Eating Peanuts - Concerns? — The Bump
March 2013 Moms

Eating Peanuts - Concerns?

What's everyone's thoughts on eating peanuts? A friend sent me an article about eating peanuts during pregnancy possibly contributing towards peanut allergy in LO. I totally forgot about it until I just ate a Snickers from the candy bowl. Hmm

According to this WebMD article, there was a study that seems to show a possible correlation. Another study linked at the bottom proposes that even breastfeeding moms should avoid peanuts. The American Academy of Pediatrics initially recommended against pg or bf women eating peanuts, but then ultimately decided to state that the impact of eating or avoiding peanuts during pregnancy remains uncertain.

I'm tempted to think its baloney, except for the fact that I'm a little sensitive on the issue because I have several food allergies (peanut is not one, but some other nuts are), many of which didn't appear until I was an adult. So I worry about maybe passing on some predisposition to my LO (praying she gets DH's genes on this one). Just wondering - is anyone avoiding or do you think it's an unnecessary scare?

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Re: Eating Peanuts - Concerns?

  • I was addicted to peanuts with my first pregnancy. DD is fine and can eat anything, including a peanut. Besides, if it were an issue, the doctor would give it to you on the "do not eat" list.

    After they are born, You aren't supposed to give them any nuts, peanut butter, etc. until a year, and some pedis recommend even later than that.
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  • I am and always have been a peanut (PB especially) addict and the cravings for peanut related products only get worse while I am pregnant. I have never refrained from peanuts during pregnancy, I assure you I've consumed more than my fair share, and none of my 5 kids have peanut allergies. In fact, they are peanut butter fanatics just like I am.

    Unless you have a huge family history of peanut allergies, I wouldn't worry about peanut consumption during pregnancy.

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  • This is really great feedback ladies, thanks. Especially given your experiences with prior pregnancies.
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  • I didn't avoid peanuts with DD and she does not have a peanut allergy.  DH technically has one since he tested positive on an allergy panel, but is fine when he eats them.

    And from what I read when DD was younger, some people think that delaying giving it is making peanut allergies worse.  We introduced it around a year and I will most likely do the same with this LO. 

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  • I would think that introducing any common food allergen to your LO via amniotic fluid/breast milk would build up like, I guess an allergy immunity. Maybe not 100 but maybe more than the LOs of moms not eating this things..
  • My mom lived off of peanut butter sandwiches and Pepsi when she was pregnant with me. She would get sick from pretty much any other food. I've never had an issue with peanuts or peanut butter.
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  • Blown out of proportion? Yes, they don't know why allergies are on the rise, but these kids have legitimate allergies! You think parents say this for shits and giggles.. No, it's actually a nightmare to deal with. I hope you never take care of one of these kids! You are self righteous, ignorant, and completely insensitive. The girl asked you what's your take on eating peanuts while pregnant, didn't ask you to *** and whine about these kids with allergies! Warm your soul, it's pretty frozen apparently!
  • My child has a peanut and a dairy allergy. I lived off of both during my first pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Both our allergist and pediatrician have said there is no correlation between what I ate and my son's allergies. (My OB said to ask my pedi cause she didnt know) I am enjoying lots of pb&js and yogurt again this time around!

    And for what its worth I don't thing the allergy thing has been blown out of proportion by any means, there are way more diganosed cases of food allergy now then when we were kids and doctors have no idea why, but there is also tons of misinformation out there.  To have a reaction you actually have to eat or come in contact with what you're allergic to you can't have an allergy just by being around something.

    Anyway, we still keep peanut butter around the house because I love it and eat it (but only during nap time) and we keep it far away from the almond butter so as not to accidentally mix them up. And obviously we still keep dairy in the house but after a while you learn to live with who can eat what!

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  • imagemarch2013boy:
    Blown out of proportion? Yes, they don't know why allergies are on the rise, but these kids have legitimate allergies! You think parents say this for shits and giggles.. No, it's actually a nightmare to deal with. I hope you never take care of one of these kids! You are self righteous, ignorant, and completely insensitive. The girl asked you what's your take on eating peanuts while pregnant, didn't ask you to *** and whine about these kids with allergies! Warm your soul, it's pretty frozen apparently!


    I am with you. Definitely not blown out of proportion. Worked on an ambulance and have administered enough epi to plenty. There are in fact children that can't be in the same room as nuts.

    So PP, before you type ignorance such as "blown out of proportion" please do more research. Or Atleast don't talk about something you know nothing about.
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  • To reiterate what other women have said, my son's allergist has told me that no studies are conclusive.  I ate plenty of peanut butter while nursing and while pregnant, and my son has a peanut allergy.  But, the allergist told me there's no proof that's what caused my son's allergy.

     And, while I hate to pile on the previous poster, some other people's reaction to peanut allergies really frustrates me.  Yes, they are more prevalant than when we were growing up.  That doesn't mean they are "blown out of proportion."  Once your child has an allergic reaction to peanuts, even if the initial reaction was not anaphylactic, any subsequent reaction can be anaphlylactic.  It makes me want to scream when I'm asking about ingredients at a restaurant and the server asks me, "Is he REALLY allergic to peanuts?" 

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  • I was wondering this too. Because food allergies can be very frustrating, especially for a young child, I told myself that if eating peanut/peanut butter now will prevent my future LO to not have peanut allergies, I will eat all the peanuts I can! So I looked online and checked it out to see if there was any correlation between eating it during pregnancy and allergies later on. I found both sides, one saying they can possibly cause allergies (though more likely if food allergies-specifically peanut-run in your family) and another saying that it will make you not have peanut allergies. I'm undecided on which is true, but with no food allergies in my family, I will be enjoying my PB&J sandwich.
  • imagekfarmer92:
    I would think that introducing any common food allergen to your LO via amniotic fluid/breast milk would build up like, I guess an allergy immunity. Maybe not 100 but maybe more than the LOs of moms not eating this things..

    I agree.  I think abstaining from things like this is a worse idea for LO.


  • I feel like I have to weigh in.  After dating someone who would go into anaphylactic shock if exposed to tree nuts, I have seen how terrible a nut allergy can be.  Sure, not all allergies are this bad, and some are worse, but when someone has a bite of nuts and suddenly can't breathe, it's very scary and dangerous.  We once went to a wedding and nuts were on the bottom of the meat only--stupid!

     As a scientist, just because 1, 12, or 50 people tell you, I did x, but didn't see y, doesn't mean that there's no relationship between x and y, especially if y is rare.  It may be the case that x only contributes to y if several other factors are in place.  It seems like there are a few studies that suggest that eating peanuts when you are pregnant may be one risk factor for an allergy, but the data is far from conclusive at this point.  Since you think you have a predisposition for allergies, I would check into it a bit more and if it's something you can do, avoid the peanuts.  That doesn't mean you should have guilt over a snickers bar, but since you have the information now, I think it does mean you can avoid in the future.  Just because other people don't feel this is necessary doesn't mean it's not the right choice for you.  Even if there's a very, very small chance this matters, it's a very, very small sacrifice, so why not do it.

      

      

  • I also have to say, "I would think" is not a good reason to make these kinds of decisions.  Without medical knowledge and consultation of the scientific literature, reasoning about whether a consuming a food would "build up a tolerance" for it has no value.  Consult your allergist and doctor as well as the recommendations of well-known pediatric and medical groups like you have.  Do not trust people on a forum to provide insight.  Yes, this group is good at giving opinions on emotional issues or telling you which bottles were easiest to clean, but most are not doctors. 
  • I think when you eat peanuts, like peanut butter baby will develop an immunity for allergies. In moderation will not hurt. It's good source of protein.
  • READ THE FREAKIN ARTICLE!!!

    The more peanuts the new mothers in the study ate during their third trimester, the higher their babies? risk for sensitivity to peanuts, researchers reported.

    ... 

    The findings do not prove that eating peanuts during pregnancy is a risk factor for peanut allergies in the first year or so of life. But they do highlight the need for more studies to answer the question, study researcher Scott H. Sicherer, MD, of New York?s Mount Sinai School of Medicine tells WebMD. 

    ... 

    ?Our study looked at sensitization, not peanut allergy,? he says. ?It is going to be a few years before we know whether these children really do develop true peanut allergies.?

     ...

    In an effort to prevent peanut allergies in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) briefly recommended that high-risk women avoid peanuts during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

    But this recommendation was based on very limited clinical research and the group rescinded it in 2008, replacing it with a statement noting that the impact of eating or avoiding peanuts during pregnancy remains uncertain.

    ... 

    In the newly published study, researchers assessed peanut allergy risk in 503 babies presumed to be allergic to eggs and/or milk, based on skin-prick test results or the presence of food allergy-related skin rashes.

    The children were 3- to 15-months old, and none had been diagnosed with peanut allergies. Blood testing revealed that 140 had a strong sensitivity to peanuts.

    Specifically, the blood test measured levels of a protein known as IgE, which are elevated in people with peanut allergies. But not everyone with high IgE levels is allergic.

    ------------------------------------- 

    Yes - peanut allergies are often extremely severe so I understand the reasoning behind the discussion.  BUT with no scientific studies that PROVE that it will result in a peanut allergy this article is pointless for this topic (peanut allergies).  This study took babies that already had food allergies and looked to see if they were sensitive to another type of food.  These are not "normal" babies.  

    Also with no secondary or follow up studies that also show this effect the study is somewhat useless.  That's the whole point of science.  If you can do a test and it happens again for someone else with the same variables THEN you have a conclusion.  Just because you see it once doesn't make it truth.  It could have been an outlier, population/sample of your subjects, lurking variables, etc.  

    All you have here is one study with one set of results that MOST people are seeing completely differently than what they are actually reporting (sensitivity versus allergic) 

     

    My opinion:  Pregnant and breast feeding .... Eat peanuts and get exposure to peanuts.  If you have a history of food allergies on either side of your family then monitor what's going on and be careful.  No I'm not going to rub my kids face in peanut dust and jam peanut butter down his throat but I will eat it and breast feed.  Then I will give sample sizes and see how it goes.   

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  • Should a pregnant woman eat peanuts or peanut products?
    Women who are allergic to peanuts should not eat peanuts or peanut products during pregnancy or at any other time. Studies suggest that women who are not allergic to peanuts can safely eat peanuts during pregnancy (3).

    Because peanut allergy tends to run in families, health care providers have been seeking ways to help prevent this allergy in babies from affected families. Until recently, experts recommended that women who aren?t allergic to peanuts but who have a family history of peanut allergy avoid peanuts during pregnancy (3, 4). However, recent studies have found no evidence that avoiding peanuts in pregnancy helps prevent peanut allergies in the child (3, 5).

    Peanuts can be healthy food choices for pregnant women. Peanuts are a good source of protein and folate. Folate is the form of folic acid that is found naturally in foods. Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy helps prevent certain serious birth defects of the brain and spine. The March of Dimes recommends that all women who could become pregnant take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, and make healthy food choices that include foods rich in folic acid.

    Is it safe to eat peanuts while breastfeeding?
    If a woman is not allergic to peanuts, she can eat peanuts and peanut products while breastfeeding. There is no evidence that avoiding peanuts during breastfeeding helps prevent peanut allergies in the child (3, 5).

     

    References

    1. Chapman, J.A., et al. Food Allergy: A Practice Parameter. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, volume 96, March 2006, pages S1-S68.
    2. Burks, A.W. Peanut Allergy. Lancet, volume 371, number 9623, May 2008, pages 1538-1546.
    3. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Timing of Introduction of Complementary Foods, and Hydrolyzed Formulas. Pediatrics, volume 121, number 1, January 2008, pages 183-191.
    4. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. Hypoallergenic Infant Formulas. Pediatrics, volume 106, number 2, August 2000, pages 346-349.
    5. Lack, G., at al. Factors Associated with the Development of Peanut Allergy in Childhood. New England Journal of Medicine, volume 348, number 11, March 2003, pages 977-985.
    6. Du Toit, G., et al. Early Consumption of Peanuts in Infancy is Associated with a Low Prevalence of Peanut Allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, volume 122, number 5, November 2008, pages 978-985.
    7. Skripak, J.M., Wood, R.A. Peanut and Tree Nut Allergy in Childhood. Journal of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, volume 19, June 2008, pages 368-373.

    January 2009

     http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/nutrition_peanut.html

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  • This article-citing smackdown is making me have all kinds of message board boners.
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  • For every study that says no, another one says yes. I recently read this article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Maternal-nut-consumption-may-be-beneficial-for-childhood-allergies

    It say that eating peanuts and treenuts could be helpful. At the end of the day, you need to make up your own mind and do what you feel is best for you and your baby.

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  • I marked that I don't think it's an issue, but I've had an aversion to peanuts anyway so I haven't had many in the last few months. I understand how bad peanut allergies can be, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as they make it seem.
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  • I agree that a few epidemiological studies suggesting yes and more recent ones saying no and the absence of recommendations are not a reason to change your behavior.  Certainly if these studies said "avoiding folic acid may prevent allergies" you wouldn't even consider it because you know how important folic acid is.  However, since there are not consequences to avoiding peanuts as long as you seek the nutrients they provide in other sources, you could avoid them while you wait for more data.  The data is inconclusive about the value of omega 3's for your baby, but you still take them because there's no consequence if it turns out your baby doesn't benefit.  
  • imageMother Meghan:
    I marked that I don't think it's an issue, but I've had an aversion to peanuts anyway so I haven't had many in the last few months. I understand how bad peanut allergies can be, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as they make it seem.

    You make no sense in you last sentence! Do you think it's not nearly as bad as they make it seem because you can see into people's bodies and you're so smart? People like you are so ignorant and selfish, I hope you don't have any job that takes care of others kids!
  • Thanks for sharing ladies! My intent on this post wasn't the merits of the study or allergies in general, but on how you decided to deal with peanuts given that there is nothing proven for sure - so do you decide to err on the side of caution do you decide to not be worried about it because there are SO MANY friggin studies that it could make your head explode if you tried to rationalize all these theories. It was also great to hear from all the moms with kids with and without allergies. At the end of the day it's reassuring to hear your thoughts and know I'm not alone no matter which decision I come to.
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