Many new mothers experience new dilemmas every day. With the medical science field continuing to make new discoveries and developments, more and more questions are appearing; especially when it involves what breastfeeding mothers should and should not eat. One of these hot topics involves peanuts. Some individuals believe that eating peanuts while breastfeeding can lead to their baby developing a peanut allergy; while others are convinced that eating peanuts while breastfeeding will actually prevent peanut allergy development. Let’s continue to the topic of Can I eat peanuts while breastfeeding!
So, what is the truth? Is there any proof that backs either of the peanut allergy development ideas? Many mothers are asking the important question, can I eat peanuts while breastfeeding? What are the pros and cons of eating peanuts while breastfeeding? Can I technically eat peanut butter while breastfeeding? This article will provide you with everything you need to know about eating peanuts while breastfeeding; including the risks, benefits, and other essential information.
What are the Pros of Eating Peanuts While Breastfeeding?
Peanuts may be a go-to snack for many individuals. Peanuts may be tiny, but they are packed with healthy nutrients, especially protein. Protein is absolutely essential for breastfeeding mothers; which is why many new mothers may choose to snack on peanuts during pregnancy and immediately after giving birth. Moreover, peanuts are low in cholesterol and filled with folic acid, phosphorus, biotin, and fiber; which are also key ingredients in prenatal vitamins.
Most important of all? Some new studies are implying that peanuts may actually prevent babies from developing a peanut allergy. If you have been paying attention to the news; you’ll notice that peanut allergies are on the rise; especially in the United States, and no one is quite sure why.
In Canada, a group of researchers conducted a study on mothers who ate peanuts while breastfeeding. Their study and results were published in a paper titled “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.” Their studies found that children of women who ate peanuts while breastfeeding only had a peanut allergy rate of 1.7 percent. The national average peanut allergy rate is around 9.4 percent, making this a huge difference.
The key to achieving this low allergy rate? Not only did the mothers eat peanuts while breastfeeding; but they also fed their babies foods that included peanuts during their first year of life. This is news to mothers around the world. Many new moms were told to wait to introduce solid foods; such as peanuts, to their babies until the babies were at least 36 months old. But now? If studies are suggesting that babies that consume small amounts of solid food can provide more benefits than risks; it might change the way we look at other foods that have a known allergy risk.
What are the Cons of Eating Peanuts While Breastfeeding?
The biggest concern about eating peanuts while breastfeeding is the potential risk of causing your baby to develop a peanut allergy. This is the biggest reason some women choose to avoid eating peanuts altogether. A peanut allergy can be passed to your baby through allergens. Allergens can cause serious harm or injury to your baby, so it is important to know the signs. If your baby develops a rash or seems to have difficulty breathing; this could be a reaction to a peanut allergy.
The good news is, that you can actually have your baby tested to see if they are at risk of developing a peanut allergy. Talk with your pediatrician and discuss your options for conducting a food sensitivity test. Additionally, you should also take a look at your family history for developing certain diseases and allergies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics; women should NOT eat peanuts if their family is known to easily develop peanut allergies. If your family has a history of developing a peanut allergy; it may be wiser for you to choose to avoid eating peanuts while breastfeeding.
Is it Safe to Eat Peanut Butter While Breastfeeding?
If you have decided that it is safe for you to eat peanuts while breastfeeding; then the answer is yes, it is safe for you to eat peanut butter while breastfeeding. Peanut butter is just a paste made from peanuts. Peanut butter is also a great source of energy, so if you’re feeling a little lethargic, peanut butter may make a good snack!
What Foods Should I Avoid While Breastfeeding?
There is not a “one size fits all” solution when it comes to avoiding foods while breastfeeding. Some people may have a family history of developing food allergies; while others may not have a single food allergy case. In order to know specifically which foods should not be consumed while breastfeeding; you need to look at your family history.
If you are wondering which foods are most avoided by new and expecting mothers; you will find answers ranging far and wide. In order to know which foods you should be avoiding, talk with your doctor or pediatrician. Here is a list of the foods that some breastfeeding mothers choose to avoid:
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Fish that contain high mercury counts
- Dairy products for colicky babies
- Chocolate and other foods high in sugar
- Wheat and/or gluten
In the past, many women and health experts believed that eating peanuts while breastfeeding was the main reason that infants developed a peanut allergy. However, this is no longer the case. New and developing studies are suggesting that eating peanuts while breastfeeding can actually prevent peanut allergies by introducing the food to the baby in small amounts.
These kinds of new studies and their results are groundbreaking. Until recently, peanuts were avoided like the plague by breastfeeding mothers. If your baby had developed a food allergy, you would be blaming your love for snacking on peanuts. But what if that is not the case? What if consuming peanuts while breastfeeding actually lowered the risk of developing a peanut allergy? These types of questions are definitely worth considering.
If you are a breastfeeding mother wondering if you should eat peanuts; first take a look at your family history, and then have a discussion with your doctor. Arm yourself with knowledge and facts, and then make the decision that works best for you.