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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
My 2 year old son has been diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy, and most recently has had asthmatic responses to dogs, cats, birds, dust (and we're still discovering).
I breastfed him exculsively for the first year (and continued breastfeeding until his second birthday), and did not introduce solids until after he was 6 months of age. My husband and I only suffer from mild environmental allergies although allergies (including eczema, and asthma) do run in both of our families. I can only guess that genetics played its part here.
I do wonder if his allergies would have been worse had I not breastfed him - ??
Another point worth noting is that I did eat peanut butter and nut products while I was pregnant and breastfeeding and is something I would not do again if I were to have another child -- pregnant and nursing moms out there...take heed.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 9:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:29 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Markham, Ontario
I also breastfed my daughter until she was 2, no formula ever, no solids until 6 months. However, she developed a severe cow's milk allergy at around 2 months (from the milk I was drinking). She outgrew her milk allergy at around 18 months or so, but shortly before her 2nd birthday, she had an anaphylactic to reaction to an unknown substance (we think she touched something in the supermarket and then touched her mouth). Just a week ago, we discovered she's allergic to cashews the hard way - yet another anaphylactic reaction to hidden cashews in the food we were eating. Neither her father's family nor my family have any history of any food allergies. On my side of the family, we a history of asthma, animal and grass/tree allergies, but no food.

If I have more children in the future, I will be very careful of what I eat and drink while I'm pregnant and nursing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Quote:
I have no idea when to introduce the "major" allergens to her when she does start eating... do I hold off longer because Josh does have a bad allergy or do I do it at the normal times?
Robin


Robin, you didn't specify the type of allergy that your oldest child has so I'm going to assume that he has a food allergy - ??
My advice to you (based on the information that I've read via books, internet, etc. and from discussions with my son's allergist) is to definitely hold off introducing the foods that you know your older child is allergic to altogether (until your doctor advises otherwise). Based on genetics, there is a greater possibility that your youngest child will have the same allergic responses as your oldest child. Additionally, I would suggest that as a breastfeeding mom, you also avoid eating the food(s) that are in question.

My son has a severe peanut allergy and while I'm not 100% sure that my eating peanuts/nut products while pregnant and nursing was the cause of his allergy -- if I were to have another child, I would definitely omit them from my diet.

As far as knowing when to introduce other highly allergenic foods to your daughter, I'm not 100% on this one - good question. Other than seeking advice from your doctor, I would trust your gut feelings. In my opinion, where food allergies are concerned, better more cautious than not. I hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 11:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:51 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Alberta, Canada
Thanks Ethansmom! Sorry about the long time it took to respond... nice weather has eaten into computer time LOL My son Joshua is anaphylactic to Eggs. The entire household is on an egg free diet so avoiding it isn't a problem. I FINALLY got an appointment with Joshua's pediatric allergist again so I can ask ALL my questions!!! YEAH! That took forever!
Thank you to everyone for all the advice and help!
Robin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:19 pm
Posts: 207
Location: Halifax
Since the World Health Organization recommends breast feeding until kids are at least 2 years old, I just wanted to say that it's really great to read about so many moms who breastfed for so long. I think that's just fantastic, and it's nice to read about!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
All food you eat when you are breastfeeding passes to baby. There are going to be traces of everything in there. To have breastmilk free of food traces, you wouldn't be able to eat anything. So hook me to an iv because I don't want to chance anything! Would this then cause them to be allergic to whatever is in iv solution?

I wasn't big on nuts, never ate peanut butter or nuts during pregnancy... first daughter allergic to nuts. She was also breastfed for only 6 weeks and is not allergic to milk. She was not exposed to nuts until she was three. Still allergic.

I drank milk during pregnancy #2 (doesn't everyone ) and yes my 2nd daughter is allergic to milk ( breastfed alot longer ). However, had I drank more soy would she not be allergic to milk, but to soy? I doubt it. She's also allergic to chicken. Lots of people eat chicken and their kids aren't allergic.

We could drive ourselves crazy with this. We were all hungry pregnant and breastfeeding moms who needed to nourish our babies. We had to eat something. Allergies can develop to anything, does that mean all food is off limits to pregnant and breastfeeding moms?

Just because someone tried avoiding foods and got an allergy free child doesn't mean that is the reason. Not all kids develop allergies! Genetics plays a big role here! I think that is the reason their kids are allergy free.

I do believe in trying to avoid foods, and delay giving foods, I did it but its not a guarantee. Kids still get allergies. Lots of kids whose mothers ate nuts everyday when they were pregnant and breastfeeding don't have allergies.

Lets please stop the guilt.

Also, lets please remember that not all moms can breastfeed. Sometimes in stressful situations such as the health of a newborn or health of the new mom breastfeeding long term is not an option. When there is really no proof that breastfeeding is the cure for allergies, lets not add to the guilt of some moms by telling them "Maybe if you'd only breastfed longer?"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 926
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Both of my kids were adopted (internationally) therefore could not be breast-fed. I fed both my kids identically as infants, introducing new foods at similar ages... my 6 yr old daughter is allergy-free, my 3 yr old son has multiple food allergies. As many of us are aware, genetics is the key factor in determining the allergic health of our children. Of course there are other factors as well, but genetics seems to play the key role. My son has some allergies to certain foods that are not particularly available in his country of birth, so it's a bit of a mystery. I think his body is simply highly sentisized to the proteins found in many foods.


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 Post subject: genetics
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I believe genetics played a huge role in both of my daughters allergies. My youngest daughter has red hair. My husbands grandpa and cousin have red hair... and allergies. My cousin has red hair... and allergies. My sister in law has red hair and is very sensitive to perfume and cosmetics. It seems everyone I know with red hair has some sensitivity to something. Only 2% of the north american population has red hair. I wonder what pecentage of red heads have allergies or sensitivities, but I think it is higher than the norm. I'm also pretty sure that I did not cause her red hair by eating carrots. :lol:

This would then again imply genetics plays a big role here.


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 Post subject: exposure to allergens
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
My best freind breast fed her son for about 18 months. Around 8 months old he started having skin contact reactions to milk. He had never eaten any, except for what was in her breast milk. My friend noticed that his face would turn red with an allergic reaction while he was being breast fed if she had eaten milk products.

The article that was posted earlier was only someones opinion.
I would really hate to think that the idea that breast feeding is the cure to allergies could discourage adoption. Adoption is a wonderful thing. It gives homes to babies who desperately need it. Teeling society that breast feeding is the only way to a healthy baby might discourage loving homes from adopting children who are in need of a family.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I don't think that the article suggests that breastfeeding is a cure for allergies----just that there is less of a chance that a child will have allergies if he or she is breastfed. But no one knows for sure what all the contributing factors are to developing allergies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I reread the article and no it doesn't state that breastfeeding is the cure, but it is highly recommended to delay the introduction of allergens. When I said that people have ideas that it is the cure, I was also referring to other posts and my own experiences from talking with other parents of non allergic children who seem to think that I failed at this somehow and that they succeeded.

Looking back, my daughters eczema and constant scratching of her skin got better when I quit breastfeeding. Her face would get blotchy after I would feed her. My doctor just thought that it was eczema and sensitive skin. ( This happened to my friend with a milk allergic child too. ) She was reacting to my breastmilk because of what I ate. She was being exposed to everything I ate. She was being exposed to milk everytime I drank milk, as all nursing moms are told to do. I didn't know it at the time, but looking back it seems pretty obvious what was causing her problem skin. She's now allergic to milk,eggs, chicken and beef.

She only began to show improvement in her skin and constant itching when she was put on soy milk. She scratched constantly when she was breastfed. She must have been so uncomfortable. I kept breastfeeding because I wanted to decrease her chance of allergies and she seemed pretty sensitive. Now, I wonder if her allergies would be less severe if she was put on soy earlier. I do feel that for the months I breastfed her and ate milk,eggs, chicken and beef must have felt like an itchy nightmare to her.

I don't have parental guilt over how long I breast fed ( 6 months ) and sometimes when the "what ifs" are shoved in my face (usually in the non computer world ) I get a little annoyed since it wasn't the perfect allergen free feeding solution for me or my daughter. Sometimes it feels like people are trying to make me feel guilty and that I somehow caused this, or could have prevented this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 10:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
I'm right there with you saskmommyof2. I don't think breastfeeding is the magical solution for allergies. And there's enough guilt in being a parent without adding the...'if only I had breastfed longer' aspect to it. I've known people who breastfed for a year and their kids still have allergies and asthma. It's genetic. I was born allergic to a lot of things. I just went with the assumption that my kids would have allergies. It's just a fact of life.


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 Post subject: testing infants
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Is it possible to test ( probably RAST ) an infant with eczema who is breastfed to see if they react to common allergens (milk, eggs, soy or anything the mother suspects ) that the mother is eating in her own diet? Then, the mother could at least be aware what foods to avoid eating while breastfeeding.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Burlington
My son was skin tested as an infant for milk allergy. He was having some gastro and congestion issues and I wanted to see if that was the problem. So, they will do it if necessary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
My daughter was getting blotchy and her eczema was flaring up from my breast milk. She never had any intestinal problems and was a really easy going baby. I then tried enfalac, which she violently vomited. I was told that vomiting is not a sign of an allergy ( untrue ).

I guess that my doctor felt that she was not allergic to milk because her reaction to enfalac was only violent vomiting and not hives or worse, and recommended not omiting milk from my diet if I continued to breast feed. Under the assumption that it wasn't milk, she still got blotchy when I breastfed her. I tried good start ( broken down milk protein) under the assumption that it could not have been milk causing her skin problems, but something else possibly in my diet that I had no way of figuring out.

She was alright with it, still had lots of eczema, and was on it for 6 months until we found out for sure that yes she was allergic to milk ( something that my doctor felt was unlikely because she could tolerate good start.) She was then put on soy milk, and her eczema cleared up a lot.

Its pretty scary to think that she consumed good start for 6 months since she now reacts to anything that has come into contact with milk. This also baffled my allergist.


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