perfect food, but it could be made more perfect by some of the things moms eat and do. New studies are suggesting there are foods and nutrients that a nursing mom can eat that build immune tolerance to even further reduce the chance that her baby will develop an allergy.”
“It’s been shown that feeding formula too early puts babies at risk of developing allergies.” She suggests waiting at least six months before gradually introducing formula.
Field also advises new mothers that eating salmon or taking a fish oil supplement can triple the amount of omega-3 fatty acid DHA in breast milk. That in turn will enhance the development of their baby’s immune system.