Allergies and the Breastfeeding Families

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Hello ~

I thought I would attach an interesting section of the La Leche League's website entitled, "Allergies and the Breastfeeding Families". As I scanned the article, I didn't notice any mention of peanuts as a life threatening allergy.

I am not a nursing mother but I did nurse my son for 18 months. I don't belong to La Leche League so I don't have any connections with them now.

Has anyone ever tried to contact them? And what was the response?

Nicole

[url="http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug98p100.html"]http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug98p100.html[/url]

[This message has been edited by Nicole (edited February 14, 1999).]

On Feb 14, 1999

Hi Nicole Interstingly enough, my oldest who is 14 and has no food allergies was bottle fed. My 4 yrold who was nursed has a life threatening allergy to peanutbutter/peanuts and other food allergies. Although i did not belong to any support group, I do question the term "breast is best". Keeping in mind that i am aware that the allergy will rear its ugly head regardless of the childs' start in life

On Feb 15, 1999

Hi CB ~

I failed to mention that my 12 year old was bottle fed and doesn't have any allergies either. I do think that our kids are predisposed for these allergies and breast or bottle feeding them may or may not have made a difference. My point in this is that I wish my OB would have cautioned me against eating nuts and I wish my Pediatrican had cautioned me against feeding my infant/toddler nut products too early. Word is out on honey and infants...hopefully the nut/peanut issue will travel fast and new mothers and fathers won't have to deal with this.

We share similar stories I think. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole

On Feb 16, 1999

I breastfed my child for a year. When he had a allergic reaction after eating a peanut butter cookie, we took him to an allergist who told me that I probably sensitized him with my breastmilk. (I did eat peanut butter while I was nursing.)

I've since done a lot of asking around and I'm not so sure that there's a direct link -- in other words, my breastfeeding did not cause him to have a peanut allergy. Several allergists have said my son would probably have developed a peanut allergy sooner or later, that he was genetically predisposed. And an allergist friend told me last night that it would have been impossible to avoid everything that he might have been allergic to because we have no way of knowing. For my son it was peanuts, for another child, it may be milk. So should I give up everything but rice to avoid sensitizing my baby? That's not a good idea. (I will, however, give up peanuts if I ever get pregnant again.)

I'm hoping that my breasfeeding is helping him deal better with an unfortunate allergy that he would have had anyway. Perhaps his immune system and defense mechanisms are stronger for it and the allergy would have been worse without breastfeeding. I can only hope I helped him, rather than hurt him.

My lactation consultant said that for babies who have eczema, breastfeeding definitely helps -- she's had clients who have switched to formula and the children's eczema problems have gotten worse.

--Tracy

On Feb 16, 1999

When GUILT set in when I found out that breastfeeding my child had predisposed him to a peanut allergy, I called the La Leche League. They did not want to give me the time of day to discuss this issue. This was four years ago. And although I believe that there must be a genetic predisposition to this allergy as in any other condition, I think that his allergy is severe because I did not avoid peanuts during lactation. The peanut protein, I was told by an MD, does pass through a mother's milk.

On Feb 16, 1999

Hi everyone,

I breastfed both of my children, ages 8 and 4. My daughter (8)has no known food allergies and my son, who has eczema,is also peanut anaphylactic. I ate peanut products with both of them. My husband also has eczema and there is a history of asthma in his family. I think you all are right...if you are going to get it, you're going to get it regardless. I don't think there is really an easy answer to any of it.

On Feb 17, 1999

Mary Catherine wrote:

"When GUILT set in when I found out that breastfeeding my child had predisposed him to a peanut allergy, I called the La Leche League. They did not want to give me the time of day to discuss this issue. "

I am not surprised you received such a reaction from LLL. I have found LLL does its best to minimize any possible difficulties or criticisms about "breast is best." In fact, I'm cynical enough about LLL to believe that even if it were proven that mothers predisposed to allergies could pass on a life-threatening peanut allergy to their infants through breastmilk, they would emphatically deny it.

I don't think we have anything to feel guilty about even if we did cause this allergy in our children through breastfeeding. Not one of us would have eated peanut products if we had known. But we didn't know. It's all history and now we deal with the situation at hand.

A good place to get the information out is on the breastfeeding Usenet groups as well as misc.kids.pregnancy. Any other ideas on how we can inform others?

Noreen

On Feb 17, 1999

Hi Noreen,

You are right...not one of us would have eaten peanut products had we known it could have hurt our children. By breastfeeding, we thought we were doing the best for our children. Right now, word of mouth is how I let others know to be careful.

On Feb 18, 1999

Nicole; I truly believe allergies will occur mostly as a result of genetic disposition. I am 35 and severly PA and have been for my entire life. My first son is 5 1/2 and was diagnosed with PA by skin test at 3. He never consumed any peanut products nor did he receive any in utero. I did have one allergic reaction however I believe it was to sesame. Who knows! I also exclusively breastfed him for 4 monthes and continued to breastfeed for a year. The allergist was quite baffled. I also went on a restictive diet while i was nursing him to try to control his eczma and nasal congestion: no real success. My second son only has eczema and is not allergic to peanuts. My 5 month old son is following in his brothers footsteps. I am exclusively breastfeeding him and and have recently gone on a very strict diet; no dailry products, eggs, shellfish, fish and of course I cannot eat peanuts or nuts. I must admit that his nasal congestion is better than it was a month ago. His eczema is still the same. It will be interesting to see if he will be PA. There is PA and eczema on my husbands side of the family as well. I do believe that breastfeeding is best nut we cannot feel guilty for our childrens allergies. We still do not know everything! Cynthia...........

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On Feb 18, 1999

I had not read this discussion before, but when I was posting to another board, it dawned on me that I should write here too. I DID NOT breastfeed Katherine, now age 3. She has a severe peanut allergy. I may have eaten peanut butter when I was pregnant, but I also did that with my two sons who are not peanut allergic. My pediatric allergist yesterday was surprised that I did not breastfeed because her score was so high. But I wanted to let you guilty feeling breastfeeding mothers that I wouldn;t beat yourself up over it. Because I believe its in your genes to be allergic or not and thats it. I do agree that I think Pediatricians and OBs should warn about giving peanut products to children who are young. I did not introduce Kahterine to peanut products at an early age because we had other allergies with my other children so I had all ready researched allergies and knew peanuts were a big no-no. Any way she is still severely allergic and I think she was always going to be. I would in hindsite though not eaten peanut products while pregnant. Hope this makes you feel better. We have to feel bad about it but I wouldn't blame yourself for it.

On Feb 18, 1999

My 6 year old son who was allergic to milk, and milk products,citrus( outgrew by 4th birthday) and who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts (cashews specifically), eggs, and penicillin had a reaction on his first accidental exposure to peanuts. Our allergist said that since his "first exposure " caused a reaction it wasn't really his first exposure. I'm sure you all can guess what my favorite food used to be. I ate peanut butter several times a week during the entire pregnancy in 1993. My son rejected breast feeding after 10 days, developed severe exzema, screamed with colic for 5 months,and ended up on the formula called Alimentum. It took me two years of dietary restrictions to get this poor child feeling good (normal crying spells only)and to clear up his skin ( eczema and hives) for the most part. Shortly before his 3rd birthday I found out I was pregnant again. Just as a precaution I ate no peanuts or tree nuts during the pregnancy and during breast feeding. My second son, who was breast fed for 5 months, has had none of these problems. No milk allergy, no eczema, no hives, no colic, just a regular child. He eats only what his older brother can have and before he goes to kidergarten we'll test peanut on his skin only at the allergist's office just to be safe but we hope to have avoided this problem for him. I don't know if what I did while pregnant and breast feeding made any difference but I thought it couldn't hurt. We're keeping our fingers crossed for our second son so he doesn't have to go through what his brother faces many days.

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On Feb 27, 1999

I find it unbelievable how pediatricians do not know a thing about nut allergies. When I mentioned to mine how I ate peanuts all the time while I nursed and my son is ana. to nuts he didnt see any relation to it. Yet the first thing the allergist asked me is, "did you eat peanut products while nursing? There is no question about it. Nursing and eating peanuts can be fatal for our children.I only wish that all doctors including obstetricians,pediatricians,and La Leche learn that of course they are related. We know (you and I) we have to live with this every day. "Will my child be safe in school?" God forbid we get a call on our car phone from the school telling us to hurry up our child had a reaction.I don't know about you but my heart will be sitting in the seat of my car. Another question is why doesn't Food Allergy network argue with groups like La Leche who do such an injustice to all parents,by hiding the fact that nursing and eating nuts can cause possibly fatal anaphylatic reactions in our children? Does anyone else have any opinion on this?? f.shrem

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On Feb 27, 1999

I would like to add that I did not breastfeed but I did eat peanut butter during pregnancy. this also has to be addressed, so pregnant women can make educated choices.

On Feb 27, 1999

While I don't specifically remember eating peanut products while pregnant or nursing (I really don't care that much for peanut butter), my son is anaphylactic peanut allergic. However, I am allergic to cats and had asthma as a child, any my husband is allergic to dogs and now has a slight case of asthma as an adult. So, from all I read here at this site, he is very genetically predisposed. The sad thing is that in all my reading I did while I was pregnant, none of these links to peanut allergy was ever mentioned. I would have avoided ALL peanut products while pregnant and nursing if I had known. I firmly believe that OB/GYN's should be giving pregnant women more info on this. Also, I agree that most pediatricians are too nonchalant about peanut allergies. I called mine with my sons first episode, and he just said to give him benadryl. Fortunately, I had read info on peanut allergies, and knew to get him to an emergency facility immediately. the pediatrician on site there DID realize the critical nature of the problem and prescribed the epipen after my son stayed there for about three hours. From what I am reading here, he probably should have stayed longer for observation, but I didn't know that at the time. Thanks for all the support.

On Feb 27, 1999

Let's not beat ourselves up about this. With the noted increase in this allergy, it is not something that has happened over night. Nor does anybody know for certain that eating peanutbutter/peanut products is in fact the cause. We all have heard that smoking increases the risk of low birth babies. What does one say to the peson who has a low birth baby who did not smoke. Or all the women who followed every thing right, who have childern with birth defects,and illnesses. Then there are the women who drink, smoke, do drugs, eat poorly, and pop out 8, 9 10 pounders. Please stop this self inflicted guilt. It is not healthy. Sorry for the lecture,but it is not anybody's fault. Take care of yourselves!

On Feb 28, 1999

I did a DejaNews search on nut allergies on some USENET breastfeeding and pregnancy groups. There was a recent discussion on misc.kids.pregnancy about the study done in Britain pointing to a possible link between severe peanut allergies and eating peanut products during pregnancy and nursing. Nothing on the breastfeeding group.

However, judging from the posts on this thread, there isn't one mother who can claim that they neither ate peanut products during pregnancy nor during breastfeeding. And one can't ignore the post by the mom who did avoid peanut products during her second pregnancy--after having a first-born who had a severe peanut allergy--and the second child is allergy-free.

I'm sure more studies should be done but I can't ignore the possibility that my eating peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding contributed to his sensitization to the allergen. That doesn't mean I beat myself over the head with a hot iron every day. But I will do my best to inform others.

As I was reading the nut allergy thread on misc.kids.pregnancy, one mom rejected the whole idea and said she would eat anything she wanted during pregnancy. Geez. I wonder if she came and read some of the posts on this newsgroup if she'd change her mind. No amount of peanut butter I ate during pregnancy or the enjoyment thereof can make up for seeing your ten-month old go into anaphylactic shock.

Noreen

On Feb 28, 1999

I have three sons and my third one is the only one I breastfeed. He is the one that is allergic to everything. Peanuts,dairy,eggs,soy,corn,wheat,beef,pork and pennicillin. I also ate alot of peanutbutter during breastfeeding and when I was pregnant. If he did have these allergies and I didn't breastfeed and I would of blamed it on not nursing. I find it strange that he is the one with all the food allergies. I am finding all the info. I can to bring to my ob/gyn doctor so he can post them in his office for women to stay away from peanuts during pregnancy and nursing.

On Feb 28, 1999

It's pretty much a no win situation. There is prenatal teaching in areas that advise ,soon to be moms to avoid peanutbutter/peanuts in the first 36 months of life of the child. Until further research and alot more childern with this allergy will any physcian back this theroy publicly. I have had arguments we the "breast feeding" "expert"a midwife, who said to me " well the allergy would have been worse if you hadn't breast feed". Ignorance is in the air everywhere.And like anything else as i have previosly stated, there no doubt are moms who breast fed and ate peanutbutter and have nonallergic childern. It is very important not to lose sight of the issue here. It no good to get upset with me as my daughter has had an anaphlyactic episde. I am not the enemy here. I tire of having to defend my positon on both sides of the coin. We suposedly have common interests. Take care .

On Feb 28, 1999

Hello its Chris,

I have read many articles and visited many web sites etc. where physicians suggest not eating peanuts during pregnancy or while breast feeding... I have seen articles about not giving children peanuts or peanut products before a certain age...

I have seen articles that mention not to: because of a family history of allergies etc...

Lets remember that we are trying to help others so they won't have to deal with this allergy.

No one should be upset with themselves because their child has this allergy. However if we can help others not to get it we should try.

Many of us have heard that in order to have an allergy to something, you must be exposed to the allergen. Many of us have also heard that if you were not exposed to the allergen until you were older that you might not become allergic to it.

This website allows all of us to let each other know what we think, and helps everyone learn what they might not have heard about otherwise. Many times we hear different information. Let's find and post research on this subject while we discuss it. Let's search for these articles, web sites and research papers and post them on the new "research board" we just put up.

This is emotional issue (aren't they all?) so remember we're all here to help and support each other, but we all need to help each other learn also. Different points of view are very important. This helps us all to think about things in different ways and is very important to our learning.

P.S. I just received an e mail from the March of Dimes and they are still looking into peanuts and pregnancy because of the phone call I made to them about this. Hopefully we can find more information to email them also while we are looking for this material. They have asked for anything we can find on it.

Stay Safe,

------------------ [email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

On Mar 1, 1999

I forgot to mention something else. Perhaps the increase in this allergy is connected to a renewed interest in breastfeeding. More mothers are breastfeeding these days and that could partially explain why peanut allergies are on the rise as well.

Once again, if it is proven that breastfeeding actually *increases* rather than decreases allergies in predisposed individuals, it'll be bad press for LLL. That's why I'm skeptical the breastfeeding community would ever take this up as a serious issue. Although, I'd really like to be proven wrong on this one.

Noreen

On Mar 1, 1999

I discussed this with the allergist that my husband and I went to see last week regarding our 14 month old son's peanut allergy. I breastfed him for a year and ate a lot of peanut butter (on the advice of my obstetrician, who said it was good protein).

The allergist said that the breastfeeding didn't cause the allergy, that it was likely my son would have developed it sooner or later. My son was probably sensitized earlier because of the breastmilk. In a perfect world, I would have avoided peanuts while breastfeeding. But, as another professional told me, my next child could be allergic to milk or eggs, not peanuts... where do you draw the line of foods to avoid?

The allergist also said that normally breastfeeding *delays* allergies, but it doesn't prevent them. So an allergy may not show up right away in a breastfed child, but that doesn't mean it will never show up in children who are genetically predisposed... sooner or later, whether you breastfeed or not. That was my understanding.

Also, it's important to note that children are being introduced to peanuts much earlier than before, which could also explain the earlier sensitizations. If my son wasn't sensitized through my breastmilk, I bet a lot of money someone would have handed him a peanut butter cookie that would have done it. (In fact, that is what happened to alert us to his allergy.) Daycares are giving 1-year-olds peanut butter -- we've all heard stories about this. People do not know that young children should not eat peanuts. My son would have been exposed sooner or later. Guaranteed. And because allergies run in our families, he is a prime candidate for this type of thing.

Our allergist also said he hasn't seen more cases than usual of peanut allergic children. He does have peanut-allergic patients, but he hasn't seen an increase.

Because of all these things, I have adopted a more moderate attitude until more research is done... which is probably what LLL's position will be.

(This new approach is contrasted with my first reaction, which was to blame my son's allergy entirely on myself and the fact that I ate peanuts while breastfeeding.)

--Tracy

On Mar 2, 1999

I would like to point out that my mother breastfed me, and ate no peanuts or peanut butter while pregnant or nursing. I am now at 38, anaphylactic. So I think that the only thing you might be doing by eating PB is sensitizing a child who WILL be allergic anyway.

STOP beating yourselves over the head! You have many more resources now than I had as a child, and I made it through to adulthood, in spite of PB-eating siblings, Halloween candy, well-meaning relatives & friends with food, & beer nuts at the pub. Liz

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On Mar 2, 1999

Anyone interested in Breastfeeding and Peanut allergies should look at FAN's tip of the day.

On Mar 2, 1999

Well, here you go... interesting... I learned of this pointer from the Research forum.

--Tracy

[url="http://www.aaaai.org/media/pressreleases/1999/03/990301.html"]http://www.aaaai.org/media/pressreleases/1999/03/990301.html[/url]

March 1, 1999

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 611 E. Wells Street Milwaukee, WI 53202-3889

The role of the uterine environment in the pathogenesis of peanut allergy ORLANDO, FL

On Mar 3, 1999

Thanks for posting the study, Tracy. First off, I want to say I do not find myself in the position of devil's advocate very often. Second, I'm not out to offend anyone or throw about accusations that a mother's behavior "caused" this tragedy in her child.

Before I go into a review of the study, I want to give some background. I have a specialty in medical librarianship and was completing my internship at one of the largest medical libraries in the country during my pregnancy. When I was not answering reference questions, I had access to every major medical database and one of my favorite things to do was to look up what was contraindicated during pregnancy. And I never saw anything about mothers with a history of allergies avoiding peanuts. I heard about breastfeeding moms cutting out dairy, chocolate, caffeine, etc.; but never peanuts. So no one needs to take on any blame for this, no matter what present or future studies show. If even I, with the world's medical resources at my fingertips did not know, you shouldn't have either. Now with that out of the way, I hope we can enter into a dispassioned and honest debate about Tracy's findings.

This is an interesting study but it has a very small sample size and would need to be replicated in order to have significance. What I'm getting out of it is that peanut allergies are not "caused" in utero. That's not counter to what I've been saying: people do have a general predisposition for this allergy. My main concern is that the allergy can be *aggravated* in utero and during breastfeeding with repeated exposures. In other words, my son came genetically programmed for a peanut allergy but I didn't help the situation by ingesting peanuts during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. So I would say we'd need a separate study to determine that.

Anyway, I don't think we should discount this therory by the publishing of this article. First off, anybody can give a presentation at a annual conference. And secondly, we have one study which shows a predisposition. So as far as the research goes, it's a tie. In the meantime, I would err on the side of caution and tell everyone I know that there is a chance that mother's with a family history of allergies (and especially peanut allergies) should avoid peanut products during pregnancy and lactation.

Noreen

On Mar 3, 1999

Norreen,

I COMPLETELY agree with you that I probably aggravated my son's peanut allergy by eating peanuts while pregnant and nursing, especially while nursing. Had I known he was predisposed to having this allergy, I would have avoided peanuts -- anyone would have.

You've also made me feel a lot better about not knowing about this beforehand -- with your access to all the medical information. My husband and I read everything we could get our hands on while I was pregnant. We also took long lists of questions to my obstetrician, the lactation consultant and my son's pediatrician. No question was too dumb for us. So I feel like we really did our homework and when I heard about the peanut link, I was amazed, because I had never read anything about it before. Had I known, I would have avoided peanuts; we have allergies on both sides of the family. We even interviewed the pediatrician when I was 7-8 months pregant, told him of our family histories and asked him what we needed to know and be aware of. He told me to breastfeed as long as possible, but beyond that, there wasn't anything I could do.

Anyway, I'm moving on from the guilt phase to the "what can we do about this" phase, which is much more productive.

Thanks for your comments,

Tracy

On Mar 3, 1999

From what I've been reading, it seems a number of you have family histories of allergies (food and others). I'm wondering how many have no family history of allergies but has a kid with pn allergy.

Our family has no history of allergies with the only exception is me being allergic to amoxicilian and my husband's sister has hayfever and adult-onset asthma. I ate a little bit of pb during pregancy and probably more during breastfeeding but not tons (there were a few months during bf when I ate 3 pb bagels/week--doesn't seem like a real alot?). Yet, my child is pn allergic. The doctors said I wouldn't have been told to avoid pn anyway because I had no family history of allergies.

On Mar 5, 1999

Hi everyone, I took my 5 year old son who has peanut allergy (and was breast fed for over a year) to the allergist yesterday, and was told that people who have peanut allergy are also usually allergic to soy protein. Apparently it is the same allergen. Does anyone know anything about this? Shouls we have also stayed away from soybean during pregnancy?!! Elisar

On Mar 5, 1999

Hi Elisar,

That is really interesting. I never avoid soy in my pb allergic son's diet. and he seems to have no problems with it. Doesn't it seem that there is no end to this? Guess we really have to trust God with our kids lives. Thanks for the good comments.

On Mar 6, 1999

This is from our original board (which there are links to on each board)

It was: Posted by Mary on September 12, 1998 at 08:12:27:

In Reply to: avoid peanuts when pregnant? posted by Mildred on September 11, 1998 at 21:19:16:

Hi Mildred, the following site, 2nd to last paragraph, notes Dr. Sampson has recommending pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to avoid peanuts.

[url="http://www7.yahoo.com/text/headlines/970922/health/stories/food_1.html"]http://www7.yahoo.com/text/headlines/970922/health/stories/food_1.html[/url]

This was 9-22-97 lets find more recent studies!

On Mar 6, 1999

This was January 1999 and was part of the Journal of Allergy and Immunology

361 The Role of the Uterine Environment in the Pathogenesis of Peanut Allergy.

G Lack DES Fox J Golding Peanut is one of the most common causes of food allergy in children in the UK and presentation occurs during early childhood. It is unclear to what extent genetic and environmental factors are responsible. It has been suggested that transplacental passage of peanut allergen causes in utero sensitisation while transmission through breast milk causes neonatal sensitisation. This has led to recent Department of Health recommendations in the UK that atopic mothers should avoid peanuts during pregnancy and lactation. Analysis of concordance rates for peanut allergy in monozygotic (MZ) twins, dizygotic (DZ) twins and singleton siblings has allowed us to evaluate the relative contributions of such factors. Questionnaire-derived data was obtained from 19 pairs of twins and 37 peanut allergic singletons with siblings. Extent and duration of breast feeding were comparable within twin pairs. Peanut allergy was confirmed by convincing clinical history, specific IgE testing, and/or skin prick testing and in cases of doubt, double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge. The concordance rate in MZ twins was 29% whereas the concordance rate in DZ twins was lower and comparable with singleton siblings.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Concordance % Concordance MZ Twin Pairs (n=7) 2/7 29.0 DZ Twin Pairs (n=12) 1/12 8.0 Singleton Siblings (n=37) 4/37 10.8

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whilst genetics plays an important part in the development of peanut allergy, the relatively low concordance rate in MZ twins implies that exposure to peanuts in utero and in breast milk cannot be important causes of peanut allergy. The concordance rate among DZ twins and singleton siblings provides further evidence against the role of in utero exposure.

On Mar 6, 1999

Hi Elisar [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] To answer your question I have read that 25% of those with the peanut allergy are also either soy sensitive or allergic. FYI, my daughter is soy sensative, which really is not nice, because she also has a milk allergy. Hopefully she will out grow the milk allergy. Take care [img]http://client.ibboards.com/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Mar 8, 1999

Our son showed an elevated score on his RAST tests for soy. The first test he scored a "1" and the second he was a little less than a 1. We were told to avoid soy. I had been giving him soy formula at the time with no apparent reactions, but switched to milk formula. Soy and peanuts are from the same legume family, so that may have something to do with it.

--Tracy

On Mar 24, 1999

Hi Brenda and everyone, I just had my 3 year old diagnosed with a peanut allergy. His older brother (5) was exposed to quite a bit of peanut butter as I had Gestational Diabetes with him and ate peanut butter every morning for protein while I was pregnant. He also was exposed for a year while I was nursing. He does not have a peanut allergy.

I didn't eat much peanut butter during the second pregnancy or while I was nursing.I also didn't give him any peanut butter until he had a Ritz Bit with peanut butter when he was 2 1/2. He had a reaction(hives) and I decided not to give him any peanuts until he was tested at age 3. I was shocked when the diagnosis was a severe peanut allergy. There is no one on either side of the family who has any food allergy.

I now have a 4 month old daughter whom I nurse exclusively. The allergist suggested I don't eat any peanuts, nuts, or shellfish and have her tested at age 3.

I was so surprised to find out about the allergy as I know no one in the family that has allergys but I'm taking no chances with my new daughter.

Good Luck. Linda

On Mar 26, 1999

Hi everybody. I am new on the boards and have been reading avidly the wealth of information - this particular board has really caught my attention (along with the topic under the Main Discussion Board, "Breastfeeding and Pregnant Moms - Beware")As I wrote on the other board, my 14 month old is peanut anaphylactic (we found out at 11 months). I was an avid reader of "what to eat when you're expecting", along with a couple of other wonderful nutrition guides for pregnancy. Not a one mentioned avoiding peanuts if you have a history of allergy in the family. I propose writing to these books, along with magazines, like Child, Parenting, etc., who still publish peanut butter as the "great source of protein" , "great quick snack" etc., and letting them know that there should be some sort of warning mention for women with a history of allergies to avoid PB. Would anyone be interested in signing such a letter if I eventually get one written? I will run the idea by Chris as well.

I also think that there should be a warning mention on peanuts and peanut products saying that pregnant women and nursing women should "use with caution", or something to that extent. I recently cut an article out of the new york times regarding latex allergies which recommended putting warning labels on all products containing latex. Why not peanuts?

Thanks for your input

Astrid mom in Reston, VA

On Apr 29, 1999

Hi Astrid- Just a quick note to let you know that I posted a reply to you under the main discussion board-Pregnant moms beware.

On Jun 4, 1999

I am a new member and read with interest all the info posted on breastfeeding and peanut allergies. I have a five year old who is peanut allergic and I am also a La Leche League leader. I have always felt that the breastfeeding sensitized my daughter to peanuts. I certainly am glad that I breastfed her-I only wish I had known. I believe that La Leche League can't make a statement on this until the evidence is conclusive. As a leader, I have personally warned mothers to avoid peanuts while pregnant and lactating. La Leche League is the world's foremost authority on breastfeeding. Some individual members may have biases, but La Leche League International will shed light on every aspect of breastfeeding (negative and positive) I believe. I must add that my youngest daughter was also breastfed and has no allergies.

On Jun 8, 1999

Brenda, There are no known food allergies in mine or my husband's families.We both are from large families. My pn allergic son has 30 first cousins. I have four children and my third is #6 allergic to peanuts.(we are still waiting to test my 1 year old.) With all of the pregnancies I ate peanut butter many times a week, I loved it. I think there probably is a pre disposition for it, but maybe if the children weren't exposed to it so young they wouldn't develop a full blown allergy. I can tell you now I won't be exposing any "future children" to this unnecessarily.

On Aug 20, 1999

Hi Friends,

I too did not know about avoiding possible allergens while pregnant and breastfeeding. I wish the books or the Obstericians said something to me and let me make my own decision.

Perhaps we should start a study of our own. It seems, from this thread, that there is growing evidence that many SEVERELY allergic children are predisposed and breastfed.

I'm am writing simply to add my name to this growing list. My family has a history of allergies, my favorite foods during pregnancy were egg white omlets, and peanut butter sandwiches with a huge glass of milk. My son is now allergic to all three! (and I was simply trying to eat lots of protein!)

Perhaps if enough of us moms with PA children tell our story, we can send the information to LLL and other medical organizations. Maybe SOMEBODY will consider doing a formal study and alert the unsuspecting new moms of the world.

On Aug 20, 1999

The data on peanut and tree nut allergy is being collected through a registry from the Food Allergy Network's (FAN) Peanut/Tree Nut Registry. Questions on the registry form include some of the following: if you breast fed, first reaction, age of introduction, etc. This registry should be a helpful tool to the researchers.

The data on reactions experienced on the airlines was pulled from FAN's Peanut/Tree Nut Registry. Those findings were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

I encourage everyone to find out more about the registry and enrolling in it (you do not need to be a member of FAN to participate).

FAN's phone # is 1-800-929-4040. Their web site is [url="http://www.foodallergy.org"]http://www.foodallergy.org[/url]

[This message has been edited by Mary (edited August 21, 1999).]

On Aug 23, 1999

Just wanted to post that I am a 44-year-old PA adult with an identical twin who is not PA. We were both breast and formula fed (soy formula) and both had other allergies and excema as children. She is now allergic to Latex, but is not allergic to peanuts. Our mother says she didn't eat any pb or peanuts during her pregnancy. So....I don't think you can draw any conclusions about this!

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