Breastfeeding, allergies, WWYD?

Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2006 - 11:49am
tigganroo's picture
Joined: 04/26/2005 - 09:00

I'm writing this because I'm curious to see what you all think. My dd has a peanut allergy, and egg allergy and a "sensitivity" to milk and soy (so much we have to give her Rice Milk). I ate peanut butter (as a protein source...not knowing I shouldn't be) while breastfeeding constantly. I'm also a huge dairy person. I know that there is no direct link (well that's what my allergist said) to breastfeeding, eating certain foods, and that causing the allergy...however while breastfeeding I was told to stay away from all dairy because of my dd's sensitivities.

Here's where my question comes in...I am due with our second in a few weeks and am planning on breastfeeding...but kinda freaked out. I mean should I just basically stay away from everything but meat and water???? There are so many things an allergy can form from....if I stay away from dairy and eat more wheat products then whose to say my new baby wont get a wheat allergy instead (kwim???)

I know they say that breastfeeding is better and helps deter allergies but I just can't help think about the what ifs...

Would formula be safer????

What can I eat while breastfeeding???

Thanks for all your help once all are so great!


Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2006 - 12:22pm
Daisy's picture
Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

Great news about your second child! How exciting. Well, you'll probably stay away from PB anyway, because of your DD. But, as you can tell from several other posts on this subject, the jury is still out on allergies/pregancy diets/nursing diets.
I am an adult with food allergies since childhood. (Not diagnosed until I was 30, but classic symptoms.) The advice I received from my retired Allergist was to nurse my DD at least 6 mo, and no cereals or formulas for her. (If she started to show any skin problems or GI problems, he wanted to know.) I nursed her for at least 7 months before starting foods. I started with rice good. Diarrhea. Moved on to oatmeal. (I know several people that have had this happen, including my neighbor's baby.)Then I tried new foods once every 2 weeks. (Some Docs believe it can take this long for food allergies to reveal. No rush, after all.) I stuck with single foods...carrots, gr.beans, squash, bananas, plums. No juices until after age one. None of the tempting finger foods mixtures until she had been cleared on each food. No Cheerios (wheat) until after age one. No eggs until later. No wheat/corn/fish... But *I* was not avoiding all of these things. Just my main allergens at the time (rice, chicken, pork, shellfish, peaches, apples, strawberries).
They get all of their nourishment from breastfeeding; the *eating* part is just for learning below age one. If you start them on formula, where do you have to go from there? I mean better to nurse, then adjust. (My friend has noticed that her son has terrible gas from her having too much milk or cheese. She has to back off, but has not cut it out completely. They eat nuts/peanuts, too. Third allergy or skin problems for them.)
BTW, I was able to eat nuts when I was PG and nursing...didn't become allergic to almonds until a couple of years ago. My daughter now eats rice just fine. [b]But apples and apple juice[/b] cause GI problems for her still (she's 9). First noticed a *ring around her bottom.* [i]Go figure... I am allergic to apples, and did not have any while PG or nursing.[/i] Couldn't have gotten this allergy from anything but her *own* exposure. We avoid these. She drinks orange juice and grape juice. And hopefully, she will outgrow this one.
Hope this helps,

Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2006 - 1:58pm
becca's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Dd(my first) is the one with known allergies. I bf ds for 13 months, and he did start some cereal at 4.5 months. I tried to hold off but he was born 9.5 pounds and a hungry boy. I also had to supplement with elemental formula, just a bottle per day, max. He had a terrible eczema/rash after a full bottle at 3 months. He had been having a upplement after lsoing weight upon coming home. So, milk based formula was out. Good for us because we felt better allergy wise and insurance paid for it so it ended up being free! We were very lucky.
So, jury is still out on his allergies, I think he has some of some kind and need to have him tested. But I personally think there is substantial documented studies on the benefits of bfing to support it if you are careful about nuts, shellfish and then, known allergens. The benefits go beyond allergies anyway. But that is how I feel. And it was very hard for me to do.
That said, I did eat tons of PB and eggs during my pg and bf of dd. I was anemic and these were cravings. I never ate so much of either in my life before that. So, who knows. There is allergenic history on both sides, especially ectopic issues and food allergies on dh's side.
Go figure, she has PN and egg allergies. If I had to formula feed, I would do elemental formula with an allergenic hsitory. Ds did great with it once we found the right one for his supplements. I otherwise limited my diet to no dairy(got that back around 8 months), soy, PN, TN, or shellfish or fish for the 13 months he bf. It was not so bad. becca

Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2006 - 7:22pm
jtolpin's picture
Joined: 05/28/2003 - 09:00

Congrats on new baby! Heres hoping no FA's!
My story is long, informative or boring.. you pick it. Ill tell you this AM, once I get to work.
Relevant? I dont know. I always think so.
But remember - all kids are different.
Hope for the best, expect the worst.
One thing -- given history, if formula feeding -- go with the hypos (specifically Alimentum RTF). Thats for sure.
[b]* Obsessed * [/b]

Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2006 - 9:44pm
Ree's picture
Joined: 12/31/2004 - 09:00

Congrats on your soon-to-be baby! [img][/img]
I just had my 3rd last week and I'm breastfeeding. Every dr tells me just to avoid peanuts/nuts, but I'm also avoiding fish/shellfish (the lifelong allergies). My 1st is PA & EA. My 2nd is PA, EA, & MA.
I believe in BF and will do it for at least 6 mos. I ate dairy with my 1st and he's not allergic to it. Personally, I'm eating everything in moderation. Who knows...

Posted on: Wed, 03/15/2006 - 10:04pm
stephi13339's picture
Joined: 03/09/2006 - 09:00

I've got 3 kids, for all my pregancies I ate a normal diet. Including all those nasty allergens that the experts say I should's how they tuirned out
Marcela- 6- absolutely healthy, bf for +2yrs
sophia- 2- PA, gets viruses a lot, bf 1 year
robbie- 11 mo- healthy!!! still bf
don't beat yourself up, I think it's really out of your hands not matter what you do!!

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 12:25am
amartin's picture
Joined: 02/22/2006 - 09:00

I have two kids. My first was allergic to the protein in cows milk, but grew out of the allergy by one year. I nursed her for 12 months, avoiding all traces of milk for both her and I during that time. My second was not allergic to milk proteins, but was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy at 16 months. I nursed him for 11 months. We have a history of food allergies (my husband) and 'other' allergies (both me and my husband). I did not avoid any foods while I was pregnant. I ate a lot of nuts, peanut butter, milk products, etc., and introduced foods to my babies as was recommended by our pediatrician (but, regretfully, not the delayed schedule that is recommended by AAP for children with food allergic parents or siblings; don't ask me how, but we did not know of this).
I know that there may or may not be a link between what I ate while pregnant/nursing and my children's allergies. With that being said, if I had it to do all over again, I would certainly have avoided at least nuts and peanuts and quite possibly shellfish while pg/nursing. I also would have followed the AAP recommendations and introduced certain foods to my children later. I will always wonder "what if".

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 3:01am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Congratulations! Just a quick note, I am in my son's kindy class today...remember that formulas also have allegens in them - milk -- cows milk (very hard on little tummies), soy, etc. -- go with your heart, and remember that your breast milk offers wonderful immunities and other goodies that your little babe will need. You may want to speak with a dietician about what you can eat to have a balance, but I am very pro nursing, and until they conclusively say formula is better, I would stick to the liquid gold...breastmilk!
mom to Ari(5) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (8), mild excema
[This message has been edited by that'smetrying (edited March 16, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 3:42am
S and Js mom's picture
Joined: 02/21/2006 - 09:00

I am pregnant with #3 and I was told no peanuts/nuts, eggs, only one serving of dairy a day until 2 weeks before my due date and then no dairy until after done breastfeeding and everything else in moderation, no binging. I only have one wheat product a day, but we use many different grains usually so that is no problem. This time I am also limiting all legumes, I will only try to have one soy product or so a week. It may sound extreme but I did this for #2 and he only is very slightly allergic to soy and peanuts, compared to my DD MFA. After the first few week I don't even notice my dietary restrictions, I just eat what my DD eats most of the time which she loves. This way even if #3 has allergies I know I couldn't have done anything more. I was told to do these eliminations from an allergy dietition and allergist. Good luck and enjoy!

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 4:07am
S and Js mom's picture
Joined: 02/21/2006 - 09:00

Sorry I forgot to say no food until baby is 6 months breastfed only. Nutramagin formula and all major allergin foods delayed. Infant cereal without soy in it.

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 10:53am
tigganroo's picture
Joined: 04/26/2005 - 09:00

thank you, thank you, thank you.
as a mother it just kills me to find out that i could be the reason that my dd has this life threating allergy. so obviously i don't want to make that kinda mistake again. we are a peanut/nut free house so i'm not eating those. thank you all so much for taking the time to share with me your experiences and your opinions. i will breastfeed this one and hope for the best.
thanks again,


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