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peanut question - what shall I do now?

(17 Posts)
kookiegoddess Wed 06-Aug-08 13:00:05

I'm 31 wks pg and was told to avoid peanuts at start of pg because I had asthma as a child (which stopped when I moved from California USA to Singapore aged 4). I also get mild hayfever.

HOWEVER I managed to totally forget that trackers contain peanuts -Doh!- and ate about 10 of them during the 1st 6 months of pg. Also had some vietnamese food once and couldn't bear the thought of asking to do all the dishes without peanuts... blush

personally I don't really believe in this whole avoidance thing, for pg women or for kids, but am wondering that as I've now slipped up a few times (and I don't check foods for groundnut/peanut oil) whether I should just give up trying to avoid them or whether I should be vigilant for the rest of pg. I really miss peanut butter and satay!
I'm hoping to breastfeed.

Any thoughts? TIA

ilovemydog Wed 06-Aug-08 13:06:43

I have a peanut allergy (serious one and carry epipen), but would say to avoid if you can.

Obviously since you haven't had a reaction, then it probably isn't a severe allergy, but it's only for another 2 months.

From what I understand, medical people aren't sure how allergies are transmitted from mother to baby, so would play it safe.

Not sure about breast feeding...

Oh, and have been advised to avoid peas as they are in the same 'family' as peanuts!

Brangelina Wed 06-Aug-08 13:08:11

I agree with you, I don't believe in peanut avoidance, mainly because it's only in the UK they tell you this yet the UK has the highest rates of allergy. I ate copious amounts of peanut butter and nuts in general when I was pg and bfeeding and I fed my DD nuts from 9mo, all with no adverse effects at all. But then I'm not an asthma sufferer, nor does anyone in either family suffer from allergies of any sort, so I deemed the risk to be low.

You'll probably be OK, I'd stop stressing about what's done and relax for the rest of the pgsmile

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 06-Aug-08 13:10:10

Interestingly, I had a thing for snickers icecream when pg with DD and she ended up with a peanut allergy.

I avoided all nuts when pg with DS, and he has no allergies thus far.

twoluvlykids Wed 06-Aug-08 13:13:24

i ate masses of peanut butter & snickers ice cream while pg & breast feeding dd, and she is allergic to peanuts.the doc did tell me it was probably not my fault, but i still wonder..

twoluvlykids Wed 06-Aug-08 13:14:31

shes 13 now & peanut allergy wasn't really much known about (terrible English,sorry!)

kookiegoddess Wed 06-Aug-08 13:23:44

there's no bloody way I'm giving up peas!!

grr it's so confusing and counterintuitive. I haven't had asthma for over 20 yrs and I think my mum would have occasionally smoked around me - whereas neither I or my DH smokes,and we eat a very wide range of foods, v little processed food, no known food allergies.

alardi Wed 06-Aug-08 13:32:01

My mother smoked when pregnant with me & when I was little, my dad has mild eczema, my half brothers have had asthma and my mother put baby rice in my bottle (of course it was only bottles) when I was 3 weeks old.

And guess what? I havn't a single sniff of an allergy or food intolerance or skin problem (etc.).

What I mean is, when there's not an obvious answer, then I would go with what you want/feel like doing (so if you fancy peanuts or peas occasionally, just have them). Nobody understands what the very lowest risk option is for somebody like OP, and even if they did, choosing the very lowest risk sometimes means too much hassle in other ways.

theyoungvisiter Wed 06-Aug-08 13:42:20

I think the evidence on this is confusing - I'm not an expert so don't take my word for it, but I believe they just completed a study comparing the UK to Israel where there is no advice to avoid peanuts, and a weaning bar containing peanuts is one of the earliest foods babies try.

They have an extremely low incidence of peanut allergy - which they compared to a group of Jewish people of similar descent in the UK - to try to get as close a genetic comparison as possible. In the UK, where we are told to avoid peanuts, the peanut allergy rate was very high.

The study needs more work but I think the jury is out on this - although the UK advice is still to avoid nuts.

Essentially this is a longwinded way round of saying it's probably not a problem. Personally I avoided peanuts in my first pg, ate them while bfing, and haven't bothered to avoid in my second pg. DS has no allergies, DC2 is not yet born!

theyoungvisiter Wed 06-Aug-08 13:48:44

here is a rather non-scientific link on [whisper] Bounty!

www.bounty.com/Government-to-review-guidelines-on-peanut-allergy.news/18289179

TheInvisibleHand Wed 06-Aug-08 14:05:34

the study youngvisiter is talking about is called the leap study where they are working with two groups of children, some of whom will get peanuts and others who won't. My DD was invited to participate but it turned out she had nut allergy sad. The results aren't in, but the allergy doctors running the study seem to be fairly sure that some exposure might be better than avoidance.

Seeline Wed 06-Aug-08 14:09:09

I had asthma as a child and suffer various allergies (although none are serious). I also come from quite an allergic family. I have to confess to the odd snickers bar during both my pregnancies and so far no adverse effects have appeared (DS 6.8, DD 4)

suncream Wed 06-Aug-08 14:11:31

There was a thread on here a few months ago about this, I remember someone saying there's a thoery that there's fewer peanut allergies in Israel because they prepare their peanuts by boiling them, whereas we tend to roast them, which apparently produces more allergenic proteins.
Regarding the OP, if you really fancy something, the evidence for not having nuts isn't massive, everything in moderation I say.

witchandchips Wed 06-Aug-08 14:12:38

I also read somewhere but cannot find the reference anywhere that first exposure in the womb or while breastfeeding is "safer" or less risky than when fully weaned. The mechanism is something to do with being protected by the mothers immune system.

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 06-Aug-08 14:12:47

Was told that if neither of the parents have a history of peanut allergy then it is OK, hope so as stufed myself with snickers with DS.

kookiegoddess Wed 06-Aug-08 14:45:00

ok thanks everyone. Have read a few posts elsewhere only to avoid if parents/family have history of peanut allergy, so am going to go with that from now. Will not be stuffing myself but will try not to be paranoid either!

theyoungvisiter Wed 06-Aug-08 21:03:57

Re Suncream's post - I think they've completed a handful of studies on the peanut processing techniques in Israeli foods, and the conclusion seems to be that it can't wholly explain the difference in allergies - there is an abstract here for a paper on the differences:

digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1034&context=foodsciefacpub

It concludes:

RESULTS: Peanut protein levels from Israeli and U.K. products were
found to be between 68-100%. The Ara h 1, Ara h 2 and Ara h 3 proteins
in each peanut product were intact and the levels were comparable. Similarly,
IgE binding analysis with pooled serum from 9 allergic individuals
was nearly identical when the same amount of peanut protein was used for
each product.

CONCLUSIONS: The contents of peanut protein, individual major allergens
and IgE binding capacity of the popular snacks from Israel cannot
explain the large discrepancies in the prevalence of peanut allergy among
the two countries.

It's all very interesting really - if confusing!

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