Let’s rewind to a decade or so ago when doctors everywhere advised pregnant and breastfeeding mums not to eat nuts. The belief was that consuming peanuts and tree nuts would increase a child’s risk of developing an allergy to that food. But a study released around 18 months ago has mums reconsidering the foods that they should be including in their diet.
Jama Pediatrics released a study in late December 2013 which suggested that the consumption of peanuts and tree nuts was not only safe, but that it could actually be beneficial. After following close to 11,000 babies born between the years of January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1994, researchers discovered that the incidence of peanut and tree nut allergies were significantly lower in mums who ate more nuts during pregnancy.
The authors argue that being exposed an allergen early on in one’s life can actually increase a child’s tolerance, therefore reducing the risk of suffering a childhood food allergy.
Nut Consumption While Breastfeeding: Is It OK?
While the study focused primarily on pregnant mums, it does raise the question as to what foods are allowable while breastfeeding. After all, many of the “banned” pregnancy foods are also “banned” for breastfeeding mums.
When it comes to nuts, there is no evidence that eating them poses a risk to your baby. There has been no substantial research that suggests that snacking on nuts while breastfeeding will increase your baby’s chances of developing an allergy towards them.
The study above could be a positive consideration for mums who love their nuts and nut spreads.
How to Spot Allergies In Your Baby
Some allergies may be easy to spot on your bub. Hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing are all obvious signs and typically become visible within minutes to a couple of hours after eating.
Some other less obvious signs include:
In this situations, you should step back and look at what foods you are consuming, and which could be posing a dietary problem for your baby. Think about the foods that you have consumed within two to six hours prior to the reaction, and start keeping a journal.
Nuts are one food to eliminate, though other foods can be a problem including:
Corn or corn syrup
Hand soaps, body soaps and even laundry detergents may be the cause as your baby comes in contact with your clothing regularly. To be safe, wash all Peachymama breastfeeding clothing in baby-safe detergents, including home-made white vinegar cleansers, to eliminate this as being the cause of your baby’s allergic reactions.
A food allergy does not mean needing to give up breastfeeding. Your baby’s doctor will help you come up with a strategy that will pinpoint your baby’s allergies and allow you and she to continue feeding happily and comfortably.