Breastfeeding and Pregnant Moms - Beware


Hi everybody!

I'm curious about something which has troubled me for quite some time. How many of you read a book called "What to expect when you're expecting" and it's successor "What to expect the First year"? I read both of these books, and followed what they called the "Best Odds Diet", with the approval of my OBGYN. The diet is definetely on target with respect to assuring that a pregnant and breastfeeding mom receives all her required nutrients. However, the diet "hawks" peanuts and peanut butter, and the books are number one best sellers. I can't tell you how many days I stared at the bottom of a toilet bowl, yaking my guts up from morning sickness, and then ate two tablespoons of peanut butter because it would be easier on my sour stomach than an 8oz. chicken breast (as the diet recommended).

Are you all aware that current research supports a link not only between breastfeeding and peanut consumption, but between pregnancy and peanut consumption? I did not make this mistake in my second pregnancy. I knew my son was allergic to peanuts. I did not eat them when I was pregnant or breastfeeding the second time, and guess what? My daughter, now 2 1/2 is not showing any signs of any allergy. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and you have a history of allergy, PLEASE, PLEASE do not eat peanuts or nut containing products or products containing natural flavor (unless you have checked with the manufacturer). You may actually save your child from a life of dealing with these issues. I'd really like to hear responses on this - it's bothered me for a long, long time.

On Mar 18, 1999

Hi Laura, I agree with you. It really bothers me too. I breastfeed my third child and ate alot of peanuts and peanut butter. He is the only one who I nursed and the only one with this awful peanut allergy and is allergic to many other foods. I can't figure it out!

On Mar 18, 1999

I agree with both of you that if I were to get pregnant again, I definitely would stay away from peanuts/peanut butter. But, I ate peanut butter with banana on toast just about every day of both my pregnancies and while breastfeeding (both times for 3 months) and my first son does not have a single food allergy and my second son has many. I just don't think it proves it completely. I think genes still have a lot to do with it and my youngest must have gotten more than his share of the allergy prone ones. But as I said before, you can bet if I got pregnant now I would not eat any peanut products just to give the child the best chance possible to avoid an allergy. Lisa M

On Mar 21, 1999

I am still breastfeeding my son who is now peanut allergic: he has never had a peanut product in his life, except, I guess, through breastmilk and while I was pregnant and extremely nauseated by meat. Now I treat myself as though I were allergic to peanuts as well, as that seems to be the safest thing I can do for my baby, even though he's already allergic, why sensitize him even further? I also lived by the books you mentioned, and also my ob's recomm. to eat more protein as I was losing weight. You can bet that next time I'm pregnant I will NOT be eating peanut products and will try to find some other type of protein to get me through those first couple of months. I do wonder, though, whether or not my son would have been allergic one day, regardless, as both my husband and I have several food allergies between us. I don't know how it all works, but do know that my son's genes weren't working in his favor. I have many friends who are shocked to find out that this can happen through pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it's hard to explain it to them. I don't think the authors of those books were aware of the peanut problem, as many people aren't, and it's up to those of us affected to "get the word out" - how else will they understand, unless they have to go through it themselves? Experience is a valuable tool - too bad it has to happen this way.

On Mar 22, 1999


Two allergists told me separately that my son would have most likely become allergic to peanuts sooner or later. They said he was sensitized sooner, most likely because I ate peanut butter while nursing. If it didn't happen while I was nursing, it would have happened pretty quickly anyway because peanuts are such a major part of our diets.


On Mar 23, 1999

I don't think there is enough evidence to truly support the link between pn allergies and exposure in utero and breastfeeding (especially in utero, where its harder to measure what proteins pass thru the placenta). There have not been enough studies done to difinitively say there is or isn't a link.

Until there are conclusive answers, I do agree if you have a family history of allergies you should err on the side of caution and avoid the common allergenic foods. For me even this knowledge wouldn't have helped because we have no family history of allergies, so I wouldn't have thought I needed to avoid peanuts.

[This message has been edited by brenda (edited March 23, 1999).]

On Mar 24, 1999

Hi. This is my very first post- I have been absorbing lots of information from this incredible website ever since my son (now 14months old) had an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts at 11 months. To LauraP I have this to say: I am also EXTREMELY upset at all the pregnancy books I read before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding (I am still breastfeeding) who all mention peanuts to be a "great source of protein" etc. I had "what to eat when you're expecting" and another book about nutrition and pregnancy and I thought I was being sooo prepared by reading these books. The one thing I did not know was that I should never have eaten the quantity of peanut butter that I did while pregnant and while breastfeeding( I ate a TON of peanut butter!!) I am thinking of writing a letter to these books, and also magazines that still mention how great a snack peanut butter is to let them know how disappointed I am (and others with these same feelings) that they don't include a statement like, "If you have family history of allergies, peanuts should be eaten with caution", or something to that effect. I also think that peanuts and peanut products should have labeling on them, something like a warning label for pregnant women. (They want to approve such a label for people allergic to latex, why not peanuts?) I realize that it is still possible that my son would still be allergic to peanuts even if I had not touched peanut butter during pregnancy, but I believe that it would have been less severe... Is anyone interested in signing such a letter if I eventually get one written to these books? I am going to e-mail Chris to run this idea by I also think that my OB/GYN should know this kind of information... One last thing I have to say is that in France, pregnant women are all told to avoiid peanuts- I am infuriated that we are not told the same thing... Astrid mom in Reston, VA

On Mar 24, 1999

Astrid, I would sign a letter. People need to be more aware of this. Women should know that they need to stay away from peanut products during pregnancy and nursing. My doctor did not hear of this until I came in to see him, now he warns all his pregnant and nursing patients.

On Mar 24, 1999

I would sign such a letter, too. I must say, however, that my son's pn allergy appears to be "out of the blue." That is, we have no history of allergy anything in our family (or asthma/eczema), and I ate peanut butter only rarely during pregnancy. I ate it a bit more during nursing, but certainly not to an excessive degree, and certainly no more than any other common allergenic food. If I had been advised not to eat peanute products, I probably would not have, since I followed all the other instructions, but I'm not sure it would have made a difference in my case. Nancy

On Mar 25, 1999

Hi everybody -

I see my OBGYN in two weeks (she's peanut allergic herself) and I'm going to find out if there have been any recommendations for OBGYN's in the U.S. to advise their patients of this. I'll find out if there's a medical journal or organization (perhaps the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) that we should collectively write to about this.

On Mar 25, 1999


Having articles to refer my doctor to would help. I really like him and think he's a good doctor (he's got a fabulous reputation), but sometimes when I suggest things he gets a little defensive -- not too bad, but I'm sure it's hard to listen to everyone's theories all day long. So I thought if there was an official article or recommendation I could show him, it would help convince him better.



On Mar 26, 1999

LauraP, - Please let us know what your OB/GYN says...

Astrid mom in Reston, VA

[This message has been edited by Astrid (edited March 26, 1999).]

On Mar 26, 1999

Hello, Just wanted to make a comment. I am 9 weeks pregnant. I have been and plan to continue to avoid peanuts during pregnancy and nursing. My 2 year old is allergic. Although my OB/GYN nurse hasn't heard of avoiding peanuts to possibly delay the allergy and they is no proven studies. Peanut butter is no big deal to avoid. If someone had told me avoiding peanuts in my first pregnancy might delay or stop a allergy, there would be no question to what my answer would be.


On Mar 26, 1999

Hi everybody- I just discovered that there is a topic under the "living with peanut allergy" discussion board entitled, "Allergies and the breastfeeding families" No one there mentioned anything about writing to pregnancy books- so I will go ahead and do that now to see what they think over there... Astrid mom in Reston, VA

On Mar 27, 1999

Tracy -

Refer your OBGYN to these articles:

1. Women Warned to Avoid Peanuts During Pregnancy and Lactation By: Kmietowicz, Z. BMJ June 27, 1998 316(7149): 1926 PMI: 9687178, UI: 98347740. In England, the government has advised over 250,000 pregnant women with a history of allergy in the family not to eat peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding. They conclude sensitization can occur in utero (although uncertain as to exactly how - either antigens from the mother crossing the placenta, or fetuses swallowing IgE in the amniotic fluid). The full report is available form the Department of Health, P.O. Box 410, Wetherby, North Yorkshire LS237LN Fax 01937845381.

Also, studies on intrauterine sensitization continue - two your OBGYN might be interested in reading:

1. A Case of Cow's Milk Allergy in the Neo-natal Period - Evidence For Intrauterine Sensitization? Pediatric Allergy Immunology 1997 Aug 8(3): 153-5 Feiterna-Sperling, Here, a patient in a German Children's Hospital was born with bloody meconium, and bloody diarrhea that persisted for a few days after birth. When only 14 days old, the child had elevated IgE to cow's milk. Based on their clinical observations, doctors concluded there was strong evidence the the cow's milk sensitization occurred in utero.

2. Pre-Natal Allergen contact with milk proteins Clin. Exp. Allergy 1997 Jan 27(1): 28-35 By Szepfalusi Z. et. al. Dept. Of Pediatrics, University of Vienna Austria - In this study umbilical cord blood was incubated with cow's milk - the conclusion? Since the cord blood cells recognized the allergens, the allergy priming must occur prenatally.

Hope that helps!

On Mar 27, 1999

Thanks for the titles Laura. I'll pass them along.

On Mar 29, 1999


Thanks -- my next appt with my ob/gyn is in several weeks, so I plan to be prepared.

I talked with my son's pediatrician for his 15 month check-up today... told him about the breast-feeding connection. He had "sortof" heard of it. I let him know that I would have liked to have been informed about that connection, especially since we interviewed him while I was still pregnant. (We asked him what we needed to be concerned about with our family history of allergies and other problems.) It's frustrating when I have asked the right questions, but people haven't offered up useful information.


On Apr 23, 1999

Hello! I just wanted to say that I have breastfed all three of my children. Only one, the firstborn, has the peanut allergy. I cannot say that my diet differed greatly in any of the pregnancies or during lactation. However, if not eating peanut products would lessen the chance of this happening,it would be worth a try.

On Apr 27, 1999

I recently found an old tube of Masse breast cream in the bottom of a seldom used drawer. This product was sent home with me by the hospital to treat sore nipples. Just as I was fixing to toss it into the trash, I caught the words "Peanut Oil" on it in the ingredients list. I thought other nursing moms might want to be aware of this. But be sure to check out a current label as this one is 8 years old. I didn't use the cream with my other two makes me curious to know whether this was the beginning of my daughter's sensitization?!?!

[This message has been edited by KWest (edited April 28, 1999).]

On Apr 29, 1999

Astrid- Yes!!! I would sign your letter. My history of peanut butter goes way back. I ate it ALL the time as a child. School lunches, etc. It was my daily staple. Consequently when I got pregnant I thought," What could be better for my baby than this great source of protein" and I went on eating it almost every day. Even throughout nursing. Then I did the same with my second child. Just as I finished nursing her we found out that our firstborn was allergic to peanuts. They are now 4 and 2. About a month ago I said to my husband, "Well, it couldn't have been that because she seems fine and I treated them both the same." Well, last week she ingested a peanut M & M and there we were in emergency. So, to make a long story short, I am TOTALLY CONVINCED that this is why they are both allergic. It was pumping through their veins the moment they were conceived!!!! Let me know what you have done!!

On Apr 29, 1999

I just posted the response from the March of Dimes that we received. You can read it on the Main Discussion Board under the Pregnacy and Peanuts thread from 01-22-99 by Chris PeanutAllergy Com Stay Safe,

------------------ [email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

On Jul 24, 1999

That March of Dimes representative will be eating crow one day... In the meantime, how many more peanut-allergic children will be born before they get it.

We're at two against one with the studies now. Here's another research study supporting the idea of in utero sensitization:

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 1999 Feb;10(1):27-32

Exposure to peanuts in utero and in infancy and the development of sensitization to peanut allergens in young children.

Frank L, Marian A, Visser M, Weinberg E, Potter PC

Department of Immunology, Groote Schuur Hospital Allergy Clinic, Red Cross Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

This study attempted to determine the underlying factors that may influence the development of peanut sensitization in young children in South Africa. One of our objectives was to ascertain whether the consumption of peanuts or peanut-containing foods during pregnancy and lactation by mothers from atopic families impacted upon the development of an allergic response to peanuts in the child. Forty-three children between the ages of 0 and 3 yr participated in this study. There were 25 peanut-sensitized subjects and 18 control subjects (children sensitized to milk and/or egg, but not to peanuts). A significant association was found between peanut sensitization and sensitivity to soya (p=0.0002), wheat (p=0.03), and cod fish. We found that mothers who consumed peanuts more than once a week during pregnancy were more likely to have a peanut-allergic child than mothers who consumed peanuts less than once a week (odds ratio=3.97, 98% confidence interval 0.73-24). Peanuts or peanut butter was introduced into the child's diet from a significantly younger age in the peanut-allergic subjects (p<0.03). There was a positive correlation in the peanut-allergic subjects between age of introduction of peanuts and age at the onset of symptoms (r=0.63). Exclusive breast feeding did not protect against the development of peanut sensitization. Peanut allergy is associated with an increased risk of sensitization to other foods. It is more likely to occur if mothers eat peanuts more frequently during pregnancy and introduce it early to the infant's diet. These features highlight potentially avoidable factors that might prevent sensitization.


On Jul 25, 1999

I was just wondering with the study in Africa.....did they purposely give these peanut products to these young children and mothers? Seems kind of cruel to try and induce such a dreadful life threatening allergy on anyone. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. For my family and I, not a day goes by without the thought of what this allergy can do. It is like a time bomb waiting to go off. Sometimes I think, since Seans anaphylactic reaction, that I suffer some sort of after affects. I guess maybe something like post traumatic stress. I would also hate to think that, like the tobacco industry, these book publishers and physicians are withholding vital information regarding the health and welfare of our children for the almighty dollar. I don't know if anyone else feels some guilt about their child having this allergy because of something they may have eaten, but I do. Had I known this information before hand, I would have never touched any peanut product. Lynda

On Jul 26, 1999

Just to add to this discussion, I will mention that there is a PA mom with a PA child (and a non-PA child) on this discussion board. She proves that a child can have the allergy even if no peanuts are eaten during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

I think that it makes sense to not eat peanuts during pregnancy/breastfeeding just to be sure, but to you moms out there, I wouldn't beat myself up about having done it. Anything can happen, regardless of whether you ate peanuts or not.

On Jul 26, 1999

I am so depressed about this! I just found out my two year old is peanut allergic and I ate peanut butter all the time when pregnant and nursing him. To make it worse I have another baby due in 2 weeks and up until 2 weeks ago when my older son had his reaction, I had been eating peanut butter all the time with this child too so I guess I've already ruined him! It just really makes me sick to think about it. I had no idea I was hurting my children. I certainly would have never touched the stuff if I had known better. I've never read a thing about avoiding peanut butter in any pregnancy book. There are no allergies at all in my family so I've never thought much about them. However, my husband's family is full of them so I guess that's where all this is coming from. My husband isn't allergic to peanut butter though. I'm just sick about all of this. I really am. sheila

On Jul 26, 1999

Sheila, I share your pain...I knew nothing about the peanut allergy until my son had it. I ate PB throughout both of my pregnancies, and while nursing. My 8 year old daughter has no known allergies, whereas my 5 year old son had eczema, and is allergic to peanuts, eggs, dust mites and has hayfever. He outgrew his milk and soy allergies.

When I look back on this, I craved Chicken Lo Mein during the last trimester of my pregnancy with my son. Chinese food is cooked in peanut oil and they line egg rolls with peanut butter (some do) to hold them together. I ate pickles with PB on them...gross I know!

My husband's side of the family has the eczema and the asthma.

I can't explain why one child has allergies and one doesn't. Don't beat yourself up about it...they are still doing research on this. We did the best that we could with the knowledge we had.

Stay Safe.

On Mar 22, 2000

I would like to answer to LauraP. I don,t know for sure if you had an article published in "Child" magazine regarding Logan's peanut allergy, but I'm glad if it is you that I now have the opportunity to thank you so much for this article, it may have saved my son, it can have in other words prevented another child from getting this terrible allergy. My son was diagnosed at the age of 3 months with milk allergy, which he fortunately had totally outgrown by the age of 18 months. Your article was so helpful!! Who would have ever imagined that natural and artificial flavorings could contain peanuts? Not to mention my clueless pediatrician who suggested we do a peanut and egg challange at one year of age! I told him over my dead body! I now got in contact with a fantastic pediatric allergist who suggested I keep my son away from peanuts, treenuts, fish and shellfish until and if possible over the age of five! Give me any other helpful info if you can! As for other foods, so far so good, even if I did not try eggs yet. I think I will wait a bit longer. And out of curiosity how did Logan became allergic to peanuts since it seemed to me that he never ate them? Breastfeeding or processed food containing natural and artificial flavours? Thank you again.... I hope your testimony has touched someone else's life!

On Mar 22, 2000

I did not consume peanuts or any nuts when pregnant with my PA son. He possible inherited his allergy from his father - although his father is not PA. We have to be cautious with regards to linking eating peanuts while pregnant and PA children. I don't support that theory at all.

On Mar 23, 2000

Hi all, I do think there is a possible, even probable, link to peanut/pregnancy/breastfeeding, however, it does not explain all PA and SHOULD NOT be yet another reason for mothers of PA children to feel guilty. Because of severe gallbladder problems while pregnant, peanuts/peanut butter were not a part of my diet and my son was highly allergic from his first exposure. A close friend with a PA 5 year old son ate peanut butter alot while pregnant and nursing him and is convinced it sensitized him early. She has maintained a peanut free home and had a 2nd, peanut free pregnancy and her second son, now 2 1/2 is allergy free. We are trying to share this info with the other parents at our sons' school so maybe some younger children coming along won't develop this allergy. We are hoping to set up a "Food Allergy Awareness" booth at our Family Fun Fair. I like Maya Angelou's quote, "When you knew better, you did better."

On Mar 23, 2000

Here is my two cents. My 19 month old son is severely allergic to peanuts. I have no food allergies, my baby's father has no food allergies. The only person on either side of our families who has an allergy is my mother-who can't eat Brazil nuts.

During my first trimester, I was watching 20/20, or one of those type of shows, and their topic was peanut allergies and should they be banned in school. They also talked about pregnancy and breastfeeding and can allergies be passed along that way.

I had the first and last bite of a peanut butter sandwhich in my mouth. I prompty spit it out and never touched peanuts again ( I was early in my first trimester). I later went to my OB/GYN and asked about the peanuts. She said "pshaw" or something along those lines. I still never touched peanuts.

I don't know if my story is of any help to anyone reading. But for those of you who consistantly ate peanuts throughout your pregnancy and your child is PA, please don't beat yourself up. Be grateful that you have beautiful children that you love every minute of every day. Feeling guilty is not healthy for you or your children.

On Mar 23, 2000

I ate lots of peanut butter with my first and second pregnancies. However, my oldest child is severly allergic to tree nuts and not to peanuts. I did have some walnuts, especially with breastfeeding, but not every day. Her first exposure to tree nuts was an anaphylactic shock, so she was sensitized probably during nursing. But the peanut butter did not sensitize her. Go figure. I'm avoiding all life-long allergens with my last daughter (still nursing). Don't beat yourself up over the pregnancy/nursing exposure...some allergies just manifest in this way. But I do wish I had known. Has anyone heard about Identical Twins having a higher incidence of Peanut Allergy? Someone told me that yesterday?

On Mar 24, 2000

This is my feeling, and I'm sure it won't be popular, but I think we need to understand that most people in the world are NOT PA. We can't expect everything to change to our standards because we have PA children. There are people anaphylactic to milk, eggs, etc. Does that mean the books should tell pregnant women not to consume milk or eggs? For MOST people, peanuts are a good source of protein, etc. However, for mothers of PA kids, maybe it's not.

Maybe you're looking for someone to blame because your child is PA, whether it's the authors of these books, yourself, or whoever. I'm sure mothers of kids with other diseases go through this part of the grieving process, too. But at some point, you're going to have to accept this as a fact of life and move on, doing what you have to do to keep your child safe, but not being so sensitive that you drive yourself crazy with worry. I've spent many nights crying myself to sleep over this, but in the morning, nothing has changed.

Yes, PA is a very hard thing to deal with, but I don't believe that anyone has ever done anything to cause this to happen. It just happened. I think that the fact that my husband and I both have allergies in our families contributed to our son having PA, along with numerous other environmental allergies. But, I've never thought that I should have not married him, but looked for someone without allergies to marry and have children with.

Please keep some perspective then dealing with PA. I personally believe that there are other conditions and diseases out there that would truly be a lot harder.

On Mar 24, 2000

Just a thought... Our oldest child is PA. When he was diagnosed I was pregnant with our youngest child. The allergist told me that if I wanted to decrease the odds of our second child having food allergies, I should avoid eating the foods that are most often related to allergies (peanuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, etc.). I couldn't avoid the milk - love it too much - but the others were fairly easy, and we were already avoiding peanuts anyway. Our youngest is only 1 1/2, and he will not be tested for years yet, unless he has a reaction. Not saying I agree with ALL the "I did this, so this happened." I just wanted to pass along what the allergist told me.

On Mar 31, 2000

I'm glad so many of you take this subject seriously. As we know, breastfeeding is the best food for our young; unfortunately, most doctors aren't knowledgeable in this area. They tell us not to do drugs, drink or smoke, but never mention peanut products. They should have mothers who are nursing stay clear of peanut products while pregnant and nursing. They should also have children avoid all peanut products the first 3 years of life, as they do with honey for the first year. My son was diagnosed with a pa at 5 or 6 months of age after I had eated peanut crackers and nursed him later that day. He broke out with severe hives and red blotches all over his face.

On Mar 31, 2000

Okay, so what about the baby books that tell you about waiting until 1 year to give milk, egg and 3 years to give peanut butter to babies? My son has to have been sensatized via pregnancy or breast milk because I breast fed and MADE every bite of food he ate for the first year of his life. At 18 months he tested + to peanut, eggs. RAST and SKIN. Now I wonder if I never had him tested and never gave him pb until age three would he have been "not ALLERGIC"? As far as a reaction, he had one eye swell and three hives at 11 months, my EX pediaticain told me he was TOO YOUNG to have allergies. I do not know what caused that, but he had eczema all the time and URI's non stop. So I had him tested? I'm despartely holding on to the little thread of hope that his immune system was too immature....That we'll challange him at 5 and it will be okay!

On Apr 2, 2000

Just saw an item on Canadian National News this week about high levels of peanut protein in breast milk. Also the story discussed the proliferation of peanut containing products on the market. I am a registered Dietitian with a 2year old PA daughter. I now advise all of my clients to avoid peanuts during pregnancy and lactation as well as not introduce to children until age 3. Wish I had known this during my first pregnancy, I would have avoided nuts even though we have no family history of allergies.

On Apr 2, 2000

we are currently trying for a second child. Our first son does have pa. I am definitely going to stay away from peanuts this time. I am assuming I should stay away from tree nuts as well. Does anyone know if I should stay away from seeds? It seems that alot of pa children are allergic to seeds as well. I thought I would stay away from dairy as well as my son is allergic to dairy also but I am concerned about finding other dairy sources. Any input would be appreciated.

On Apr 8, 2000

Just count me in. My daughter's allergy also came out of the blue. I nursed her for 10 months and her first time with PB gave her hives. She had to be sensitized somewhere...Shan

On Apr 8, 2000

To reply to tynebaby- My pediatric allergist warned me, and I tend to agree, that if you start avoiding all foods that children could wind up being allergic to, then the danger is malnourishment (yourself, then baby). Peanuts and nuts, these are completely unnecessary forms of protein and can be avoided. But he told me stories of moms avoiding (besides peanuts and nuts): eggs, milk, wheat and soy, and possibly other foods... This, to me, is going over the deep end... What do you all think?

On Apr 10, 2000

Astrid, I understand how you feel. When I was pregnent, my belief was why should I avoid peanuts when there is only a small chance of my child becoming pa. What I should have been more aware of was that doctor's are finding a hereditary link in allergies. My sister's child was pa as well as dairy, soy, wheat, and egg allergic. It would make sense for doctor's to alert pregnant women of this hereditary link to food allergies. I did't believe it could happen to me. Unfortunately I had a child diagnosed very early with peanut, dairy and egg allergies. If I had known what I know today, doing without at least the peanuts would have been worth it, due to the severity of this allergy. I don't think I would have changed anything else.

On Apr 10, 2000

I think everyone needs to take a step back and try to extinguish the panic. Let's face it - people know much more today about food allergies than they did 2-3 years ago. I never ate peanuts/peanut butter during my pregnancy or while nursing because I don't care for them/it, and my daughter is still PA. There's a tremendous feeling of hopelessness and helplessness when you first learn of this allergy - I don't think ANYONE should take sole responsibility for "causing" it. When we saw Dr. Sampson at Mt. Sinai, he does ask if you will have any more children, if you will breastfeed, etc. If you respond yes - he suggest you avoid all peanuts and tree nuts during your third trimester and while you're nursing. He did confirm that they are looking into a connection, but nothing factual has been established yet. Like parenting, I think most people do what they know is best AT THAT TIME. My OB certainly did not recommend What to Eat..., but I read it anyway. Now that I know my daughter is PA, I spoke to one of the nurses at the hospital who teach new parenting classes, and they mention the peanut allergy and exposure at too young of an age. Dr. Sampson did say that Molly most likely would have developed her peanut allergy at some point of her life. The point I'd like to make to people is this: The P/A is an incredibly frightening thing and, unfortunately, the more you know, the more frightening it can be. But one of Dr. Sampson's colleagues explained it us this way: As a parent, you only "hold on" to this allergy until the child is old enough to take responsibility. After than, you turn it over to them. You do the best you can at the time with what you know, but ALWAYS be prepared. Don't be so hard on yourselves, this may be one of those answers we may never know! Michele

On Apr 11, 2000

OK - let's not panic here. I think there are some valid points made, but I also think we need to be realistic. Let's face it, we ALL know more today about peanut allergies than we did 3 or 4 years ago. This book has been written and reprinted essentially unchanged, for the almost 10 years now. A valid point, absolutely; but there are some instances where I think people are just simply predisposed to certain genetic "flaws". For example, I never ate peanuts or PB during my pregnancy or breastfeeding, simply because I do not care for it. However, my 2 year old PA daughter is so severe, you wonder where it came from. Someone said it earlier, there would be some relief in knowing where to place the "blame" if you will. The overwhelming feeling of helplessness that comes with a food allergy is unbelievable. Yet, Dr. Sampson explained something very simply and very logically to us. Yes - there are looking into a connection with last trimester foods and breastfeeding with children's allergies; and that may explain SOME cases, but certainly not all. He indicated where my child had PB at 2 or at 6, the likelihood of the allergy would be there regardless. He also explained the only way to have power over a food allergy is to have knowledge about it. Don't forget - at some point we are going to have to turn this allergy over to our children - it is not our issue; it is their's. And the best we can do is educate them and reinforce the importance of always being prepared. I don't think ANYONE should blame themselves for this, it's fair to anyone. Hang in there. Michele

On Apr 11, 2000

Michele, I'm not sure why you believe people are panicking as a result of deciding to stay clear of peanuts during pregnancy or nursing. Making an individual and educated decision to steer away from a certain item does not mean a person is panicky. It is simply educating ourselves in the area of food allergies and deciding what would work best for our own personal needs. I'm thankful that FAN and most of the medical field are now finally acknowledging that food allergies can pass through the mother to her child. It was only a few years ago that many doctors refused to acknowledge this possibility. Some doctors will even tell you today it's okay to take a drink here and there while you are pregnant. That's fine for some individuals, and I will not judge their decision; however, for me, it is not worth the risk. This applies to peanuts as well. This allergy has affected too many in my family for me to ignore the high possibility that any future child of mine could have the same allergy. For me, I can easily go without peanuts and still get all the protein I need. This doesn't mean I'm panicking. This simply means I am making an educated decision for myself.

On Apr 14, 2000

My wife used to eat peanut butter sandwiches fairly often when she was pregnant. Our four year old daughter is PA. We avoided any nuts for her at all until she was 3 (so as to reduce the risk of becoming PA, so the advice goes), but it obviously didnt help! At 3 and a half, we found out about the PA.

My advice...although its not proven, or it doesnt happen to everyone, i would avoid peanut products (and too much milk, eggs etc) during pregnancy and breast feeding, and then avoid nuts until at least age 3, maybe even 4 or 5! Oh well, too late now!

On Apr 13, 2001

I found this article today on breast feeding and allergies [url=""][/url]

On May 23, 2001

my husbands family had a laugh at my expence over this very topic just the other day. Well they are also the same family who makes their stuffing with peanuts on Thanksgiving. I ate tons of peanuts during my pregnancy with my only allergic child out of three. THE ONLY CHILD I CRAVED ANY TYPE OF FOOD WITH. Sounds suspect to me.

On May 24, 2001

This is not a theory. It has recently been announced on the news - that new research has confirmed that eating peanuts, milk, and eggs, during breastfeeding should be avoided totally in families that are at risk. If either parent has any kind of allergy, the child has 80% chance of getting an allergy of any kind. By eliminating peanuts from our diets completely we give our kids a better chance of not getting the allergy. This is CONFIRMED NOW.

On May 24, 2001

[This message has been edited by mom2two (edited May 24, 2001).]

On May 24, 2001

no, its not confirmed, it is a theory. Yes, peanut allergens have been found in breastmilk but its quite a leap of faith to then infer that therefore, eating peanuts while nursing would cause you to give or increase the chances that your child would have a peanut allergy. the warnings are just that, warings. they do not know for sure. I am certain no one with any experience with this allergy would now knowingly eat peanuts while nursing but there is NO CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE THAT EATING PEANUTS WHILE NURSING INCREASES YOUR ODDS OF HAVING YOUR CHILD BECOME PEANUT ALLERGIC!!

On Mar 26, 2006

So, I am gulity of eating PB while pregnant & nursing. I didn't crave it, it was just an easy sandwich to make. However, I craved milk. I drank it by the gallon. So why is my child PA but ok with dairy?

On Mar 27, 2006

I never breastfed either one of my kids, and I did not eat anything much different during the two pregnancies. My older DS eats peanut butter/peanut products with no problem. My younger one has a severe PA. Go figure! I personally do not see the link.

On Mar 27, 2006

I have 3 kids that were all brestfed. The oldest was bestfed for +2years and I ate peanuts, she's not PA. The second I brestfed for 11 mos, ate peanuts, she's PA. The third is 11mos and I'm still breastfeeding, have stopped eating peanuts because of PA dd, and he seems non PA. If this theory is true then wouldn't you think my oldest who was "exposed" (+2 years) the longest would have been the PA child?

On Apr 2, 2006

Taniqua's allergist stated that he believed she may have acquired PA due to the fact that I received peanut oil enemas for severe constipation during pregnancy. Supposedly, it is a common treatment... cured the constipation instantly, but look what happened!

What I find unusual, is that I heard that some Canadian doctors were exploring enema therapy with peanut oil as a way do decrease the severity of reactions, by building up "immunity". Sounds fishy to me, but I'll wait until I see otherwise.

Living in Washington after the hurricane.

On Apr 3, 2006

My youngest DS has a peanut allergy, which we discovered when he was 10 months. He is breastfed and is my fifth child. I ate peanuts and LOADS of peanutbutter with all of them during my pregnancies and while breastfeeding. Brian is the only one with any type of allergy. I really don't think it has anything at all to do with what we consume while we are carrying them or BF them, just chance.

On Apr 3, 2006

i know my sister in law still mentions that she follows that diet and i tell her that i think that book is full of old thinking. she and i both have our original copies from our first children.

On Apr 3, 2006

I have had this theory for a while now.

When I was pregnant with my DD I loved PB sandwiches so much and although I do not remember exactly how often I ate them I am sure it was alot. I also breast-fed for a week (stopped BF'ing after only a week due to having trouble with it).

My DD was diagnosed with PA at age 2 and I have always felt like I "caused" her allergy by eating too much PB while pregnant and BF'ing.

I even asked her allergist that question and he downplayed it, saying he dosen't think that caused it.

And now, there are articles that say it is poosible so I don't know what to think.