Is this a crazy idea!!!

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We think our son has a peanut allergy (he sees the allergist next week). My son is 15 months old and I weaned him 3 months ago. Do you think if I relactated and started breastfeeding him, this would help him with his allergy? Do you know anyone who's done this?

Jen

On Aug 6, 2003

No idea is crazy. I have often thought that if I started to give my 2 1/2 year old breast milk again that maybe it would boost her immune system. I am currently breastfeeding her sister. However, I know most Dr's would think I was nuts so I didnt even bring it up. I do however make sure she eats tons of berries especially blue since they are an immune booster. Obviously you would have to be super careful of what you ingested. I breastfeed for a year but had to supplement and often wonder if this was a factor (one of many) that could have contributed to my PA DD. I am going to breastfeed my 8 month old for longer than a year. Anything to boost that immune system.

On Aug 6, 2003

Truthfully: I don't think it would make any difference. I breast fed my (now 8 year old) daughter for 2 years, and she is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and has HORRIBLE environmental allergies. The crazy thing is that my two sisters did not breast feed their kids, and none of those kids have any allergies!!!!

I don't think your idea is crazy, though. I can completely understand the desire to do [b]anything[/b] to make this allergy go away.

Good luck, Miriam [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 6, 2003

pjama0502, no it's not a crazy idea.

Do you yourself have any environmental allergies or asthma?

Here's why I'm asking. Basically, we've discovered through discussion on this board (and some people have been told by their doctors) that if we, the Moms, have environmental allergies, food allergies especially, or asthma, we should NOT breastfeed. What we're basically doing is passing on our "not fit for reproduction" (that sounds terrible [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) genes even further when we breastfeed even though we are told over and over again that breastfeeding will increase the child's immune system and lessen allergies.

Truth be told, if I had to do it over again, I would not have breastfed my PA son. I didn't breastfeed my daughter and she isn't PA. And my son didn't *get* his PA because I ate copious amounts of peanut products or pb so I'm not doing that guilt thing (but understand other Moms who do).

If your son is PA, there is no turning back the clock, even with reinstating breastfeeding. There is the 20% chance of him outgrowing the allergy if you are able to avoid an anaphylactic reaction and I guess that's what you could aim for.

But no, not a crazy idea. Never a question that is stupid to ask here and none that are crazy either IMHO.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 7, 2003

Hi there, what makes you think your 15mo old has a peanut allergy? i saw on the news the other day that if you think your child could have a food allergy, not to introduce peanuts until age 3, and by then... their digestive systems may have matured enough to the point they won't react to peanuts. i wish her pediatrician had told me that at her 18mo appt, instead of suggesting i give her peanut butter!!!!!!! as far as breastfeeding in relation to peanut allergy, i've never heard anything about that, hopefully your allergist will be well-educated and will answer all of your questions. just the fact you're asking us here shows what a great, concerned mom you are!!! angela

On Aug 7, 2003

A family member of mine breastfed until age 6. (Supplemental). This was in a country that viewed breastfeeding as natural, the norm, and in light of the extreme poverty and hardship during that particular time and in that particular country, necessary.

Incidentally, this person also had environmental allergies, rhinitis, excema, and food sensitivities through adulthood. The mother by history ate a very simple and bland diet. Nuts/Peanuts were not a common item. I'm not even sure peanuts were available.

On Aug 7, 2003

I really don't think it would make any difference. I exclusively breast my son for over a year and he is allergic to peanuts/nuts, kiwi, chicken, turkey and eggs. I also breastfed my daughter for over a year and she has a very tolerable allergy to pollen. Breastfeeding is great for children, I am now breastfeeding my third. However, on my children it hasn't proved successful in preventing food or environmental allergies.

[This message has been edited by robinlp (edited August 07, 2003).]

On Aug 7, 2003

Count me as another mom who breast fed my highly allergic (PA/TNA) and asthmic child for nearly 3 years. I continued nursing her in the hope that it would help w/ her allergies issues, but it didn't. Or perhaps it did help as I suppose her allergies could be worse than they are.

I nursed my second completely non-allergic child for exactly one year.

I was very careful to avoid nuts while I was nursing so not to pass any along.

Don't sweat it. I think you could probably find good arguments for making either choice and there's really no way of knowing which decision would be best for your little one.

I think it's absolutely great you nursed your child for his first full year. That's the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatricians, isn't it?

Gail

On Aug 7, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream:

Basically, we've discovered through discussion on this board (and some people have been told by their doctors) that if we, the Moms, have environmental allergies, food allergies especially, or asthma, we should NOT breastfeed. What we're basically doing is passing on our "not fit for reproduction" (that sounds terrible [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) genes even further when we breastfeed even though we are told over and over again that breastfeeding will increase the child's immune system and lessen allergies.

[/B]

I don't think it's true that the board in general has decided this through discussion. Breastfeeding is the ideal food for babies, even babies with a predisposition to food allergies.

According to Robert S. Zeiger, M.D. (Dir. of Allergy Research, Kaiser Permanente, San Diego, and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Univ. of California, San Diego, writing in Food Allergy News, Apr/May 2002): "Breast milk provides the most ideal nutritional, immunological, and physiological food for newborns...As such, breast-feeding should be recommended for all children, including those at risk for food allergy, even though small amounts of food allergens have been detected within human breast milk...The weight of scientific research supports the beneficial role of prolonged breast-feeding in reducing or postposing allergic disorders, including asthma and food allergy."

In response to the question: Is it better for my baby to use a non-allergenic formula like Alimentum instead of breast-feeding? He says, "No. Breast-feeding is the recommended initial feeding practice. No formula can compare with the benefits derived from breast milk."

He even goes further, saying, "I would also recommend exclusive breast-feeding by a mother even though a prior solely breast-fed sibling developed food allergy or eczema. If a specified food were implicated in the prior sibling's food allergy or eczema, I would recommend that the mother avoid that food during lactation."

On Aug 7, 2003

Thanks for the responses! I appreciate it. I'll let you know what the allergist says regarding lactating.

To answer the question on why I think my 15 month old is allergic: The second time he ingested PB (the first was accidental and with no reaction) he got some small bumps around his mouth (they didn't look like hives, but they probably were), his face turned a little blotchy, his eyes got itchy and when he rubbed his eyes, one of the eyes got slightly swollen.

Having said this he was laughing and playing through this entire reaction (which went away in about 30 minutes) and did not have trouble breathing.

If the allergist tells us, my DS doesn't have an allergy, I'm not sure I'll believe the allergist, but I will be incredibly relieved and grateful

Praying for a miracle,

Jen

On Aug 7, 2003

I am currently nursing my twins and having reduced milk supply. I've been prescribed Domperidone and have taken it for three months. It has a much cleaner drug profile than Reglan. if you did decide to relactate, you might want to talk to your Dr. about domperidone. It has few side effects, and has been used for many years in other countries.

On Aug 8, 2003

Quote:

Originally posted by angelahensley: [b]Hi there, what makes you think your 15mo old has a peanut allergy? i saw on the news the other day that if you think your child could have a food allergy, not to introduce peanuts until age 3, and by then... their digestive systems may have matured enough to the point they won't react to peanuts. i wish her pediatrician had told me that at her 18mo appt, instead of suggesting i give her peanut butter!!!!!!! as far as breastfeeding in relation to peanut allergy, i've never heard anything about that, hopefully your allergist will be well-educated and will answer all of your questions. just the fact you're asking us here shows what a great, concerned mom you are!!! angela[/b]

I knew that my son had some food allergies, along with eczema and mild asthma. I held off egg whites, shellfish, any type of nut, wheat with the intention of waiting until he was 5 years to try any of these commonly allergenic foods. When my child was four, he mistakenly ate a Ritz bits cracker that had a peanut butter center. So, here is an example of a child who is allergic to peanuts, egg whites, soy etc. although those foods were withheld until age 4.

On Aug 8, 2003

cccc

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]Do you yourself have any environmental allergies or asthma?

Here's why I'm asking. Basically, we've discovered through discussion on this board (and some people have been told by their doctors) that if we, the Moms, have environmental allergies, food allergies especially, or asthma, we should NOT breastfeed. What we're basically doing is passing on our "not fit for reproduction" (that sounds terrible [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) genes even further when we breastfeed even though we are told over and over again that breastfeeding will increase the child's immune system and lessen allergies.

[/b]

WOW! I don't know where these doctors got their information regarding breastfeeding and allergies; here is the OFFICIAL Americal Association of Pediatrics policy statement on the subject.

[url="http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;106/2/346vv"]http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;106/2/346vv[/url]

I don't see anything about not breastfeeding if there is a tendency toward allergy, in fact, just the opposite.

Also, here is some infomation I jotted down at a FAAN confence a few years ago, from a presentation by Dr. Wood. (It may not be exactly correct, but you can get the idea.)

In a study of 221 infants, the percent showing signs of excema/atophy: 70 percent fed milk-based formula 44 percent breastfed with no maternal restrictions 22 percent bf with maternal diet restrictions 21 percent fed hypoallergenic formula (Nutramigen)

I breastfed both my kids over 2 years each. One kid is atopic - MULTIPLE food allergies, EA's, asthma, excema. The other is not.

On Aug 9, 2003

Thanks Scooby! I was kind of speechless with that remark, and like your information. I breastfed my first dd to minimize allergies(knew of some family history but in the end not enough about *delaying* the introduction or allergeic foods) for 21 months, and plan to breastfeed this next one for at least a year, and as long as two, based on the information I have about the overall benefits to the immune system.

I could go further down this road, but have long since decided this is not the forum in which to do that! But, thanks again for sharing your facts. becca

To address the original poster's query. Jen, I am not sure if relactating will help specifically with the PA, but certainly continues to benefit the child for as long as it continues. The breastmilk continues to change and modify to suit the needs of the growing toddler, and there are studies that say there is still alot of immunities passing even to older nurslings. However, I think the best thing you can do at this point(if the allergy is present) is strict avoidance of the allergen, regardless. Of course, if you go back to bf'ing, you will have to restrict your own diet as well. I hope you fins out there is not a PA! good luck, becca

[This message has been edited by becca (edited August 09, 2003).]

On Aug 9, 2003

I don't know id BFing would help, but I think BFing is definately better than formula -- I BF & pumped/bottled fed my daughter for several months because she had BFing problems & I felt it important that she have BM.

Anyway, I can't answer your question, but if you do decide to re-lactate, a really good soruce of info is PUMPMOMs on groups.yahoo.com

------------------ Ellen Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA

On Aug 9, 2003

Sandra Y., no, you're right, it was not the 100% consensus of the PA.com discussion board members that breastfeeding was NOT okay if you had environmental allergies or asthma and especially food allergies.

Gals, it's okay. Take a deep breath. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I just know that we did have at least one thread where we discussed this at length and it was said somewhere on this board that if you had environmental allergies, asthma, food allergies it was in your child's best interest NOT to breastfeed.

If I didn't have to pack a house within less than a week I'd try to find that exact thread. I know that Going Nuts probably participated in it and I did as well. There was also a link posted to an article about this very thing, so I don't want to come off as totally wacky re that one.

I'm also NOT saying hey, don't breastfeed. I'm NOT anti-breastfeeding. By the time I was discussing it here I was long past the point where I would ever have to make that decision again. I do know it must have been last year sometime early (early 2002) when my best friend was pregnant with her 4th child because I specifically asked her the question about whether or not she was breastfeeding based on the discussion here.

And, of course, everything that is posted here is not gospel. I just really remember that thread well (just can't tell you where to find it).

So please, don't y'all get your knickers in a knot, it was simply based on what I had read here from other members and from what some of them had heard from their doctors. Not a big deal ladies, seriously. And, totally separate from the answer to the question for pjama0502 obviously - can she turn back the clock by re-instating breastfeeding.

Looks of shock and horror can now leave your collective faces..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I'm going to pack and think about where that thread was running. I'm sure a search on breastfeeding alone might turn it up.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------

On Aug 9, 2003

pjama05Hi02 Hi BF my second child (who is PA) 15 months and of those 15, 7 were strictly BF. I did not eat excess PB, I don't even like Peanuts. But yet M is PA and has other everiomental allergies and asthma and had eczema as a baby. No one has any allergies, but I do get Migraine headaches which the allergist told me is a type of allergy and there could be a conection there. Anyhow I no longer belive that BF your child for as long as possible boosts their immune system if it did M would not have all these allergies. But I did choose to nurse my 3rd child also , but mostly out of convience. So in the end I don't think starting to BF again would do your son any use as for the PA. How did you find out at such a young age that he is PA? I thought they should not be given PB untill age 3 , so I am guessing it was probably just by accident? It's beter to find out earlier and then know to be careful than to not know and have a serious attack. Good luck at the doctor, and let us know what happens.

------------------ ssmd mom of 3

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