Monday, September 18, 2006

To pea or nut to pea?

I had a lactation consultant come to visit last week - things had been going well, but I was quite sore, so I thought it couldn't hurt. I was in the middle of breakfast when she arrived, which was whole wheat potato bread toast with peanut butter.

She immediately told me to lay off the peanuts because of the possibility of peanut allergies. I haven't been able to find much in the medical literature about it, just one article in NEJM that says that peanut consumption by the mother is not related to allergies, but I wonder if I should stay away from them anyway. Then there's always the flip side, I keep hearing now about how people are getting more allergies because they're NOT exposed to allergens when they're young because we keep everything so clean now. What would you do?

BTW, that same article says that peanut allergies are related to exposure to soy milk, eczema (on the baby), and with the use of lotions or creams containing peanut oil on the baby's skin (although not on the mother's breast). The association with soy milk is likely because peanuts and soy are in fact in the same family, and some of the pieces of protein that are the peanut allergens are also found in soy proteins.

10 comments:

One Mother's Journey said...

Oh man. I've never heard that before and I ate peanut butter like mad when I was nursing. What did people do years ago before there were all these "studies"?

Scary stuff.

Suzanne said...

Why does everyone focus so much on peanut allergies? Couldn't the baby just as easily develop an allergy to the zillion other things people are allergic to? Like shellfish, the chemical they put on new carpet, or say 3 kinds of antibiotics (that's just me).

I err on the side of conclusive evidence, if it isn't completely clear (like smoking=bad) then do whatever makes sense to you.

Oh, and more pictures of Antony please.

Dooneybug said...

I've *heard* that before but my LC and nurses never said anything about it. If it was truly a horrific thing to do, we'd all know about it and be getting the 5th degree from our health care providers to not eat peanut butter when nursing.

If it makes you paranoid then avoid it. Otherwise the ocasional peanut butter is probably not going to hurt.

And I agree with Suzanne...more photos!! :)

Jenn said...

I still eat it. It's one of the few sources of protein I can make and eat quickly.

soralis said...

I have read that somewhere too about peanut butter. I am lucky as I hate the stuff anyway so I didn't have to worry. Personally I don't think that a bit here and there will make a darn bit of difference anyway... but that's just my opinion.

Take care

Anonymous said...

I was told by our pediatrician to not eat peanut butter while nursing and to not let the kids eat it until they are 3. Supposedly, the peanut protein is passed through the mother's milk and that exposure can make developing an allergy more likely (although not definite). Our ped told me that peanut allergies tend to be so severe (with much higher incidents of life threatening reactions than other food allergies) that they are trying to figure out a way to delay kids exposure until there immune system is more mature. But you are right that there is not a lot of evidence that eating peanut butter and nursing causes or is obviously linked to peanut allergies. You might want to ask your ped and decide what you want to do. Good luck! Sarah

k #2 said...

The more "studies" come out, the more shocked I am that any of us survived to adulthood! :) My OB told me not to worry about the peanut butter issue unless food allergies run in the family.

Lisa said...

wow interesting, my son can only drink soy milk. He is also allergic to peanuts. So if what they say is true, wouldn't he be allergic to soy and peanuts?

T said...

I heard that I should avoid peanut butter when pregnant - as a vegetarian, that wasn't going to happen. I ate it while I bf too - hopefully she doesn't develop allergies, but I think (no brains) I ran it by the pedi too and she said shouldn't be an issue if the family doesn't have a lot of allergies.

Congrats again Nico! More pics please - he's SO adorable!

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