Breastfeeding and Peanut Allergy!

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When you were pregnant and breastfeeding your baby, did anyone le leche or doctors tell you to stay away from dairy or peanut product if you had any type of allergy history??? None of mine did and I am still P.O. I breast feed my son forever, 2.7 yrs (thinking breast feeding will help to alleviate any chances of allergies) and I truely believe this is how he was exposed to peanuts. I ate peanut products all during my pregnancy and during breast feeding times. This besides minor dust allergy is "all" he has. My daughter who is 20 months shows no signs of any allergies, with her I had NO peanut products or milk only cheese. What do you think?

On Feb 4, 2001

I know that my husband agrees with you 100%. He definitely feels that our daughter is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts because I breast fed her for two years and consumed a lot of peanuts and walnuts during this time. I was off dairy and soy for much of her infancy due to her dairy allergy and possible soy allergy. I ate more peanuts and nuts than ever before during this time, for the quick protein. I wish so badly that one of the doctors we had seen had advised me to stay off peanuts and tree nuts. They did tell me not to give them to her until age 3 - but I did not connect that (and was not told) to the fact that the protein was coming through my milk. I am breastfeeding my second child, age 8 months, and he has had no exposure through pregnancy or breast milk. I certainly hope he will not be allergic. I do take heart from other posts I've read, however, where the babies were not breast fed at all and still are allergic. It's hard not to feel guilty, though. Miriam

On Feb 4, 2001

MKNB- I used to belong to a breastfeeding support group affliated with La Leche. No where in all the training I received (from experienced volunteers and medical staff) was the issue of food allergy, or allergen exposure through breastmilk discussed. The point was to encourage/support the new breastfeeding mother to continue breastfeeding as much as possible. We were suppose to tell these women that there weren't any restrictions as to what they could eat; the underlying reason being if you started telling women don't eat this, don't eat that, you could be underminng their motivation to nurse. Sad but true...

Also, while pregnant with my now 4 yr old pa son I developed gestational diabetes. I was put on a protein diet by the hospital dietician. I was encouraged to eat nuts and peanut butter as a quick protein fix during the day. Of course I continued eating peanuts and nuts while nursing being totally clueless and uninformed by those who should've known better.

Do I feel all this had something to do with my son being pa? You bet!

On Feb 4, 2001

Here is a recent policy statement from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics). There are avoidance recommendations at the very end, before the bibliography.

[url="http://www.aap.org/policy/re0005.html"]www.aap.org/policy/re0005.html[/url]

I'm not sure if pediatricians are being vocal about this. I also think part of this education should start with the ob/gyn and the nursing instructors.

On Feb 4, 2001

While I agree that eating peanuts while breastfeeding can contribute to the development of the allergy, I also believe that these kids would have developed the allergy anyway through exposure in the womb. I currently attend LLL (La Leche League) meetings, and whenever I see a pregnant or nursing mom chowing down on peanutbutter, I warn her of the dangers. We also had a food allergy specialist come and talk to the group at my request. I have tried to educate the leaders in the hope that they will pass on this information. A variety of dietary restrictions may be necessary while nursing. I couldn't eat strawberries after dinner because Eliza would be up all night. That's not as serious as an allergy, but my point is that when you are nursing, you are eating for 2--not just extra calories, but cutting out foods that are not tolerated by the baby. The best we can do is educate our doctors and our pregnant friends.

On Feb 4, 2001

I also think that I sensitized my daughter to peanuts during either pregnancy or breastfeeding (I breastfed for 10 months). She had absolutely no other prior exposure to peanuts and had a full blown reaction to her first taste of peanut butter at 14 months. My understanding is that you have to be sensitized before you can have an allergic reaction. I was even angrier when people started telling me after the reaction that I shouldn't have given it to her until she was 3. My doctor specifically told me that after 1 year there were no food restrictions. If I had waited until she was older maybe her immune system would have been mature enough to handle it. It's sad that pediatricians are not more savvy about allergies, and I feel my doctor is very good otherwise.

On Feb 5, 2001

I'm not sure eating peanuts during nursing times sensitized Nicholas to peanuts--I know this is how I found out about his allergy. I didn't eat many peanuts products, but twice while nursing I had peanuts for a snack. Both times he threw up the next day. A call to the pediatrician, and next thing I knew I wasn't eating any nuts and came to this site!

Somehow I think the allergy was present before I sensitized him to it unwittingly. Lots of kids don't have peanut allergies and their moms ate lots of peanuts during pregnancy and nursing. I'm sure lots of parents gave their children peanut butter sandwiches under a year old! That's not right, in my belief, but most children didn't develop any problems from this.

On Feb 5, 2001

Just my two cents . . . I think if a child is prone to have pa, then there's really not much one can do to prevent it.

Breastfeeding is obviously the best thing you can feed your baby. Mothers should NOT feel guilty because they ate peanuts while nursing and now their child has this allergy.

I did not breastfeed my son and he has pa. My sister breastfed both of her children AND ate peanuts while pregnant and nursing AND gave them both peanut butter at 1 year. Neither of her kids have pa. I know there is a mother on here that posted that she specifically did not give her child peanuts until after age 3 and the child still ended up with a peanut allergy. Also, there are adults on here that did not develop pa until they were much older.

It's not my intention for this to sound mean, but I think mothers take the blame for far too many things. Peanut allergy shouldn't be one of them.

On Feb 5, 2001

I agree with DMB!! All you moms out there--please try not to be too hard on yourself. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Feb 5, 2001

one of the first things my super pediatric allergist said to me the first time I took my daughter to see him was that there are NO definitive studies that show that pregnant or nursing women "cause" their children to be PA. I ate a lot of peanut butter during my first pregnancy mainly because I am vegetarian and was told I had gestational diabetes and needed to eat more protein, rather than pasta, beans, etc. Due to an unrelated illness after my first daughters birth I could only nurse her for about 2 weeks. She is PA. My second daughter I did eat peanut products, no where near to the extent as I did with the first as this time I was NOT diagnosed with gestational diabetes. My first daughter was officially diagnosed with PA when she was about 4, right after giving birth to my second. Now we are all nut free. I am still nursing my second (21 months) and so far she has had no allergic reactions but as I said, we are all nut free so it could just be she has not been exposed. I believe, and this is stictly my own theory, that these children will be PA no matter what, that its a genetic tendency for allergies in general in most cases, perhaps that early in vitro exposure just causes them to react earlier, I don't know. But I do not blame myself for doing what I thought was the best thing for my children at the time. Its really all we can do.

On Feb 5, 2001

I agree with DMB. I believe there is a genetic trigger to PA. My PA son was only given formula and did not eat any peanut products until after he was two.

On Feb 5, 2001

Of course it is hard to know. I ate lots of nuts and PB with both pregnancies and nursing both children - one ended up PA, the other did not. However, with my 2nd (the PA one) I really went hog wild with the nuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding because I was having a problem with low blood sugar. Now, Kevin was having lots of health problems and I have no doubt this was contributing. When we realized he was PA/TNA at 14 months and I stopped eating these things, he did improve.

Another thing, at last year's FAN conference someone asked DR. Sampson about allergies and breastfeeding, and he said that although for most people breastfeeding is best, there is some preliminary data to suggest that mothers with bad allergies (read:ME!!!) should not breasfeed because they may pass their abnormal (my word, not his) immune response to their children. Boy, did I feel like #&%* when I heard that!

Amy

On Feb 5, 2001

I ate a lot of peanut butter and drank a lot of milk during my pregnancy. My son is allergic to both as well as soy, which I ate almost none. I really don't know if he was sensitized in utero but I believe there could be a connection. As soon as I learned about the milk and soy allergies (10 weeks), I eliminated nuts from my diet as well because I'd heard about the nut allegy and knew how scary it is. But then a few weeks later in a moment of weakness, I ate a small bag of airplane peanuts. He was congested for a week so then I REALLY suspect the nut allergy and avoided all nuts from then on. At 15 months, he tested 4++ on skin testing for peanut. I hope because he's had no direct exposures, and limited exposure through breastmilk, that he might have a chance at outgrowing the peanut allegy. (I know we all hope this). I do believe that the breastfeeding was the best way to go, and still is at 21 months. Especially with the milk and soy allergies which he seems to be outgrowing. Now as for being warned about using caution while breastfeeding, I have brought it up at LLL meeting and people nod their heads but I think they write it off to "oh, well that's her advice because she has experienced that but it won't happen to me". I think many people are not open to hearing things like this. I wish with all my heart that OBs, pediatricians, LLL Leaders, and LC's would recommend no nut exposures until age 4 or 5. Maybe with more education and publicity about the severity of the allergy. Newspaper articles, etc. help spread the word. I think I'll talk to my doc about this. Thanks for the reminder!!!

Emily, mother to Corey Andrew, age 21 months allegic to milk, soy, peanuts, cashews

On Feb 6, 2001

Emily, you are so right about the "it's not going to happen to me" attitude! We learned about our son's PA at 6 months by testing. He also had soy and dairy allergies. He had reactions to both types of formula (I was breastfeeding but wanted to try to supplement in case I ran out of frozen milk). I have four friends with children the exact same age as my son, and I warned them all about peanut consumption while breastfeeding and late introduction of allergic foods. Wouldn't you know, every kid was eating fish, eggs and PBJ's by the time they were 1! Ugh! And of course, none of them has food allegies so they probably think I am a paranoid nut case (pardon the pun!).

Emily, my son is now 3 and it is likely that he is outgrowing all of his food allergies! His only direct exposures were several ingestions of soy and milk formula and whatever he got through my breastmilk for the first 6 months before I started the restricted diet. The soy allergy was gone by age 2. He has had numerous skin and RAST tests with peanut consistently showing very high scores, until recently when it was negative! His allergist thinks it is possible that he could outgrow the PA because he has never had direct exposure.

I totally agree that BF'ing moms shouldn't be too hard on themselves. I think the tendency toward allergy is there, no matter whether they are breastfed or formula fed. When I was pregant with my son, I had major cravings for fish and shellfish. Ate crabs at least once or twice a week all summer, and practically lived on McD's filet of fish sandwiches for lunch. He is not allergic to either!

On Feb 6, 2001

I agree that the allergy is genetically linked. I did not eat any nuts while pregnant or nursing as I myself have a peanut allergy and my daughter had a reaction the first time she had peanut. She was just over a year when my husband accidently gave her rieces pieces thinking they were skittles. We were not going to give her anything with nuts because of my allergy but it happened. She immediately began to gag and cough and vomitted. Thankfully this has been her only reaction in 6 years. I don't think anyone is to blame for these allergies, I think some people are just predetermined to having them.

On Feb 6, 2001

My first born is my PA child. I know that while pregnant and breastfeeding him (2 years) I had very little, if any, peanut or nut products. My husband doesn't like peanut butter and we just didn't have nuts in the house. My son never knowingly ate a peanut until age 5 when he had a bite of snickers (accidently), spit it out, and immediately vomited. He always avoid peanuts--I had offered PB at about age 2--which he wanted nothing to do with. But, my point is this--he ended up with the PA and walnut allergy. We have no allergy history in the family. And, with my second two children I had gestational diabetes and had a peanut butter snack almost every day of my second and third trimester. I didn't really eat any nuts while nursing them though. But, I didn't avoid them either. If the what I eat strictly causes the PA allergy then my second two should be PA and my first born should not! My allergist says though that he likely did have some peanut contaminants before the snicker incident--in foods where it was a minor ingredient or a "may contain traces." And, he did have a history of severe, unexplained stomach aches. I think with the way our foods are processed that many of our kids are getting things we don't intend for them to have unless we follow a strick allergy regime. For those of you who indulged in nuts and such while pregnant--I don't think there is any clear evidence that you are to blame for your child's allergies. If that were true my children would be allergic to milk because I had TONS of cows milk and products during pregnancy and while nursing, as well as shellfish. I think that those predisposed to the allergies are going to get them--and those who aren't, won't. I think there is little we can do to prevent them!

On Feb 7, 2001

I believe that all pregnant and nursing women should be warned Not to consume any peanut products. Just as all parents should be warned not to feed peanut products until after age 3 at least, preferably age 5. That is the latest from the research. However, we can't blame ourselves if we didn't know. And we don't even know that following these strict guidelines would prevent PA, just lessen the risk. I ate very very little peanut products while pregnant or nursing and my child is highly allergic. I don't think any of us should blame ourselves or blame breastfeeding. I do however, think Doctors have an obligation to share the warning. I was never told, and my pediatrician is also a pediatric allergist!

On Feb 7, 2001

I ate peanut products during both of my pregnacies and while nursing. My daughter has no allergies, my son does.

Case in point about peanut allergies and predispostion...my 28 year old SIL had been eating peanuts her entire life. Last year she took one bite of a Reese's cup and had to be rushed to the ER via Rescue because her throat started closing. She went to an allergist and tested positive for peanut allergy.

I was never warned about staying away from peanut products while pregnant or nursing. I had never heard of a peanut allergy until my son was diagnosed.

What amazes me is we all got the warning AFTER our children tested positive or had their initial reaction. Now the warnings are all over the place.

I agree though with the other comments on here about not beating yourself up for eating peanut products. I do mention warnings to friends and family about not introducting PB before the age of 3 (now I think it's age 5) if there is a history of eczema or asthma in the family.

This whole allergy is a mystery to me. What I want to know is why is it so prevalent now? What has changed over the years from not even hearing of this allergy to why are there so many who have it now!

------------------ Stay Safe.

On Feb 7, 2001

I have developed my own theory (probably something that is already out there) about this "why now - why so much?" question just since we found out our son has a PA. A whole two weeks! Now that we're aware of IT and people talk so much about how no contact with IT may reduce the risk or cut it out altogether, and we're reading all of our labels and finding IT hidden in places, it seems obvious. How much peanut do you think was used in products when our grandparents were feeding our parents?? I'm guessing not too much!! Lots more people (more than now) were living on farms and that was their living. TV diners were a novelty, most moms made everything from "scratch", lots of home remedies were used instead of so many antibiotics, maybe less chemicals were used in farming (I'm guessing yes to that one)and I don't believe that peanut butter was a staple item in any of my grandparents homes. If I'm way off on the grandparent thing, then switch it to great grandparent. My point is - peanut is in everything (almost) so if being sensitized is a way of developing an allergy then... HELLO?? Of course we're all going to allergic to it! Of course I also believe that all of the other things added to produce and meats and our bodies does not help us to remain healthy individuals. Don't get me wrong - I'm a modern day person and I eat modern day food. Maybe it just took a wake-up call and a whole bunch of people on a discussion board with different ideas and reasons for why this may be going on to start figuring things out! (really bad sentence structure - sorry!) WHEW! Where did that come from?!? So, that's just my humble opinion. And it is completely uneducated!! Kim.

On Feb 10, 2001

oh this is a good topic...and i would like to vent!! my 14month old is breastfeed and we found out about his pa recently. here is my beef: our pediatrian told us to start solids at 4months...i waited until 6months...she said wait until a year to introduce peanut butter - not because of allergies but because of a choking hazard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there was no mention of staying away from peanuts or any other allergns if there may be a genetic link (my bil is also pa!) while nursing, and i love nuts (well, loved) and ate tons of them while nursing. he had a hard time nursing for a long time and i asked the peditrian about that and she said just stay with it, change positions, etc. There was also a mild case of eczema. so i am angry that she couldn't put two and two together. oh, i feel better now

On Feb 10, 2001

I'm sorry, I agree with DMB. I'm actually quite tired of this "blame the mother" attitude for our children's life threatening allergy.

I have hated pb since I was a child. I did consume peanuts while I was pregnant, but they would have been minimal. The same with breastfeeding and actually my breastfeeding could even be considered minimal. Yes, I did consume some peanuts while pregnant with both children, but I really don't believe enough to make them PA. And it turns out one isn't anyway.

I totally disagree with this theory and feel that it guilts Mothers out especially who are already having a hard time dealing with their child being diagnosed PA. I am sure there are lot of other women out there that didn't have peanuts as a main food staple during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as I did, and still have PA children.

I totally agree with DMB. I was actually saddened to see this topic had been raised yet again. I feel it's been discussed to death.

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

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On Feb 10, 2001

Amy Frankel - I am really shocked that Dr. Sampson seems to have found preliminary evidence that mothers with severe and multiple allergies shouldn't breastfeed because they'll pass along their "abnormal immune response" to their babies!

To me, it seems that the fetus has genetic material from both parents that will determine an allergic tendency. PLUS, the fetus is living inside the mother for 40 weeks - wouldn't this be considered plenty of time for allergens to be passed via the placenta?

I don't think breastfeeding causes PA - it's already there - but eating peanut products may trigger it. Mothers should NOT beat themselves up about consuming peanut products, because there is NO WAY TO KNOW which child will react! Yes, avoidance can be advised when there is a family tendency to allergy - otherwise, we just take our chances. 100 mothers breastfeeding 100 babies - between 2 and 5 of those babies will develop PA. The odds are slim.

Breastmilk is wonderful food for babies! This "perfect" food shouldn't be viewed as something that can pass along an "abnormal immune system". Talk about guilt! I hope Dr. Sampson researches this more and releases his findings ASAP. I could go on, but I fear my post will denigrate to a rant, if it hasn't already...

On Feb 10, 2001

Cayley's Mom, I already started to go into rant mode if it makes you feel any better. I also think what you had to say is extremely valid.

I also wanted to add, however, that yes, I agree that our doctors/ob/gyn's should be advising us to avoid peanut products during pregnancy and breastfeeding and that we should also be warned by pediatricians (?) not to introduce this product until the age of 3 or better 5.

I'm just wondering if this same attitude is held towards other food allergies. If you drank a lot of milk during pregnancy is your child more likely to be allergic to milk? If you ate a lot of eggs during pregnancy is your child more likely to be allergic to eggs? You get my drift. Jesse should actually be allergic to highly spiced olives and hot salsa!

I agree, doctors should be warning their pregnant patients. But I really resent the "blame the mother" attitude and again will argue that perhaps it could have been something that was passed from the Father's sperm. Did the Father eat a lot of peanut products when conceiving the PA child?

And I totally agree with Cayley's Mom in response to Amy's post. Did anyone tell any of us that had a lot of allergies (if not food ones) that we should not breastfeed? And again, as mentioned, surely, the 40 weeks the child spends in our body is long enough for them to absorb part of our abnormal immune systems! My soul!

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

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On Feb 11, 2001

Was my post misinterpreted as a "blame the mother" approach to this topic?? If yes - so sorry, That is not at all what I was saying. It was a "blame government, food processing, society etc." thing. Everyone who adds weird stuff to our food and our air and our water and everything we come into contact with, which doesn't give us much choice in what to eat. Not to mention the government that we trust to govern these things so that our country/world is a better, healthier place. Sorry.

On Feb 11, 2001

Merri-Kim, no, I wasn't taking YOUR post as a "blame the mother" post. I actually tend to agree with your theory about the environment and allergies. I'm not able to say it as well so when I do put it down, it comes across as a rather whacko theory. I just believe that we have destroyed the earth to the point where are bodies are no longer able to live on it. We are showing up with weakened immune systems with increased allergies, asthma, and a litany of other things because of what we have done to the environment. I don't know if that makes any sense at all, but, actually, it is basically what you're saying.

No, it definitely was not your post that was taken that way. I'm sorry you felt that it was. It was not my intention. I agree with you!

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

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On Feb 11, 2001

Merri-Kim - Sorry if my post seemed directed at you. It wasn't intended to be directed to any of the posters on this thread in a negative way. I just take issue with the subject of penalizing mothers with allergies who want to have the experience of breastfeeding their babies.

In fact, I agree with your post. The immune system is still a largely unexplored area in medicine - indeed, who knows what long term havoc we're wreaking on it with pesticides, antibiotics, herbal remedies and food preservatives. My "rant" was just a rant, not to be taken personally in any way. Sorry if you got that impression. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Feb 11, 2001

Cayley's Mom, now we just need Merri-Kim in here to see that we both apologized to her and weren't directing our rants against her.

I completely understood where you were coming from and didn't see your post as directed at anyone and hopefully you can see the same in mine.

I actually have a question popping into my head over this one, Did Your Partner Eat a Lot of Peanut Products While Conceiving Your PA Child?

I do understand that we, as Mothers, can exercise some caution over what we ingest, but from my experience alone, I know that Jesse didn't get PA because I ate peanut products while pregnant or nursing. We have explored this particular issue to no end and I really feel that a lot of Mothers are blaming themselves for their child's PA.

Then, to have a well respected doctor in this field blame it on us passing on our weakened immune systems, well! He might as well tell what percentage of the population not to breastfeed at all. And yet, anything that I had read reinforced that it was positive to breastfeed and that it built up your child's immune system. It didn't mention that you had to have a great immune system yourself first before breastfeeding or my soul, I never would have bothered!

Merri-Kim, I hope you see both my post and Cayley's Mom's post. I think you'll find that we both agree with your theory and that we certainly weren't saying anything against you. Also, as someone new to the board, please try to remember that when things do seem directed to you personally, a lot of the time, and actually most of the time, they're not. It's something that happens in cyberspace that leads us to believe things are directed at us that aren't. Believe me, I have learned the hard way from being on this board, but I also know that when I do want to post something in response to what someone else has said, I will actually use their UserName in my post so that they do know, as I did in my apology to you above.

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

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On Feb 11, 2001

Cindy and Cayley's mom - No worries! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I wasn't offended - I just wanted to make sure that no one else was! Thanks for your posts anyways! Kim.

On Feb 11, 2001

I was also very upset at Dr. Sampson's preliminary news about breastfeeding and allergies - and I certainly hope it is proved incorrect. I'm obviously a big breastfeeding advocate - I nursed for 2 and 21/2 years respectively, and worked for a lactation service! But it will be interesting to see if (heaven forbid) it is proven correct, if that info will be passed on, just as nobody cautioned any of us about eating peanuts and nuts during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Sometimes in matters of health it seems like the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing!

Amy

On Feb 11, 2001

Going Nuts, I totally agree with you. We have been made to feel, especially in recent years, that you should breastfeed or that you weren't being a good Mother. And, if you read about breastfeeding you read about all of the benefits for the breastfed child. But, no where, in any literature does it say, (or I should say, any literature that I was given or read) that women with allergies shouldn't breastfeed.

I thought by breastfeeding (and even though it was a short time with Jesse) that I was perhaps helping him to not be as allergic to things in life as I was. Well, obviously, wrong!

I really believe this information should get out there - if you have allergies or a family history of allergies, don't even bother breastfeeding as you are putting your child at more risk instead of supposedly lessening it.

I just wonder how many of us actually have family histories on both sides with absolutely no allergies and therefore would qualify as "normal" immune system breastfeeders.

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

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On Feb 13, 2001

whoever posted about dr. sampson's so called remark at the FAN conference should come back and actually list some reference sites where we can actually see that he said that. I think the poster must have misunderstood his remarks as my daughter has been a patient of one of his partners for quite some time and have heard the EXACT opposite. That there has been NO study that shows a mother with a predisposition for allergies should not breastfeed. HOGWASH to that! However, I would think he may have remarked that there have been studies that MAY indicate that an allergic mother should be wary of her food intake when nursing due to the proteins being passed in the breastmilk NOT the faulty immune properties being passed in breastmilk, that doesn't actually make much biological sense!

On Feb 13, 2001

I am the mother of 14 month old triplets. I breast fed all three for five months. I also drank a lot of milk and ate peanut butter both during my pregnancy and while breast feeding. On of my three has an allergy to peanut butter (still waiting for the blood results) while the other two do not. I believe that if breastfeeding has anything to do with food allergies it is only when a child has a genetic predisposition to that allergy. Genetics can be pretty much hit or miss; blonde or brown hair, right or left handed, tall or short... And if a child has a genetic predisposition who is to say whether exposure to peanuts/wheat/egg/soy... through breast milk would have been the only thing to trigger the allergy. Maybe it would just appear at a later age when they are exposed to the allergen through their own ingestion. Just my two cents.

On Feb 13, 2001

sbd,

What a great example!! You breastfed three babies at the same time (YIKES!!!!!) so obviously they were all three getting the same milk and only one of them ended up with the peanut allergy. Thanks for sharing!

Deanna

On Feb 13, 2001

I don't feel that breastfeeding caused my daughter's allergy, but I can't shake the feeling that she was sensitized to peanuts while breastfeeding. Otherwise how could she have had a pretty severe reaction upon her first ingested exposure? There has to be sensitization before there can be an allergic reaction. I couldn't think of any othre way she could have been exposed. I don't feel guilty, and I would have chosen to breastfeed even if I had been told of the possibility. What does bother me is that more doctors are not telling parents to hold off on highly allergenic foods like peanuts until at least 3 years old. I can't tell you how many "well meaning" friends and family told me after the fact that I should NEVER have given peanut butter to her at such a young age. That did make me feel a bit guilty, that they had heard or read this fact, and I (who was reading three different baby books and just about every parenting magazine on the market) had not known.

On Feb 16, 2001

dmb, Well I didn't exactly nurse three at the same time (physically impossible :-)) but I did nurse two at each feeding while one got a bottle of formula so there was never just one exposed to something I had eaten. I forgot to mention that my triplets are not identical and the one with the allergy is one of my two girls. What this tells me is that a child has to have a genetic predisposition to the allergen and genetics are hard to determine (brown or blue eye, left or right handed...). Sometimes I think we expose children to new foods too late. I was eating cereal and fruit at three weeks, whole milk at 6 months and all food by 10 months. I also think that so many of the antibacterial products we use and processed food we eat aren't natural. My great-grandmother always said that we need to eat a peck of dirt in our lifetime. The increase in allergies in our children could also be due to the evolution of our immune system. They say that children whose parents had eczema or asthma are more likely to have allergies. Who knows. But based upon the experience I have had with my three babies I think we should all stop trying to make connections to something that we or our husbands did before during or after the pregnancy. Although it can be very traumatic and nerve wracking for some people to live with, it is not a birth defect and I don't believe it can be prevented.

On Feb 24, 2001

I have twin sons, almost 4 years old. Both were breast fed. Only one has allergies. I do not buy the breast feeding correlation considering that peanuts are in almost everything in China, and supposedly their are very few people in China that are allergic to peanuts. I have read this in a few different sources, but it was some time ago and I do not remember the sources. Also, I suspect that the predisposition to allergies is genetically based, but onset of an allergy may be more related to development stage of immune system. My understanding is that it is actually common for one twin to have allergies and the other not. This only seems to make sense if it is a development issue, particularly for identical twins.

On Feb 25, 2001

I tend to agree with the immune sytem development issue and genetics, also. My mother is an identical twin. She and my aunt do not have severe allergies, just seasonal hay fever. My mother has a host of other auto immune disorders that my aunt does not have. Lupus, childhood arthritis, type 2 diabetes, etc.

[This message has been edited by Scooby (edited February 25, 2001).]

On Feb 25, 2001

I've been hearing about vaccines causing various things - autism, allergies - anyone have any info on this?

On Feb 25, 2001

Well, I know my son wasn't sensitized thru my breastmilk, but I feel it definitely contributed. I ate LOADS of peanut butter while pregnant, and while nursing - craved it, actually. Then when he ate his first pb at 1yr (ped said it was fine and I didn't know to question this), he got hives all over. Well, after this we started grilling all restaurants, etc, that we went to, and found out that one place we had eaten at a few weeks earlier cooked their fries in peanut oil - Austin ate fries there. So that must have been when he was sensitized. But I can't help but think my pb consumption played a role......hindsight [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

On Feb 27, 2001

Hi, I know that everyone has their own ideas on the breast feeding and pb topic.I myself feel that if I didn't eat all those beer nuts that there would have been a way less chance of my daughter developing this nasty allergy. They do say to stay away from high allery foods while pregnant,such as seafood.Just a little disapointed that my doc never mentioned peanut. I have been in for a visit lately and did notice in a pamflet , they mentioned high allergy foods to avoid when pregnant and peanut was in there. Mabye it is not a sure thing but I think it contributes alot to may getting the allergy. Not every peanut consuming mom will have a child become pa because of eating it while pregnant but it I think}brings the odds a lot higher. Again just my own thoughts,and hey I would never blame myself .You think that if someone would have mentioned it I wouldn't have touched the stuff ,believe me who would. Didn't even have a clue what a peanut allergy was or what the reactions were. Its all about educating the mother while pregnant.Being such a new and rising allergy it should be addressed while pregnant.

By the way I nursed for 8 months and ate alot of peanuts ,but hey i don't blame me. Thxs

On Feb 27, 2001

I breastfed Katelyn for 7 months, and I didn't eat straight 'peanut' products, but I'm sure I consumed those with peanuts in it. I had no idea allergies were even a possibility, although I couldn't eat tomato sauce when I was preggo. She doesn't have that allergy, just severe peanuts, and the only link I can make is 2 of my cousins have severe peanut allergy, she also has severe dust mites and dog/cat dander, and minimal seasonal.

On Feb 27, 2001

WOW! I hate believing that I had anything to do with the allergy - so I don't. I have two children and I have an identical twin sister who have two children. Both of mine have allergies, neither of hers do - we both breast feed. My sister hates walnuts and refuses to eat them. I love walnuts and almonds. My sister loves PB and Marshmallow Fluff sandwiches - I don't really like peanuts butter. We both had similar pregnancies - lots of morning sickness, low iron and kidney stones.

Overall, my sister would be much more likely to consume a lot of peanuts than would I. And again neither of her kids have allergies. It is hard to know what to believe - I have been to different allergist and recieved different information. Bottom line I don't think anyone really know. But, I don't believe that your nutrition would cause an allergy. I believe that via breast milk a child can become exposed. But the tendancy toward the allergy already has to be there.

Anyway, that is my two-cents. Melinda

On Feb 27, 2001

I am a new member and happened to stumble upon this site. I think it is great!

Regarding breastfeeding and peanut allergy, I have long suspected that there is a link between peanut ingestion in a breastfeeding mom and the ultimate development of pa in the child. I also think there is a link between peanut ingestion during pregnancy and pa. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and was on the state diet program for this called sweet success. They really push peanut butter as a source of protein and during my first pregnancy was told to eat peanut butter on toast every morning. There was no history of pa in my family, yet my son developed it. I really felt terrible and responsible for this. I just gave birth to my second child in Dec. but made sure this time that I had no peanuts in my diet. I am breastfeeding and when it comes time to introduce foods to her I plan on waiting on peanuts until she enters kindergarten and then only under close supervision. If she shows other signs of allergies/sensitivies before that then I will probably request a test instead.

My doctors all think I am paranoid when I suggest that there is this link since the "studies" don't prove anything. My advice to pregnant women is not to eat peanuts! It is a minor sacrifice and could make all the difference in the world.

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