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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 134
Here is a controversial subject to thow out there. When my son was seven months old his allergist and I had a discussion about me stopping breastfeeding as there was a possibility it was making his allergies worse. Although I had removed dairy and nuts from my own diet, he was still struggling with terrible eczema. My allergist informed me that there is some new research discussing if the mother has severe allergies breastfeeding may not be the best choice for the child. After a lot of discussion I did stop breastfeeding and put him on soy formula and his eczema really cleared up. We recently were at the pediatric sleep clinic for an appointment with the pulmonoligist and she told me essentially the same thing. She also told me that sons of mothers with allergies and daughters of fathers with allergies tend to be the ones with the most difficulty. I am just curious as to what others experiences with this has been. I know the breastfeeding info goes against everything we have been told before.
Stephanie

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myself -Shell Fish, asthma, environmental allergies
Husband - Environmental allergies
7 year old- peanut, environmental
5 year old- eggs, nuts, fish, peas, environmental, and asthma.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
I have some season allergies and my husband has no allergies.
I breastfed our daughter until she self-weaned at approx 18 months (started solids at 4-5 months). She was diagnosed with milk allergies following a reaction at 10 months and then with egg during the skin prick test a few months later.
I was not advised to stop drinking milk while breastfeeding (I asked) and continued to do so.
She had eczema on her cheeks until she was weaned and then it completely disappeared.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
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Location: Canada
My mom heard this too in an article in the Toronto Star awhile ago (how long ago she can't remember . . .could even have been a year ago).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I really have no idea... and I'm pretty sure the experts are shooting in the dark too, quite frankly. The longer I'm in this game, the more I wonder if anyone has any idea what they are talking about. (Sad laughter here.) There are so many factors, you know? WHY do the doctors you mentioned, stephanie, think it's a good thing for these moms to quit BFing? Has anyone said? Why do they not consider that perhaps the child is allergic to something else that the mom is still consuming, and that's why the child is still having symptoms. How can they definitively rule out that the mom has cut all the child's allergens out of her diet?

I do know that I was told to cut out all my son's known allergens from my diet when he was diagnosed at 5 months old and nursing (and later as more allergens were added), and that helped his rampant eczema a lot - although not entirely. I'm so grateful that I got that advice! (And Susan - that really sucks that you weren't given better info.)

My worry with my little guy was always that if I stopped BFing, we wouldn't be able to find a safe supplement - I always worried that he would react to whatever was available. (And the hypoallergenic stuff tasted foul.) That kept me going for a long time - much longer than I ever thought I would nurse him. That and the fact that it was a nice bonding experience, I knew the breastmilk tasted great, and he LOVED nursing. :lol:

But it's an interesting question. I'd be interested to know if there has been some kind of study done on this.

K.

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Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


Last edited by KarenOASG on Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 11:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Very interesting indeed.... Although I wasn't on the look-out for allergies per se when I was nursing my son, I did avoid milk products and anything else that seemed to affect his digestion (milk seemed to be the worst). We tried some soy formula and he immediately threw it up, so we just kept going with the nursing for as long as he wanted, which was just about 2 years. He really wasn't interested in solids, so breast milk was the best form of food for him in his first years. And, although he only wanted about 3 hours sleep at a time, he was a happy baby. (His main need seemed to be he wanted to be held a lot, which was not such a bad thing.)

When I look back, he DID have a large nasty patch of eczema on his cheek. It never occurred to me that this could be food related, even when he was diagnosed with his peanut allergy at 13 months. I betcha now it was. The doctor just said it was a saliva rash, and it was not something to worry about. Sometimes I feel badly that it never occurred to me that it had something to do with what he was consuming through my breast milk. . .

Having said that, though, my vote still stands that I can't imagine *not* nursing my son, even if this caused the eczema on his face. Breast milk has really been the best, most nutritionally complete food he has had to date. In a way, he has not yet found an equal food in the 'big boy' world. . . and that pains me because he was such a substantial baby but has since become my little stick figure who can use a bit more meat on his bones.

It is such a delicate balance -- all this information and advice-- and I hope there is research being done on this part of the allergy puzzle.

Caroline

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
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Location: Toronto
In case it helps this discussion, thought I'd remind you folks that we had quite a bit on breastfeeding in our "Protecting Baby" article in the Winter 06-07 issue of Allergic Living. We looked at numerous recent studies and meta analyses (reviews of studies). While there are no hard and fast answers, all the experts we interviewed still strongly favoured breastfeeding for 4-6 months when there are allergies in the family.

Here's a small excerpt:

California scientists suggest in a 2006 review of studies that whether breastfeeding has a protective or sensitizing effect may depend on the mother's own genetics. Meantime, a British scientific review noted that, “the jury is still out as to whether breastfeeding protects or not against the development of allergic disease.” None of this, however, makes breastfeeding any less than a good thing. Both Dr. Kramer and Dr. Mark Greenwald, chair of the medical and scientific committee of the Asthma Society of Canada, stress the dozens of health advantages to feeding a baby mother’s milk. These range from assisting cognitive development to reducing the risk of numerous chronic diseases. Greenwald says that all health issues considered, the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh any risk of developing allergies.
The proteins in the foods a mother eats have been shown to make it into her breast milk. So the new mother might worry about whether those tree nuts or peanuts she ate a few hours before her baby’s feed might sensitize her child. “You can demonstrate peanut allergen in breast milk,” says Dr. Cyr. “But again, whether that increases the risk [of allergy] is debatable.”
Allergists across North America have been taking note of study findings that have sparked the debate. Dr. Zave Chad, president of the allergy section of the Canadian Paediatric Society and an Ottawa allergist, says that faced with pregnant patients with allergies in the family: “I don’t change their diets at all. With breastfeeding, I will not tell them to do anything in terms of restricting their diet.” He’ll make one exception with breastfeeding: “If a woman has another child with peanut allergy and she’s really worried about it, I might say to exclude peanuts. Even then, I will tell her that it’s not based on any evidence.”

Also in that article:
Dr. Michael Kramer, Scientific Director of the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (one of the government of Canada’s CIHR research institutes) recommended - exclusive breastfeeding for six months and then for as long as the mother and child are comfortable after that. “That’s one thing we know she [the mother] can do for her child’s health.” Kramer is the principal investigator of a long-term study out of Belarus that is tracking the offspring of several thousand women for what the research team hopes will be several decades. Breastfeeding and asthma and allergy rates are two of the health issues they are examining, and follow-up results that pertain to allergy and involve 14,000 participants will be released this winter.
He and his colleagues don’t need these results to know that breastfeeding is extremely beneficial for a baby’s developing immune system. However, whether a mother’s milk actually stops a baby from becoming allergic is open to debate. There is good evidence that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of atopic dermatitis (eczema) or at least afford some protection from it in the first year, says Kramer.

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Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 7:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
It's a good thing women are intuitive because the experts don't seem to give clear straight answers. :roll:
I think how far allergy research has come since I was a child and hope that in another 5-10 years the experts will be able to offer more advise.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:23 pm
Posts: 190
This is of particular interest to me, as I'm hoping to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. (I'm due in a few weeks.) During my pregnancy, I've had several different opinions presented to me:

1. That I should be avoiding the big-8 (or 9) allergens during pregnancy
2. That 1. is controversial, and may or may not be effective

I've opted for 2., since I'm on bed-rest, and so exhausted already that curtailing my diet further could be damaging to me.


Last edited by Andrea_MASG on Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Andrea - I think your planned approach is a good one. I cannot imagine avoiding the top 9 allergens unless you had to (because you or your child were allergic to them). That would be so difficult to do and potentially very unhealthy.

Hope you are feeling better with the bed-rest...

K.

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Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:36 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
I'm planning to get pregnant sometime in the second half of this year and was debating whether I should avoid the Big 8 (what's the #9? Corn?) while I'm pregnant or breastfeeding or just wait and see if baby #2 is atopic. Part of me wants to eat a lot of the stuff DD is allergic to, with the reasoning that if baby #2 is going to be allergic anyway, at least let them be allergic to the same stuff! :?

But I know it doesn't work that way.

I agree that the pros don't seem to have any idea how it works, really. I have a friend who works for a medical book publisher - they haven't gotten any books on food allergies in recent memory. Probably because no one has a clue or anything definitive to say! :roll:

I can't imagine doing a Total Elimination Diet like some of the pg and bfing moms on the babycenter boards I've been reading. But, then again, I couldn't imagine a life without dairy products (my favorite food group!) and here I am.

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Kate - born 11*17*2005 - allergic to eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, dust mites
Amanda - born 5*31*2008 - dairy sensitivity
Mom - dyshidrotic eczema, teenage-onset allergy to fish, but skin tests are now negative...no oral challenge.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Katesmom, #9 is sesame. Sesame does not appear on the top 8 most common food allergens as listed in the U.S., but is on Canada's list of the top 9 most common food allergens. The other 8 are the same as in the U.S.

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15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:36 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Thanks. I wonder what #10 is, and why they don't just make it Top 10 anyway. I'm sure the sesame-allergic and #10-allergic people would appreciate it. I have a friend whose son is allergic to corn - she can't just look at the end of the list to see if she can immediately put an item back but has to look through each label, every time. At least I can rule stuff out quickly (of course I read through the label if it DOESN'T have an allergen listed in bold or at the end - and I've found stuff that SHOULD have had it listed!).

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Kate - born 11*17*2005 - allergic to eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, dust mites
Amanda - born 5*31*2008 - dairy sensitivity
Mom - dyshidrotic eczema, teenage-onset allergy to fish, but skin tests are now negative...no oral challenge.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Here's the top 9 most common food allergens*:

peanuts, nuts, shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, sesame seeds

*in the order listed in the book released by The Hospital for Sick Children; general editor Dr. Milton Gold

Sometimes we see the top 10 when sulfite is included. Sulfite is used as an additive in foods, so it will sometimes appear in the listing for food.

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15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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