Infant Food Allergy
Breastfeeding and Infant Food Allergy
Most babies are not fussy as a result of food allergies. Most babies show these colic symptoms, due to growth spurts, acid reflux and/or normal baby development.
All breastfeeding mothers should try to avoid dairy products within
the first few weeks after baby's birth, as all newborn babies have digestive systems that are immature.
A mother should notice a difference in her baby’s behavior after eating certain
foods, but fussiness on its own, is not a sign of food sensitivity. Here
are some symptoms of food allergy to look out for...
Baby Food Allergy Symptoms
- Eczema, hives and dry, reddened skin (mostly found on the face).
- Chest wheezing, asthma and trouble breathing.
and poor sleeping patterns.
- Acid reflux
- Runny nose and red, itchy eyes.
- Diarrhea, constipation
and/or diaper rash.
- Less absorption of nutrients, which can cause weight loss.
Anaphylaxis may also occur, but this is a very severe reaction
towards an allergen, which can be fatal and usually involves restriction
(swelling closed) of the airway.
Should I Continue to Breastfeed?
Should I continue to breastfeed, if Baby is allergic to some foods?
Yes, Mom just needs to figure out which foods are causing the allergic reaction. Then she will need to eliminate these specific foods from her diet.
If a baby is allergic to cow’s milk, she should keep away from all dairy products. A reaction towards a specific food, can show immediately or only after 24 hours in Baby.
Infant food allergy Fact
Breastfeeding protects against food sensitivity in infants, and for later in life. Breastfed babies are exposed to fewer allergens like cow's milk and/or soy products, which reduces a baby's chances of becoming allergic to them. Also, breastfeeding strengthens a baby’s immune system and digestive system, providing more immunity against food sensitiveness.
Mom should stay away from the specific food, she thinks could be
causing the problem, for at least four weeks, to see if her baby still has the
Some babies may seem to experience worsened symptoms, for about
a week after eliminating the problem food.
Most Common Food Allergies
Some common foods that cause food allergies include; peanuts, shellfish, cows milk protein, eggs, wheat, citrus fruits, fish, soy and food additives. What bothers one baby, may not bother another.
Read more on foods to avoid while breastfeeding
What Causes Baby Allergies?
- A family history of specific food sensitivity, asthma and/or eczema. If both parents have allergies, their baby is 80% more likely to get it, if only one parent is affected, baby has a 30% chance of being allergic.
Does my baby have lactose intolerance? Read more on this here
Cow Milk Sensitivity
When babies have a sensitivity towards cow's milk, it is the
protein in the milk that causes the milk allergies, not the lactose. This
is why switching to lactose fee products will not help. A milk protein
allergy can cause all of the symptoms mentioned above.
Most babies with an infant milk allergy, will most likely be allergic to
soy and beef as well. Breastfeeding mothers will need to eliminate all
forms of cow’s milk protein, including cream, yogurt, butter and cheese.
Also anything containing casein, caseinate, sodium and/or calcium
caseinate, lactalbumin or whey. Mom will need to start reading labels on
purchased foods, that may contain cow’s milk protein.
Most of these babies will outgrow their sensitivities, by the age of two.
It's best to wait at least until your baby is six months old, before trying to
introduce dairy products again.
Treatment Options for Food Sensitivities
- Food elimination as discussed above.
- Allergy tests.
Prevention of All Food Intolerances
- When trying to prevent infant food allergies, pregnant mothers can avoid all foods, that have caused allergy problems in themselves and their families; this will give the baby a better chance at not being allergic. Mothers should remember to replace the eliminated food, with another food option or with an equivalent supplement.
- Breastfeeding exclusively for at least four months, can reduce the risk of infant allergy, the occurrence of eczema and the development of asthma.
- To prevent baby allergy, keep Baby and yourself, if you are breastfeeding, away from:
~ Dairy products, for a year from birth.
~ Eggs for the first two years.
~ Peanuts, nuts and fish should be avoided for the first three years.
- Babies with egg allergies, may also be allergic to: albumin, dried eggs, egg powder, egg solids, ovomucin, ovomucoid, ovovitellin, ovalbumin, livetin and Simplesse. Egg allergy symptoms are the same as the symptoms mentioned above.
One in every 150 children, are affected by peanut allergy. A peanut allergy can be quite severe in some cases.
Traces of peanuts can be found in almost anything, it can even be found in baby formula, ice cream and cereals.
Nut allergy symptoms are also the same as the symptoms mentioned above.
Child And Infant Food Allergy Network Support Group…http://www.wafeast.org/
Other pages on "breastfeeding problems" in connection with food allergy breastfeeding
- Herbs and breastfeeding
- Baby poop - Whats normal?
- Understanding why babies cry
- Caffeine and breastfeeding
- Alcohol and breastfeeding
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.