PA and breastfeeding

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I had a baby three weeks ago, who I am breastfeeding. My husband has a peanut allergy, and I read in "What to expect in the first year" that if there is a family history of PA that you should avoid peaunts while breast feeding. I asked the lactation consultants at the hospital, and no one there knows anything about it (although they said to be safe I should avoid peanut products).

Has anyone had any experiances with this, or know of any research that has been done? I would think that if there is research that shows exposure while breastfeeding increases the risk of developing an allergy, they would be a bit more vigilant about warning parents! Thanks for you help!

On Oct 14, 2005

Sorry, I'm not sure of the "medical" answer, but...I breastfed my 2 daughters (1st for 18months and 2nd for 24 months) and ate peanutbutter sandwiches throught both pregnancies and while breastfeeding. My oldest daughter has no allergies and my youngest has just been diagnosed with a peanut allergy. If I knew then what I know now about it, I wouldn't eat the peanut products. Hope this helps

On Oct 14, 2005

I breastfed both boys. 1st son is PA/TNA, 2nd son is allergic to eggs. With my first son, through pregnancy and breastfeeding, ate lots of nut products - especially a certain walnut salad I liked, and things like Reeses. My 1st sons main offenders - Peanut & walnut. With my 2nd son, had already eliminated nuts from our lives, didn't eat fish/shellfish -- through pregnancy and breastfeeding. Funny thing is with 1st son I was vegetarian, and tried to stay that through 2nd son -- had anemia issues -- had to get more protein -- anyway lots of eggs in my diet. Don't know if the fact that my kids are allergic to the main source of protein that I had in my diet at the time I was pregnant & breastfeeding or not -- but to me there seems to be a correlation. I would guess that others probably could have a similar set of circumstances as my own, w/o having the same outcome. Hang in there!

On Oct 14, 2005

Not sure about my second child yet, as we avoid all risky food, but dd age 6, has PA and egg allergy, and I craved both heavily later in my pregnancy and during nursing. They are both iron rich, and I was anemic, so I suspect I was craving them for that. Normally didn't binge on either until that time. I didn't know about PA.

At 18 months, my dd was discovered to have PA, and the egg was at her first birthday party. I was still nursing and stopped eating nuts and eggs until she weaned at 23 months.

The research out there does not prove allergy results from eating these things, only that exposure does. They have found peanut protein in breast milk, in other words.

Congratulations, BTW!! I would be careful with introduction of all alergenic foods, since food allergy in general is more inherited than the specific allergy to a specific food, I believe. becca

On Oct 14, 2005

I've always heard that you don't inherit a specific allergy, but you inherit being allergic in general. This means that your child is more likely to have an allergy, but there's no way to predict to what. Both myself and DH have long family histories of allergies, and we have allergies ourselves. With breastfeeding, I avoided all of the high-allergen foods so DC didn't have exposure at a young age (delaying exposure decreases odds they'll be allergic to it).

------------------ Mookie---Mom to Devin (PA, 1/2/04) and Brendan (no food allergies, 12/9/99)

On Oct 14, 2005

When DS was a baby, I had never heard to not eat PB while breastfeeding, so I did. Boy did I, as I had a 3-year-old PBJ addict at the time, it was certainly easier to make two for lunch than make her one and me something else. DS frquently threw up after feeding, but I never put 2 and 2 together until he had his first taste of PB. He vomited profusely, then broke out in hives. I realized after that reaction that his vomiting after feeding was probably due to the PB I was eating.

On Oct 14, 2005

My allergist and my son's allergist have also told me that you inherit the tendency to be allergic, but not specific allergies. That being said, I've noticed a fair number of people here who have more than one child who are allergic to the same foods.

What my allergist told me when I was planning a pregnancy was to avoid the highly allergenic foods during pregnancy and while nursing that wouldn't cost me too much nutritionally. So he told me to avoid: peanuts, treenuts, shellfish, fish (you're supposed to avoid many fish while pregnant anyway due to concerns about mercury exposure) and sesame. He thought it was too much to give up eggs and dairy, but left that up to me.

As to why more pregnant women aren't informed of this, I don't know. Especially since even parents without food allergies, but with environmental allergies such as hayfever, are more likely to have kids with food allergies than those who have no family history of any type of allergy.

HTH, Debbie

On Oct 14, 2005

I am not sure of research but I have 3 children and breastfed all three. The only child that I craved PB w/ while breastfeeding and while pregnant was my son who is the only child w/ a peanut allergy. Personally, I would stay clear of PB just to play it safe.

[This message has been edited by robinlp (edited October 14, 2005).]

On Oct 15, 2005

I agree with most of the other posts, however I will add a couple of other things.

If you have any other atopic /allergic disease, like eczema , asthma or hay fever, the chances are slightly higher that your child will have allergies. That said, you dont inherit the same allergies, just the tendancy to be an allergic person. I would just relax , and carry on enjoying breast feeding and eating a normal , healthy diet.

I have four children, each was breast fed for increasing lengths of time, and only one has food allergies. The others have had hay fever that disapeared at five, or mild patches of eczema.

good luck

sarah

On Oct 15, 2005

Yes, the latest research says that if you have a known peanut allergy in the family you should definitely avoid eating peanuts while breastfeeding.

Also - latest research says that infants with bad eczema are found to have food allergies 90% of the time. I was shocked when I read this in a medical journal.

On Oct 15, 2005

I heard 50%. What medical journal said 90%?

I also heard that you decrease the chance of an allergy by delaying exposure. For this reason, I did not give dd egg until age 2 1/2 (because she was already allergic to milk) and yet she still had an anaphylactic reaction the first time she ate egg, and I had to use the epi. So I am not sure I really believe that delaying exposure decreases the chance of developing an allergy.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited October 15, 2005).]

On Oct 15, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Carefulmom: [b] For this reason, I did not give dd egg until age 2 1/2 (because she was already allergic to milk) and yet she still had an anaphylactic reaction the first time she ate egg, and I had to use the epi. So I am not sure I really believe that delaying exposure decreases the chance of developing an allergy. [/b]

Did she get her immunizations? Some of them are made from eggs.

On Oct 16, 2005

Since she was not yet allergic to egg, she got the immunizations that she was supposed to get. Once she had her anaphylactic reaction, we deferred all immunizations grown in egg until her egg allergy had resolved. The immunizations didn`t cause her egg allergy because she had a negative skin test to egg at age 2 1/2 (actually age 2 years 8 months). Three days later I gave her egg and she had an anaphylactic reaction. So she had an anaphylactic reaction even though I delayed her first exposure to egg until 2 years 8 months.

On Oct 16, 2005

I'll look for the reference - it's here somewhere.

About the egg - did you breastfeed her? If so, did you eat eggs during that time? If so, she was probably sensitized way back then.

On Oct 16, 2005

Well, her skin test was negative 3 days before I gave her egg, so that is the part that baffles me. I am sure I must have eaten eggs at some point when I breast fed, since at that point there were no recommendations about foods to avoid while breast feeding an allergic child. So I would have had no reason to avoid eggs. But since her skin test was negative at age 2 years 8 months, that would mean she was not sensitized by breast milk, right? Besides it is not currently recommended to avoid eggs while breast feeding if at risk for allergies. It is only recommended to avoid nuts, peanuts, and shellfish.

On Oct 16, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Cricket: [b]Yes, the latest research says that if you have a known peanut allergy in the family you should definitely avoid eating peanuts while breastfeeding.[/b]

This is true. My sister is a certifed lactation consultant and told me this before I started nursing my new baby.

On Oct 17, 2005

I am a lactation consultant and teach a lot of prenatal breastfeeding classes. I always recommend to those moms to not eat peanuts when pregnant or breastfeeding if there is a history of peanut allergies in the family. I do know breastfeeding can help decrease allergies overall so I breastfed my PA son for 3 years hoping to decrease his allergy. (I ate peanuts while breastfeeding the first 9 months until I knew of his allergy). His numbers are on the downward trend so who knows? Also, if you are breastfeeding and eat something with peanuts, the peanut protein can pass through the milk for at least 12 hours I think. Ask your allergist to make sure. I always would wait 24 hours if something I ate may have contained peanuts to nurse. This was of course when DS was older and only nursing a few times a week. Let me know if you have any more questions. I do have to say that I am not a doctor so please ask your doctor his recommendations. It is great you are being proactive. Andrea

On Oct 17, 2005

I breastfed my son until he was 13 months; we didn't know about a peanut allergy until he was 18 months. I ate peanut butter nearly daily from the time he was born. I think that was the cause of his excema and raspy breathing. I was told peanut butter was fine since dh is allergic to brazil nuts; not peanuts. I don't blame myself, but had I known and had to do it over I would have avoided pb.

On Oct 17, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by ahensley: [b]I am a lactation consultant and teach a lot of prenatal breastfeeding classes. I always recommend to those moms to not eat peanuts when pregnant or breastfeeding if there is a history of peanut allergies in the family. [/b]

I would go beyond family history of just peanut allergies to include any allergic diseases, which include not only food allergy, but also allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, and eczema. All are genetic and inherited; the baby who has relatives with these allergic diseases is at a greater risk for developing allergic diseases. The book, The Peanut Allergy Answer Book by Dr. Michael Young covers this (of course many other sources cover this as well but I lifted the above info from this particular book) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

~Jodi

On Oct 17, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by 2BusyBoys: [b] I would go beyond family history of just peanut allergies to include any allergic diseases, which include not only food allergy, but also allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, and eczema.[/b]

This is also what I was told by my allergist, my son's allergist and my son's pediatrician.

--Debbie

On Oct 17, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by Carefulmom: [b]Well, her skin test was negative 3 days before I gave her egg, so that is the part that baffles me. I am sure I must have eaten eggs at some point when I breast fed, since at that point there were no recommendations about foods to avoid while breast feeding an allergic child. So I would have had no reason to avoid eggs. But since her skin test was negative at age 2 years 8 months, that would mean she was not sensitized by breast milk, right? Besides it is not currently recommended to avoid eggs while breast feeding if at risk for allergies. It is only recommended to avoid nuts, peanuts, and shellfish.[/b]

At 6 months of age, my DS had a negative SPT to egg. He subsequently had several contact reactions. At 2 he had another negative SPT.

I really don't know whether it was my eating egg while breastfeeding or the contact reactions that sensitized him. His allergist does not think he was sensitized through SPT.

When I was pregnant and breastfeeding DD, now 4, the allergist did not recommend my eliminating eggs or dairy as a preventative, only peanuts and nuts. DD has no food allergies.

On Oct 17, 2005

That is strange that your child had a negative skin test after several contact reactions. How did your allergist explain the second negative skin test? In our case, after the anaphylactic reaction to egg, the skin test was repeated and was very positive. Our allergist explained the first negative skin test as that was her first exposure. He also said that the skin test sensitized her, but it is hard to see how your child was sensitized but then still had a negative skin test. What did the contact reactions look like?

On Oct 18, 2005

False negatives. Rare with skin prick, but can happen. He also had negative milk SPT even though he reacted to milk formula. He had excema as a baby and toddler which may have accoounted for the results not being correct. The RAST for egg was Class 4.

The reactions were all localized. Small red rashes in the areas where he was touched by other children who were eating foods containing egg. Another time he got a rash where I kissed him after eating Thousand Island dressing.

On Oct 18, 2005

Thanks for the information on adding allergies in general to stay away from peanuts while breastfeeding. I will look it up in the PA answer book and refer to it in my class. I really appreicate your responses. Andrea LC (from earlier post)

On Oct 19, 2005

I would add to this the growing research about the use of proton pump inhibitor medications (antacids) like Prevacid, Nexium, etc. Those tend to be the adult medicines. But if your baby has reflux and is on a medication for it, allergenic food that you eat (i.e., peanuts) may have a greater chance of being something your baby becomes allergic to. I know that's not the best constructed sentence.

There is a thread on this if you search for it. And there are are also other threads on breastfeeding and PA.

I tell my friends to avoid nuts while in the third trimester and breastfeeding. Life will just be much easier for them if their child doesn't become allergic to nuts. Much.

You're thoughtful to come here and ask!

On Oct 20, 2005

Quote:

Originally posted by McCobbre: [b]I would add to this the growing research about the use of proton pump inhibitor medications (antacids) like Prevacid, Nexium, etc. Those tend to be the adult medicines. But if your baby has reflux and is on a medication for it, allergenic food that you eat (i.e., peanuts) may have a greater chance of being something your baby becomes allergic to. [/b]

Also a great point!

[url="http://allergies.about.com/b/a/025728.htm"]http://allergies.about.com/b/a/025728.htm[/url] October 19, 2005 Antacids and Food Allergy Connection Research shows that there may be a connection between taking antacids and developing a food allergy. Erika Jensen-Jarolim, et al, from the University of Vienna in Austria, looked at the link concerning food allergen reactions and pH and acid properties of the stomach.

The researchers found that typical food allergens, such as fish or milk, are not resistant to stomach digestion. Stomach, or gastric, digestion is dependent on the presence of acid and pepsin, which is a protein-degrading enzyme. The pepsin is activated at high acidic levels, but the elevation of the pH levels hinders pepsin, thereby hampering protein digestion.

This process happens when patients are treated for indigestion or a gastric ulcer; patients take antacid medications which affect acid secretion or neutralize the pH within the stomach. When this happens, harmless food proteins may turn into potential allergens.

Without medication, the study showed that these proteins (allergens) would not lead to a food allergy when studied in mice. However, when mice were treated with antacids, they developed IgE antibodies towards the newly fed antigen. This resulted in a food allergy.

Food proteins taken in by patients on an antacid treatment are more likely lead to a food allergy. These findings are significant for those people at risk for a food allergy, since 10 percent of the adult population today is on antacids.

This research was released at the World Allergy Organization's (WAO) Congress in Vancouver, Canada, which took place September 6-12th, 2003.

Source: World Allergy Organization Press Release 09/10/03

On Oct 20, 2005

This is really interesting. My dd was on adult doses of reflux meds and almost had to have surgery. She outgrew her reflux at age 2 years 3 months. Maybe this explains why she had so many food allergies (outgrew some, but still allergic to milk and peanut at age 10).

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