Breastfeeding and Peanut Allergies

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I am curious in knowing how many of you out there breastfed and have peanut allergic kids. I was told that I probably GAVE my daughter the allergy through my breast milk because I ate peanuts. This would explain why she cried and screamed and kicked and punched for the whole 3 1/2 months of the breastfeeding. The day I stopped she was a changed baby. Does anyone have any info. about this?

On Jun 20, 2000

I breastfed my son for 13 months. I'm sure I ate some peanut butter, but not a lot--I just don't eat it that often. He tested positive for peanuts at age 4 1/2. He has never had a reaction. I never gave him peanut butter until he was over 3 yrs old and he didn't like it. I don't think you "give" your child the allergy through nursing, but they may develop it sooner from the earlier exposure.`

I would like to find out more about breastfeeding and peanut/nut allergies. I am a big breastfeeding advocate, member of LLL. I will see what I can find out from LLL. In general, breastfeeding protects against an amazing number of things. If you had known your child was peanut allergic, probably removing peanuts from your diet and continuing to breastfeed for a longer period of time would have been best. But of course, how could you have known. If I am able to find any info, I'll post it.

On Jun 20, 2000

Found this article on the LLL website. It basically says that breastfeeding is the best way to protect against allergies and asthma, but that if you have a history of some kind of allergy, you should avoid that allergen in your diet while you are breastfeeding. [url="http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVAugSep97p75.html"]http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/LV/LVAugSep97p75.html[/url]

I think this is a really important topic because breastfeeding is so good, especially for kids with family histories of allergies and asthma. I am convinced that if I had not nursed my son, he would have asthma now. He has wheezed badly once, but that's it. I'm also convinced that if I had never given him cow's milk (which I introduced at an early age, and as he got older he drank a lot of it) he would be in better shape now. The nut/peanut allergy was a shock because, as I said, I never gave him peanut butter until he was 3, and we have no family history of it. His allergy is extremely mild though. I wouldn't even know about it if we hadn't had him tested due to a mild reaction to walnuts (his lip swelled a little.)

Anyway, my point is, that I would never consider NOT breastfeeding my babies. That is not the answer. I nursed my daughter for 2 years. If I have another child, I will nurse, and keep nuts and peanuts out of my diet.

On Jun 20, 2000

I nursed my daughter for 15 months. I never ate a peanut or peanut butter while nursing. My daughter has never had a peanut but tests positive for peanuts. I did eat peanut butter when I was pregnant.

On Jun 20, 2000

I nursed my daughter for 18 months. I did not eat nuts or peanut butter in the pure form at all.I had a small bit in cookies and crackers. We have no family history of allergies. I was very strict with her diet, very healthy and she still developed the allergy. If I were having more children ( which I am not) I would definitely nurse again.

On Jun 21, 2000

Hi. I breastfed all 4 of my babies but with the last one who is PA I practically ate PB every day that I was pregnant and breastfeeding. They were all breastfed for their 1st year. My 1st 3 kids do not have any food allergies. I wondered about the possiblility of my diet causing this allergy in my 4th so, I also wrote to La Leche League too. They sent me this link: [url="http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/316/7149/1926/a"]http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/316/7149/1926/a[/url]

They also wrote: "At La Leche League, we counsel mothers with a family history of allergic reactions (on either hers or her partner's side) to delay the introduction of solids until at least six months and to be more restrictive as to which foods are introduced before the baby reaches one year. [I realize that children with a family history of allergic reactions are generally advised to delay the introduction of peanuts until age 3, but we typically only see mothers until they wean their babies, which is usually around the first birthday.] Highly allergenic foods include cow's milk, egg whites, wheat, corn, pork, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, berries, nuts, spices,citrus fruits and juices, chocolate, and any food that causes allergic reactions in other family members or that the baby has shown sensitivity to through the mother's milk."

I might add that although I don't have any allergies, my husband suffers a number of allergies.So there's where the family history plays a part!

On Jun 21, 2000

I breastfed my PA daughter for 8 months and did eat quite a bit of peanut butter. (I'm a huge peanut butter lover...even though it's the ENEMY) I'm breastfeeding my son now (he's 7.5 months) and I don't eat very much peanut butter at all because I can't have it near my daughter. My daughter also had terrible excema when she was baby which they say is sometimes a precursor to other allergies. My son does not. So, hopefully he won't have this allergy. Breastfeeding is awesome for babies. It's totally the natural thing to do, if you're able to. I'll do it with all of my babies. (The only problem is I can't get my son to take a supplemental bottle to save his life!)

On Jun 21, 2000

I nursed my first for 26 months. She loved nursing. We never gave her a nuk and *I* was her nuk. Sounds weird, I know. I was 2 months pregnant when she finally was able to stop nursing. She has no allergies. I nursed my son for only about a year. He decided to quit. He had a nuk until he was 3! Most of his baby pictures show terrible exema on his little cheeks (the face cheeks that is! LOL!). He developed PA and allergies to wheat, egg and dairy all before one year of age. I ate the exact same with both of them which did include peanut butter but not excessive. We have no immediate family history of food allergies, only from a cousin of mine (not PA). I didn't even know there was such a thing! Tracy

On Jun 22, 2000

I breastfed both my children. My older for 4 months. I don't recall if I ate peanuts or not. She had her first reaction at about 9 months. She also has asthma, terrible hayfever and seemed to be constantly sick. I breastfed my younger daughter for 1 year. She is 2 now, does not have any allergies to date, and I can count the number of times she's been sick on one hand. Just recently while gathering my family for a "peanut awareness meeting", it came out that several members in both sides of our family have food allergies...mostly to fruit. Also, the first peditrician we had told us to introduce cereal mixed with breast milk at 2 months with our oldest daughter! We questioned him because we heard this can cause food allergies. He said that that was a myth! Very coincidental.

On Jun 22, 2000

I don't think you can give your baby an allergy by breastfeeding. I think they just develope the allergy they have sooner. I breast fed all my babies for various lengths of time. Four in all. It helped save my second at 3 month old when he was sick with infantile botulism because it was easy to digest, protects the nervous system in ways we still do not know and the closeness I had allowed me to feel a difference in his suck when the paralysis started. He never developed any allergies. My youngest has allergies to nuts but I do not believe I gave him this. He had excema and after one asthma attack the doctor told me he had allergies but I did not know what and never thought of food. I drink lactose free milk and avoid peanuts. I eat nuts at the holiday or in choc. He developed ear infections one after the other. By 8 months I was tired. He was crying, teething and I wanted him to be less dependent on me. I put him on a sippie cup made by avanta. It had a soft nipple to suck on but it is not a bottle. 6 months later I noticed the blisters under his lip and had him tested. He is very healthy and does not have excema or asthma and only has the allergy to nuts and peanuts. My other son has no allergies but he does have a lactose intolerance and I nursed him unlill 11 months old. I did not nurse My oldest long and she does not have food allergies but she does have mild asthma when she is around dogs and cats. I was not careful with her diet. Untill my babies are one I usually give the 2nd foods.

On Jun 22, 2000

I chose to bottle feed both of my sons. But I do feel I was a major factor in my 3 yr old developing his pa. When I was first pregnant I lived on peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. I was so sick at the beginning of the pregnancy (lost 10 lbs.) that pb sandwiches were the ONLY thing I could keep down most of the time. So that was pretty much my main nourishment for the first 3 mos. I never once heard that it could cause food allergies for my child later in life. Obviously I did things differently with my second pregnancy so we'll see what happens with him. Deanna

On Jun 22, 2000

I nursed my son for 21 months, and ate tons of peanut butter,before finding out at 9 months old of his allergie. I to was told he probably recieved the protien to early through my breast milk. I do believe it because we had some problems with weezing, and cramping until I found out. I tell everyone I know even though it is not for sure to stay away from it anyways.

On Jun 23, 2000

Thanks for all your replies. I was told by the Food Allergy Board (here in Quebec) that I probably gave my daughter the PA through my pregnancy (which is not proven) but I swear I ate 4 slices of bread spread with it everynight at bedtime!! The books said it was such a nutritious snack. And I'm sure I ate it when I breastfed too. I have NO allergies - my husband has hayfever and sneezes around dogs - that's it. And the rest of the family NO Allergies (except some hayfever). I think that by breastfeeding we probably give our child even more of the enzymes that make up allergies. Besides what do any of us know about breastfeeding except what all the books tell us about it. That's how I decided to breastfeed, because I really did not want to before that (I did not feel comfortable with it). Everyone keeps saying it's good but where is the proof? I don't know - maybe I'm just trying to blame SOMETHING.

On Jun 23, 2000

To Mommy: There is tons of proof regarding the many and varied benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child. There is even research showing that breastfed kids have a lower risk of obesity, better eyesight, better teeth, the list goes on and on. Breastfeeding is best by a long shot.

Now, as for eating pb while pregnant and nursing, it does seem like that can cause the allergy, but I believe it only causes the allergy in children already predisposed to it. I ate little if any pb while pregnant and nursing and my son is PA. I do think that the lack of pb in my diet and the fact that I never fed him pb until he was 3 is partly responsible for the fact that he's never reacted. We only know through testing.

On the flip side, my friend ate tons of pb while pregnant and nursing, and her kids have no allergy to it. She also had severe asthma as a child, so she had that against her. An interesting point, she buys organic food, did not vaccinate until 1 yr old (and then sparingly), very rarely used medication--she uses homeopathic remedies.

I think that some children are born with the possibility of this allergy, and it may become severe with early exposure (womb, nursing), or less severe with less exposure, but who knows if we can ever completely prevent it. I think that some kids are born without the possibility of this allergy and you can eat peanut butter all day long while pregnant and nursing and they won't get it. This is my opinion. I can't point to any research to back it up.

On Jun 23, 2000

I nursed my son until he was 5 months old. Then I had him on formula during day care and nursing at home (I hated pumping) until he started biting me at 10 months. I nursed because I had hay fever and had read that nursing reduces allergies. I don't particularly like peanut butter, but did occasionally eat peanut M&M's or Reese's peanut butter cups (my absolute favorite kind of candy). My son reacted to his first peanut butter sandwich at 13 months, then had a worse reaction at day care about 3 months later. I'm avoiding peanuts, tree nuts, and shell fish while nursing my second child. I also didn't eat any while pregnant. I already don't think she's as allergy prone as he was, and it's probably just luck. He had very sensitive skin from the time he was born. He used to turn red from the laundry detergent in my clothes. I had to wash my shirts in Dreft along with his. She hasn't had any similar reactions.

On Jun 23, 2000

I ate lots of peanut butter when I was pregnant and nursing. Probably about 2 or 3 years after I stopped nursing, I read that you should not do this because you increase the chances of your child developing the allergy. NOW they tell me, I thought! But--with the exception of his PA, my son is definitely the healthiest kid I know. He is 9 now and really is never sick. We never went through a lot of the ear infections, etc. that so many kids do. He has never had the flu--gets colds occasionally and they last maybe a day or two. I only remember him having a fever once and that lasted a few hours. Really a healthy boy and I believe that is from nursing for a year.

On Jun 24, 2000

Momof1, since your son is 9 you have reassured me. My daughter is also extremely healthy and has never been sick yet. To Bensmom: It's weird you know, here we are a bunch of Mom's trying TO FIGURE OUT these scientific problems because we are so misinformed. One day they say put sunscreen on the next day they say it may not even help, and the list goes on. You know what, I think I'm just going to accept this challenge that "God" has put in my path and learn to live with it and learn from it. As I said before I really am looking for a reason to this, but as you said some children are prone to it and some are not, what can we do? There is nothing we can do, this allergy is here for life, and well maybe just maybe my kid will be the one in 3 million that this allergy will go away!! I love this web site it's a comfort to know I am not alone.

On Jun 24, 2000

I breastfed my PA son for the first year of his life. He was very content nursing and I found it an absolute pleasure. I rarely ate peanuts or peanutbutter during that time. My second son (non PA) was a terror to nurse. I nursed him for 8 months but was forced to stop through advice of the LLL since he had not gained a pound in 4 months and they were afraid that he was not getting enough or the proper nutriotion. He screamed all night and all day. He was rarely content for more than 2 hrs a day. We did realize after he was about 3 months old that he was extremely worse if I drank milk or ate dairy products. It finally all made sense how during my pregnancy he would be OVERLY active after I drank a glass of milk, we assumed he liked it, but realize now that it must have been bothering him. He now eats cheese and yogurt and it doesnt seem to irritate him anymore. I am still hesitant to give him a lot of milk and he is now almost two. I plan to take him into the allergist to have him tested for environmental allergies soon and will have them test him for milk just in case.

On Jun 24, 2000

I have 4 children all of which have mild allergies except the one that I didn,t nurse.He has multiple allergies.I did not eat peanuts throughout his pregnancy.He could not tolerate milk,or soya from the start.My other son is milk intolerant though and has a penicillen allergy.It is really lovely to read your stories and to know that out there I am not the only mum.It sure isnt easy finding answers to why.I know of all the pregnancies I was under a lot of stress for his and wander if this made him the way he is.

On Jun 24, 2000

I just want to say that I don't like peanuts. I never ate them or anything with them in it while I was pregnant or nursing. My son has a PA, diagnosed at 6 months. He also has other multiple food allergies. Breastfeeding has been such a wonderful experience and I believe it contributes to his excellent health. I don't believe it should be blamed for allergies. I think some kids just have them. I guess we should look at the bright side. My son has never had even a sniffle. He is the healthiest, fattest, baby around. He just gets hives every once in a while. I will continue to breastfeed all my future children, because it is so good for them. Also, to the last post, I don't think stress during pregnancy plays a factor either. When I was pregnant, I was the most calm, and happiest in my life, and he still has many allergies. I think it's just an unfortunate thing. I do believe we should still look for a cause, but in the mean time enjoy those overlyhealthy babies and kids!

On Jun 25, 2000

Nlsess, thanks for your response, I guess I can't blame breastfeeding anymore.

On Jun 26, 2000

I truly believe you can give it to your child through breast milk. I believe that I gave my child his PA from my obsession with boiled peanuts (a Southern favorite) while I was pregnant. I read an article once that mentioned it and truly have to believe that's the case. I HAD to eat them daily and was obsessed. If I only knew what it would do to my little boy. I can't help but to feel guilt!

On Jul 3, 2000

All of this is very interesting for me to read. I don't know the answers, but here is my experience. My son reacted to my breast milk from day one. His symptoms were stuffy nose, extreme drooling and the nastiest diaper rash I have ever seen. The dermatologist told me the rash was definately from some kind of allergy. I figured it out within days that it was the peanut butter I was eating. I ate lots of peanut butter foods. As soon as I quit, his symptoms cleared entirely and did not ever come back unless I accidentally ate something with peanut traces. It seems to me that this would indicate that he had the allergy from birth and did not get if from the breastfeeding. My thinking is that the exposure in the womb to all the peanut things I ate may have caused it. I don't know for sure. He has absolutely thrived on breastfeeding and has only one other allergy and that is to strawberries. He is now 17 months old and still nursing all the time. I like to think that the breastfeeding has possibly prevented other allergies since he is allergy prone. My first two children were never bothered by all the peanut stuff that I ate and have no allergies at all. Both of them nursed for 3 or more years. I am glad that I found out about his allegy from the breast milk exposure. I have been told that if he ever actually ate something with peanuts himself(his only exposure has been through the breastmilk), he would probably have a life threatening reaction. I am glad I found out beforehand and can try my best to avoid that reaction. I will have my epi-pens and benadryl just in case though. Peanuts really do seem to be just about everywhere.

On Jul 3, 2000

There are several threads on this board about breastfeeding and Peanut allergy, just thought you all might like to read those threads also.

On Jul 12, 2000

I have done a lot of research on this topic after being told I probably gave my son his peanut allergy by breastfeeding. First I was shocked, then dismayed that no one had ever mentioned this possibility to me before. As a director of a crisis pregnancy center at the time, I felt I was fairly well informed on such topics to begin with. When my son had severe eczema as a newborn and was colicky, neither the pediatrician nor the dermatologist ever mentioned food allergies as a possibility. My son, now 20 months, actually has a dozen or so food allergies, and is also allergic to latex. He nursed almost exclusively for the first 6 months and still nurses. I still believe nursing is the best thing for him. Though now, with my present knowledge, I refrain from ingesting all of the things he is allergic to (which leaves me with few choices) just so I can continue nursing him until weaning is completed--nursing makes him so happy. Recently, I have read that if one parent has allergies (of ANY TYPE) then your child has @ 30% chance of having allergies; if both parents have allergies, it goes to 70%. It does not matter what type you have--you pass on, in your genes, the predisposition toward developing allergies. I have allergic rhinitis (i.e. runny nose) and my husband had hayfever when he was a child, neither of us has a food allergy. Yet, come to find out my sister does and my husband's brother did. Anyway, in my ignorance (which I partially blame the pediatrician for), I consumed a lot of peanut butter during my baby's infancy. I had actually read that it didn't matter what the mother ate when breastfeeding because the breastmilk would pull from the mother's body what it needed to be "just right" for the baby. Now that I know we can "sensitize" our kids that way (in other words, give the allergy a jumpstart), I am on the bandwagon that all pediatricians should be informing breastfeeding mothers of this possibility. Why aren't they now? I still don't know. It may not make the allergy completely avoidable, but at least it can help delay it until your child can tell you what's wrong! We have suffered many sleepless nights and have endured a great deal of stress due to food allergies, not knowing what was causing our poor baby's bad experiences. Since food allergies can also cause eczema, it shocks me that the dermatologist never mentioned that either. Bottom line: allergies are inherited, nursing is still good, but doctors should be informing more nursing mothers that we should also be cautious about our diets if our child has a high chance of developing food allergies. Incidentally, my 6 year old daughter nursed until she was 3, I had the same diet then, and she has no allergies and is remarkably well adjusted, smart, etc., so DON'T BLAME YOURSELF! I hope this information helps alleviate your guilt.

On Jul 12, 2000

I have no food allergies, although a lot of environmental ones. I do not eat pb but did eat honey roasted peanuts when I was pregnant with my son. I nursed him for 3 months only. He is PA, has the environmental allergies and asthma. My daughter, we're not sure about whether she is PA or not yet, has less severe asthma and less severe environmental allergies so far. I would probably have eaten the same honey roasted peanuts until about 6 months pregnant with her (discovered her brother's allergy shortly thereafter). I breastfed her for 3 weeks. It can all be so confusing and overwhelming. I have migraines so my children have a 50% chance of developing them. Alcoholism runs on both sides of the family, so they have, I believe a 75% chance of that. We can't blame ourselves for their PA (although now, looking back, I wish I hadn't eaten those honey roasted peanuts!). What we can do is take care of them now to the best of our abilities and deal with whatever allergies, etc. they have or may develop. Or, if you look at the allergy, migraine and alcoholism factors in my family history, I probably should not have had the two wonderful, beautiful children I have! I'm also thankful that my husband doesn't read this site because he'd find some way of blaming me for Jesse's PA! Best wishes all.

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On Jul 13, 2000

well Heres my outlook on the whole thing. I breast fed my daughter for 8 months .I fought like crazy to nurse for weekslots of sore nipples etc.}I kept it up because it was so good for her and I do hve allergies to animals and dust etc....no food allergies though.I was told to avoid shell fish when I was pregant because they were high allergy food and could affect the baby also.Well peanuts are becoming a high allergy food and I think should be avoided during prenancy and breast feeding.If I was told not to the eat the stupid things I wouldn't have of course but being a former lover of peanuts I ate a ton of beer nuts {actually bags of them}same as cindys honey coated. Anyway I can't blame myself for it beacuse my ob never said "BOO" on any food items, it was my neighbour who mentioned the shell fish. So thats my input on the whole thing,I know other people think diferent on the topic but hey I have come to terms on it and have no problems with it......not my fault... thx Chantelles mom

P.s The breast feeding did help with her brightness though because I think I have one hell of a great, smart,bright and beautifull little girl.Must have did something right!!!!

On Jul 13, 2000

I breastfed my son until he was 9 months old. He is now 15 months old. We just found out he is PA (reaction and RAST test). I have no allergies except very mild hay fever. My husband is allergic to dogs and had asthma as a child. I ate more peanut butter while I was pregnant and breastfeeding than ever in my life. I thought it was good for me (well, better than chocolate anyway). I was an obsessive reader of any and all materials related to pregnancy, childbirth and baby care, and read NOTHING that even mentioned a link between a mother's peanut consumption and child's PA.

On Jul 13, 2000

My wife ate pb & nutella sandwiches, honey roasted peanuts, and whole walnuts, often during pregancy and during breast feeding. At the time, they said there was no link.

Now, they say, no proven link and pa probably would have surfaced anyway.

Being aware of the allergy, we didnt give our daughter any kinds of nuts or nut products (except some may contain products) until she hit her 3rd birthday.

It obviously all didnt help...she still became allergic anyway.

But if we had to do it all over again, my wife said she would avoid all nuts, and not go too excessive on milk or eggs or shellfish. She said this wouldnt have been hard to do, since she avoided colas, coffee, and chocolate all for the caffeine anyway!

But we cant sit here and feel guilty or anything...you can only do that if you KNOW that something youre doing is going to harm your baby (like smoking or drinking)!

On Jul 14, 2000

My son is 15 mos. and I am still nursing. Discovering there may be a link between bf and pa makes me a little crazy since mom's can carry so much guilt anyway! I didn't eat pb excessively while pregnant but did eat some and some I think after he was born. It seems to me the posts vary and there is no definitive pattern to this allergy. I agree, I just want something to blame. I'm still in the early phases of discovery of this problem and feel very scared. I know if I get pg again, I will avoid all peanuts. We no longer have them here anyway. I think this topic deserves much attention as I am a BIG believer in bf'ing. My son has never been sick (other than 1 upset stomach) and I truly think it has been a result of the nursing. I continue to hope for more research and some kind of relief from the severe reactions pa people have.

On Aug 9, 2003

Simply re-raising for pjama0502! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Now, I'm not clear if this was the thread that I was talking about in pjama0502's thread because, as someone posted in this thread, there are a LOT of threads running re breastfeeding and PA (that Mother Guilt thing [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ).

At any rate, there were a couple of links posted here that might be helpful, I don't know.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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On Aug 9, 2003

I breastfed my daughter until she was ten months. Someone told me pb was good for the breastmilk, so I ate a sandwich every day! My daughter's reaction at ten months was severe. After she tested positive for peanut allergy we took peanut out of my diet and her excema cleared right away.

With my son, I was still avoiding peanut and nursed him for 20 months. Thankfully he has no peanut allergy, however he has not had any exposure either.

I truly believe that breastfeeding is the best way to feed your child, but when I was pregnant and nursing there was no talk of the connection.

On Aug 10, 2003

I am currently breastfeeding my second child. My first (who is PA) was nursed for a year. I did eat PB with her & enjoyed it. I wouldn't call it excessive but maybe at a moderate level of consumption. Of course, I have learned a lot since then & have avoided PB all together with my second pregnancy & while nursing. My second child will be tested soon b/c she reacted with hives to peas & get this, GREEN BEANS!! I guess I will soon find out about the PB but don't know yet. We DO have a family history of food allergies on my husband's side. I have been told if you have a predisposition to food allergies AVOID them. Eating PB while pregnant & nursing probably sensitized my first too early but I think she would have gotten it anyway. I can only imagine what other problems or allergies she could have if I wouldn't have nursed. You can't go wrong with nursing. It is "tailor made" food for your child. Hereditary definitely plays a big role. My advice would be to nurse & just avoid foods that could be common food allergens. It's well worth the sacrafice. My kids allergies could be a lot worse. An uncle of ours couldn't eat PB, flour, wheat, soy, milk, etc. I think nursing helps. Just FYI.

On Jun 13, 2004

reraising.

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