Recent research suggests that it is not necessary for breastfeeding mothers to avoid any dairy products within
the first few weeks after the baby's birth.
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. Below are some symptoms of food allergy to look out for.
Allergies are common in non-breastfed babies. Colostrum contains high concentrations of sIgA, and anti-infective, which coats the baby's gut; this prevents the passage of foreign proteins and germs that cause allergic reactions.
Even just a small amount of formula can alter your baby's gut protection against bacteria for a month! Therefore, increasing the risk of allergies and diabetes. If the mother's breast milk is not available, donor breast milk should be considered first. Formula should always be used as a last resort.
Should I continue to breastfeed, if my baby is allergic to some foods?
Yes, the mother needs to continue to breastfeed. She should take her baby for allergy tests to determine which food is causing the allergy. Once she knows the specific culprit food, she will need to eliminate it 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.
The mother should stay away from the specific food 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 affect the other.
If you introduce solid foods too soon, or formula before the age of 4 months, your baby is more likely to develop an allergy and less severe food sensitivity. More about this below.
Cow Milk Sensitivity ~ Dairy Allergy
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-free products will not help. A milk protein
allergy can create all of the symptoms mentioned above.
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 calcium
caseinate, lactalbumin or whey. The mother 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.
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.
Peanut Allergy ~ Peanut Intolerance
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.
Your baby's digestive tract needs to mature before you start to introduce solid foods. Why? Because of two things, namely: Allergens and Enzymes.
If you give your child solid foods before the four-month mark, the lining of your baby's intestines are not sealed off properly against allergens yet; this causes problems like eczema.
Before the four month mark your baby is also not producing sufficient Enzymes for breaking down foods. So when you give your baby foods before this period, it might result in runny stools, gas issues and undigested food (which means that your child is not absorbing all the nutrients in the food).
Food elimination should only be done as discussed above if tests prove that there is a real allergy.
New Research Suggests Peanut Allergy Avoidable if Eaten as a Child
Prevention of All Food Intolerances
Pregnant mothers can avoid foods that cause allergy problems in themselves. 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.
Any culprit foods, other than the ones that cause the mother any allergic reactions do not need to be avoided in her diet. Recent research suggests that the earlier the culprit foods are introduced into the baby's system, the less likely they are to develop an allergy.