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Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 3:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

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

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 4:22am
Emily in Maryland's picture
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Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2001 - 4:35am
Scooby's picture
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Joined: 04/09/2000 - 09:00

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!

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2001 - 5:24am
Mich's picture
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Joined: 09/16/1999 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2001 - 8:57am
Frances's picture
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Joined: 11/28/2000 - 09:00

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!

Posted on: Wed, 02/07/2001 - 1:17am
no nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/24/2000 - 09:00

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!

Posted on: Wed, 02/07/2001 - 2:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

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!
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Stay Safe.

Posted on: Wed, 02/07/2001 - 9:14am
Merri - Kim's picture
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Joined: 01/31/2001 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2001 - 9:10am
shale3's picture
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Joined: 12/18/2000 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2001 - 11:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

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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