Breastfeeding and Peanut Allergy!

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 1:39am
mknb's picture
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Joined: 01/30/2001 - 09:00

pWhen 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.br /
My daughter who is 20 months shows no signs of any allergies, with her I had NO peanut products or milk only cheese.br /
What do you think?/p

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 2:24am
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 3:30am
arachide's picture
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Joined: 08/16/2000 - 09:00

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!

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 7:18am
Joanne's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 7:23am
BENSMOM's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 7:40am
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Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 12:42am
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Joined: 10/25/2000 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 12:46am
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DMB
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Joined: 02/22/2001 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 1:05am
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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]

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 1:17am
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Joined: 06/09/2000 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 2:52am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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.

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