eating peanut butter while pregnant or nursing

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 2:55am
kathy04's picture
Joined: 01/25/2002 - 09:00

I mention this on another post, but thought I would start its own since I have always been curious.
My son's doctor mentioned a theroy of why he got pa. I ate peanut butter a lot while pregnant and nursing. Actually with both kids but my youngest was the only one to get the allergy. He said "possibly" exposing him so much before hand could have lead to the severity of the reaction to peanuts now. A medical article a couple years back in JAMA or New England basically said the same thing.
??? did you eat peanut butter while pregnant or nursing.
This might have been discussed before, but I am new to the message boards.
Thanks--have a great day.

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 3:18am
Kim M's picture
Joined: 06/09/2001 - 09:00

Yes, I ate lots of peanut butter while pregnant and nursing with my first daughter, who is PA. Our allergist also said that she was most likely exposed while breastfeeding, since she had a reaction to her first known exposure to peanut butter. Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure.

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 3:39am
Still Head Cook's picture
Joined: 10/20/2001 - 09:00

I am a firm believer that my son's exposure in utero caused his allergies. We have no allergies in either family, and I consumed a whole lot of peanut butter and soy protein shakes (he's also soy allergic) while pregnant. In the beginning of the pregnancy it was the only thing that would stay down and calm morning sickness, so I had a jar of peanut butter in my desk at work. I am convinced that was just too much legume on the developing embryo. My theory!!

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 3:50am
smack's picture
Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

I believe in the Breast-feeding theory to a point. When my Mom had us kids, she said hardly anyone was breast-feeding. Not too many people had Life Threatning allergies to foods back then.
Now, all are soooooo pressured to breast-feed, and more and more children have these allergies.
Along, with so many other theories, that combined, perhaps have caused more and more to develop allergies.
The only thing I ate during and after is Peanut Butter. No other Nuts. And son is only PA. Go figure.

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 4:06am
kelly01's picture
Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi: I have 3 year old triplet boys, I did NOT consume a lot of peanut butter/peanut products while pregnant (not really a huge PB fan) and/or nursing. One of my boys is PA, the others are not. (I nursed and supplemented w/forumula). So, at least for us, the theory does not hold up. Hope you get the input you are looking for. Take care!

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 6:03am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I rarely ate peanut butter while pregnant or nursing. I did, however, frequently eat lentil soup. My allergist says there is significant cross-reactivity between lentils and peanuts, and I wonder if that may have contributed to my daughter's PA.

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 6:59am
4 my girl's picture
Joined: 11/02/2001 - 09:00

I ate tons of it while pregnant and nursing. I am very slim so I was boosting my calorie and fat intake as much as possible. My daughter also reacted significantly to her first known exposure. I do not blame myself, though because I had no way of knowing she could be allergic, no family history etc.
Recent publications have stated that the peanut protein does pass through breast milk and should be avoided by nursing mothers if there is a known family history of peanut allergy. Does anyone know if LaLeche has updated their information to include this? They used to highly recommend peanut butter to nursing mothers

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 7:21am
BelindaS's picture
Joined: 01/27/2002 - 09:00

I ate a nominal amount of peanuts when I was pregnant with both my sons. My second son, who is now 5 1/2 is PA. I truly do not believe that this consumption was causal (and nor does my husband who is an OB-GYN). We do, however, believe that it may have contributed to the severity of his allergy (the thought eats me up). Although research is still underway, my husband does discourage peanut consumption to his patients during pregnancy and while nursing. Studies have shown peanut consumption while nursing passing to the breast milk.

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 2:01pm
Carefulmom's picture
Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a statement somewhere around a year ago telling mothers of allergy-prone children (based on family history or if the baby already has other allergies such as cow milk or soy protein) to refrain from eating anything with peanuts if breast-feeding. When I was nursing my now six year old, this statement had not been made and I ate tons of peanut butter. She has never eaten a peanut or a may contain, and has a very positive skin test and an extremely high CAP-RAST. So she has had no known exposure except for nursing and maybe pregnancy. As far as pregnancy, from what I have read the connection is not as definite. I also ate a lot of peanut butter while pregnant. Most likely, almost all women who ate lots of peanut butter while nursing probably ate lots of peanut butter while pregnant. Maybe they could do a study on children of women who ate peanut butter while pregnant and didn`t breast feed, to see if they have increased incidence of PA.

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 8:15pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

While pregnant for Chris the only food I could eat was Peanut butter. I ate it a million times a day.
On the other hand while pregnant for Jennifer I ate a ton of coffee ice cream with chocolate fudge,and she is far from allergic to coffee ice cream.
I have talked with a lot of people about the things they lived on while pregnant and their kids have no allergy.
As for the breast feeding I never did breast feed any of the three children.
There was a time when I blamed myself for his allergy until I stopped and realized that millions of people have eaten a certain food alot while pregnant and had no allergies.
I always say the god just made Chris a little more delicatly than some other. This was his way of making sure he got special attention. I tell all my kids they each have their special issues.
I just want to say don't blame yourself because it could have been something so much worse than food allergies for us to deal with. take care claire

Posted on: Sun, 01/27/2002 - 11:08pm
booandbrimom's picture
Joined: 08/23/2000 - 09:00

Come on guys, lay this mommy guilt (and breastfeeding bash) to rest!
1) Lots of moms breastfeed and eat peanut butter, even moms with allergies in their families, and their children don't have PA.
2) It cannot be simple genetics because gene pools don't shift as quickly as food allergies have increased. In other words, we are just as allergic genetically as a group as our parents were, but our kids have more peanut allergy. Therefore, there's an environmental trigger or background level increase that's causing the increase in allergies. Many researchers believe that it's environmental or that there's a viral trigger needed (as in diabetes) to get the whole ball of wax started.
3) I do not believe that peanut proteins cross the placenta intact. Makes it tough to sensitize a fetus in-utero. (If you know anything about this, please post!)
4) While the rate of breastfeeding has increased some, it's still dismal. Only a third of moms are still nursing a couple months after leaving the hospital. So, breastfeeding as a *cause* of peanut allergy is pretty farfetched. I'm obviously interested in the topic so I ask every mom of a PA child I know if they breastfed...many didn't at all, and very few did beyond 6 weeks-3 months.
5) Some proteins are passed intact through breast milk, peanuts being one. However, it's just as possible that chronic, low-grade exposure through breastmilk is nature's way of desensitizing children to a food allergy as it is that this is a sensitization pathway. I do know that breastmilk is an important means to helping an infant's gut develop, which may in turn reduce the permiability of the gut lining and hence the "leaking" of allergenic proteins.
I know it's the au courant recommendation to avoid peanuts during nursing and I do (I have another child who is still nursing with no allergies so far, knock wood), but I look at it as a precaution only.


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