Breastfeeding and risk of asthma?

Posted on: Sun, 02/04/2001 - 11:02pm
California Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

pI figured I would jump onto the band wagon of breastfeeding questions, and see what we come up with. As I have stated on other threads, I breast fed Leah for two years, and consumed many peanuts and walnuts during that time. Leah is allergic to both, and I carry my share of guilt regarding the situation. She does not, however, have asthma. I sometimes wonder if breastfeeding helped prevent her from becoming asthmatic. I am currently breastfeeding my eight month old, but am wondering how long to continue. He isn't quite as "into it" as his big sister was. Sometimes I dream of weaning him and going on the Slim Fast progarm to get rid of my extra pregnancy weight that is still hanging on. Then I think that maybe prolonged breastfeeding (without consuming nuts or peanuts, of course) could help him not to have asthma, too. I'm curious to find out what other's experiences have been. Thanks in advance, Miriam/p
p[This message has been edited by California Mom (edited February 05, 2001).]/p

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 12:51am
mom2two's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2000 - 09:00

well, I am currently nursing my 21 month old and just read the results of a Yale Study in China that saw a 50% reduction in breastcancer for women who breastfed a baby for 2 or more years. THe study found that it didn't matter how old the mother was or how many babies she nursed. Maybe that alone will give you the insentive to keep at it a while longer? I know there are days when I cannot deal with the lack of sleep anymore (she mainly nurses at nights). I feel guilty of the time it takes from my older daughter. But I am aiming at 2 and then have absolutely NO idea how to wean such an older child but I will deal with it then!
I know this doesn't answer your question but thought I would bring up the study anyway

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 1:34am
Sandra Y's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I breastfed my son for 2 years and he is the only person on my husband's side and my side who has asthma! I enjoyed breastfeeding, but if you don't enjoy it with an older baby you shouldn't feel obliged to do it. As far as weaning a 2-yr-old, I found that as he got more active he was less interested. We just tapered off gradually. Towards the end he only thought of it at naptime and bedtime and so I'd nurse him at those times. Baby-led weaning...no tears! He did not wake up at night to nurse, so I had it easy.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 4:51am
BENSMOM's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/20/2000 - 09:00

My understanding is that breastfeeding helps to reduce the risk of asthma. I'm convinced that my son could easily have full-blown asthma (instead of occasional wheezing) if I had not breastfed. I don't know when those benefits begin to wear off. The AAP recommends nursing for at least one year, and as long after that as is mutually desirable, and the World Health Organization recommends 2 years.
As for the weight, it is likely you will gain more if you quit nursing. I have a friend who quit for that reason, and she gained more. Of course, it may not be the same for you, but I would keep nursing as long as you and your child enjoy it. If you feel resentful, it's time to wean, in my opinion. I nursed Ben for 13 months (and was ready to quit at 9) and nursed Eliza for 25 months.

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 5:42am
Mom to Cayley's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2001 - 09:00

I found a great website which deals with breastfeeding and asthma/allergies, plus it provides links to other topics like 'breastfeeding your toddler'. Excellent site! [url="http://allergies.about.com/health/allergies/library/weekly/aa073100a.htm?rnk=r5&terms=Breastfeeding"]http://allergies.about.com/health/allergies/library/weekly/aa073100a.htm?rnk=r5&terms=Breastfeeding[/url]

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2001 - 6:12am
Frances's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/28/2000 - 09:00

Specifically to California Mom--first of all--if you had know there was any association with food allergies and what you ate--you certainly wouldn't have eaten peanuts and walnuts. But you didn't know. AND I am not convinced that there is a clear known association. I have seen some research but I don't believe it is significant mostly because the study groups haven't been that big. I nursed all three of my children, each for about 2 years. I am certain with my first that I had minimal (if any) peanut or nut products because they just weren't in my diet. My first born has both asthma (mild) and food allergies to peanuts and walnuts. With my second two children--while I was pregnant with them I did have peanut butter in my diet because I had gestational diabetes and each night I had to have a snack--I had peanut butter. Neither of those two children have allergies or asthma. At any given time we do the best we know how for our children--and breast feeding is just another one of those things we can do to optimize their health. It has no guarantees though!

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2001 - 3:28am
California Mom's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

Thanks so much everyone for all your help. I guess the bottom line is that breastfeeding does have tremendous benefits, and may be helpful towards preventing asthma. I actually really do enjoy nursing Matthew, and I don't want to stop. He nurses four times a day, now, and is usually only super focused on it one or two of the times. He gets easily distracted and sometimes doesn't seem to care one way or another about it. He loves his solid foods and is an excellent eater. He will take formula in a cup or bottle without a second thought, too. I just don't know how long my milk supply will keep up when he isn't that interested. I will keep at it as long as it works. Thanks for all the support; and it's certainly useful to hear other people's experiences that counteract my guilt! Also -as for my extra weight: I think I just need to try to exercise and eat less, even though the slim fast commercials look so tempting!
Miriam

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2001 - 3:40am
mom2two's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2000 - 09:00

Hey, you can still use slim fast! My ob/gyn said as long as I kept to a 1800/day caloric intake, dieting while breastfeeding was fine.
That was for a newborn. I think dieting when they are toddlers would be fine as they are really doing it for much of their nutritional needs.

Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2001 - 4:11am
Scooby's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/09/2000 - 09:00

I agree with Bensmom about the severity of asthma. My son was considered high risk for developing asthma due to an early bout of RSV and food and environmental allergies. He now only has occasional wheezing when he gets a cold.
Keep up the breastfeeding, if that is what you want. My son went his entire second year with only weekend and night nursings. I think if you keep somewhat of a schedule, your milk supply will be fine.
As for dieting, that is probably safe, although I don't know anything about the Slimfast diet. I lost all my pregancy weight by the time he was 10 months old, only to have a few pounds come back after I stopped nursing. I was on a milk/soy/peanut restricted diet and missed some of my favorite foods - like pizza!

More Community Posts

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

create a new community post
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 11/12/2019 - 2:43pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by absfabs Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:28pm
Comments: 2
Latest Post by absfabs Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:23pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by Italia38 Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:10pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by Italia38 Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:47am
Comments: 6
Latest Post by sunshinestate Thu, 11/07/2019 - 3:43pm
Comments: 4
Latest Post by sunshinestate Thu, 11/07/2019 - 2:48pm
Comments: 7
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 11/05/2019 - 3:44pm
Comments: 12
Latest Post by penelope Tue, 11/05/2019 - 3:35pm
Comments: 13
Latest Post by absfabs Tue, 11/05/2019 - 2:11pm
Comments: 6
Latest Post by absfabs Tue, 11/05/2019 - 2:09pm
Comments: 5
Latest Post by chicken Tue, 11/05/2019 - 12:06pm
Comments: 5
Latest Post by sunshinestate Mon, 11/04/2019 - 1:44pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by sunshinestate Thu, 10/31/2019 - 11:20am
Comments: 2
Latest Post by penelope Wed, 10/30/2019 - 11:19am
Comments: 8

More Articles

Anaphylactic shock (A-nuh-fih-LAK-tik shok): A severe and sometimes life-threatening immune system reaction to an antigen that a person has been...

One of the most difficult things for a parent to do is determine whether his or her toddler has a cold or a...

You no doubt have your own way of teaching people about your child’s food allergy, a way that suits your temperament, and style of communication....

Reliable peanut allergy statistics are not that easy to come by. There is a lot of available research on food allergies in general but not too...

Most people know that to enjoy whatever food safety accommodations an airline offers they need to inform the airline of their allergy prior to...

More Articles

More Articles

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school. Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting...

If there is a child at your children's school allergic to peanuts, the school probably discourages or may not allow peanut products to be brought...

If you are on a budget, but you need to wear some sort of notification that you have a peanut...

Unless we consciously carve out time for self-care, constant food allergy management can slowly erode our sense of well-being. Signs of allergy-...

Peanuts cause more severe food allergic reactions than other foods, followed by shellfish, fish, tree nuts and eggs. Although there is only a...

If you avoid peanuts, it’s likely you know the joy of cashews. Slightly sweet and smooth in texture, cashews provide not only relief to those with...

The prevalence of food allergy has dramatically increased over the past two to three decades, and not just among children. Preliminary results...

When someone in the family is diagnosed with a food allergy, a choice must be made whether to ban the problem food or foods from the home. The...

Looking for a fun way to share what you know about your own food allergies? Or are you hoping to educate the people around you in a fun way about...

According to the results of a new study, children lacking Vitamin D may be more susceptible to food allergies. Researchers working at the Albert...

If you or your child has a peanut or nut allergy, identifying the presence of nuts in food becomes a priority, but what if the written or spoken...

Soap allergies can cause a lot of discomfort and itching. If you suddenly develop a rash or bumps on your skin, you may suspect that you have an...

Even professionals can have difficulty keeping up with the constant flow of updated information available in their field. A survey study presented...

People with pollen allergies can develop allergic reactions to fresh fruits, vegetables and/or nuts. This is called the pollen-food allergy...

There are more "peanut-free" products than ever on the supermarket shelves. This means more choices than ever for peanut-allergic shoppers and...