There is a reason Breast milk It is the best source of food for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics The AAP describes breast milk as a “superfood” that “provides all the nutrients, calories, and fluids needed for your baby’s health.” (Not to mention it’s free!)
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“We know that breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for babies, and a host of other benefits for parents and children alike,” says the pediatric allergist. Jackie Bellack, MD.
We also know that it is not always easy. Breastfeeding can take a long time. It can be physical taxes. It can make you wonder what you eat and how it affects your baby.
With the increasing talk of food allergies in children, you may be wondering how this affects your breastfeeding diet. For example, should you avoid familiar allergens so they don’t pass through breast milk?
We asked Dr. Bilak about this common interest. What is her response? resounding, “No!”
“What’s important when you’re breastfeeding is to have a good diet so you can continue to produce enough milk and breastfeed for as long as you want to,” says Dr. Bilak. “If you start cutting out too many foods, your nutrition can start to suffer, and then supply becomes an issue. It’s hard to successfully breastfeed your baby with a restricted diet, so we never want you to stop eating unnecessarily.”
Dr. Bilak explains the relationship (or, in fact, the lack of a link) between the foods you eat and your breastfed baby’s food allergies.
Is your child allergic to breast milk?
Babies are never allergic to breast milkDr. Bilak says. In very rare cases, a very small percentage of babies can develop an allergy to the microscopic bits of food proteins that pass through breast milk. Likewise, a small number of babies can develop intolerances to some of the dietary proteins found in breast milk.
Allergies and intolerances have different symptoms, and there are different recommendations on how to manage your diet.
Dr. Bilak helps us with recommendations.
Are food allergens transmitted through breast milk?
When you’re breastfeeding, it’s normal to sometimes worry about what you’re eating and how it might affect your baby. (And by the way, you’re probably doing a great job!)
If you’re worried that the milk in the cereal or shellfish you had for dinner will cause your child to have an allergic reaction, Dr. Bilak says keep these two things in mind.
- Food allergy in children is rare. The AAP It is estimated that only 2% to 3% of exclusively breastfed babies show any signs of an allergic reaction to foods.
- Your breast milk contains very Keep track of the protein amounts of the foods you eat.
Put them together and the answer is clear: It’s highly unlikely that anything you eat will cause your child to have an allergic reaction.
“Babies are not allergic to breast milk,” Dr. Bilak repeats. “Very little food protein is passed through breast milk to the baby directly, so the chances of your baby developing an allergy to something you eat are very, very small.”
So, go ahead and eat those peanuts. Maybe you could use a snack!
Does avoiding common food allergens protect your child?
Well, but What if If your child is in that 2% to 3% group that has a food allergy? Well, you probably won’t know until they try the food themselves, notes Dr. Bilak.
‘Guidelines from the AAP to provide some Common food allergensWhen your baby is about 6 months old, such as peanuts, eggs, soybeans and wheat, “When your baby tries foods on his own, you’ll want to watch him for signs of an allergy, such as swelling or hives.” (Note: The AAP recommends saving cow’s milk, which is a Other allergies are common, even after your baby’s first birthday. However, foods that contain milk, such as yogurt and full-fat cheese, can start giving them to babies around 6 months old.)
And if they’re allergic, you’ll know it. “Allergic reactions to foods are not subtle,” says Dr. Bilak.
Even if your child is in this very small group of children who have an allergic reaction to foods after eating them, it does not mean that you have to make any changes to for you diet.
Now this might seem counterintuitive, so let’s say it again. Breast milk removes very little dietary protein from your diet You can continue to eat foods that your baby is allergic to while breastfeeding. (This advice changes for kids with food intolerances. More on that below!)
Search She supported this idea. One study says, “When healthcare practitioners promote the concept that maternal dietary restrictions are an important part of food allergy management, this risks causing adverse adverse effects without benefiting the allergic child.”
That’s right: Restricting your diet can be detrimental to successful breastfeeding, and it won’t help your baby avoid allergens.
food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
Now, there are times when your healthcare provider may recommend changing your diet while you’re breastfeeding. Dr. Bilak says cutting out certain foods may benefit a child who has a food intolerance as opposed to a food allergy.
What is the difference?
|symptoms||What are you doing|
|food allergy||severe vomiting hives or bruising swelling of the face and throat; Difficulty breathing wheezing and shortness of breath.||Continue to breastfeed as usual. No need to change your diet. Talk to your healthcare provider, or a pediatric allergist, preferably about allergy testing.|
|food intolerance||bloody stools; Diarrhea; invasive. stomachache.||Talk with your healthcare provider about considering making changes to your diet to eliminate the cause of your intolerance. Cow’s milk is the most common culprit.|
food intolerance (also called food allergy) is a digestive concern, as opposed to an immune system attack. Food intolerances mean that your little one’s body is having a hard time breaking down the enzymes in a particular food. Food intolerance causes symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract, such as:
- bloody stools;
a food sensitiveOn the other hand, it is the immune system’s response to a specific food (or foods). A food allergy occurs when your body mistakenly eats a certain food as a dangerous intruder. Your immune system mobilizes forces to destroy it. The result is an allergic reaction. It’s your body compensating for what it thinks is a threat. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- severe vomiting;
- hives or bruises
- swelling of the face and throat;
- breathing difficulties.
- Wheezing and shortness of breath.
A food allergy can be serious, even life-threatening. Food intolerance, while uncomfortable for the child and upsetting for the parent, is not an emergency.
If your child has a food intolerance, he may benefit from cutting back – or eliminating – the offending food entirely. That’s because food intolerances can result from even a tiny amount of exposure to the offending food.
“The amount of protein we need to trigger digestion issues from a food intolerance is very small – far less than it takes to trigger an allergic reaction,” Dr. Bilak explains. “Therefore, children with intolerance can benefit from changes in your diet.”
The most common sources of food intolerances in children are soy and cow’s milk. Pro tip: If your healthcare provider suggests limiting or eliminating cow’s milk in your diet due to your child’s intolerance, you’ll need to cut out milk from other mammals as well, including goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. Other types of milk, such as coconut milk and almond milk, do not need to be avoided in most cases.
When do you see a doctor?
If you are concerned about a food allergy or intolerance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a health care provider.
“Some babies are picky. Sometimes, babies get gassy. Sometimes babies cry,” says Dr. Bilak. “Not everything is related to what they eat and is unlikely to be related to what your mother eats, but getting a doctor’s opinion can give you some peace of mind and tools to help your baby be his best and thrive.”
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