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Eating peanuts whilst pregnant?

(16 Posts)
OrangeAnge Tue 08-Sep-09 13:53:56

I hope I am not opening a thread on something that has been discussed over and over before. But I am very confused about whether it is ok to eat peanuts or not.

One side of the advice given seems to be that if either parent has any history of atopy (eczema, asthma, hayfever or allergic reactions to shellfish) then peanuts should be avoided. Okay but...

Another camp of advice-givers seem to say that eating peanuts whilst pregnant may actually help to protect the baby from developing a nut allergy.

With such conflicting advice, what do you do?

And if you are avoiding peanuts, are you avoiding things that contain groundnut oil or things that have been made in a factory that uses peanuts, or are you not that militant?

Iklboo Tue 08-Sep-09 13:57:22

No idea - I switched to cashews instead while I was pregnant.

Mmmm - cashews.....

fiziwizzle Tue 08-Sep-09 13:59:50

I've heard that the advice has changed recently from don't eat peanuts to you only need to avoid them if there is a history of allergies in the family.

I would do whatever you feel comfortable with. If you're going to worry about it, avoid them. Personally I'm in the camp that believes eating nuts while pregnant can help the baby avoid a nut allergy and I'm munching away, but I wouldn't if there was a history of allergies in my family.

Thandeka Tue 08-Sep-09 14:01:28

if one parent has an allergy the chance of child devloping allergies is 20% - this increases if both parents have allergies. I have mild allergies (dust, cats sometimes hayfever) but DH has none so I have decided sod it on those odds and have carried on eating nuts! Yum snickers! and dry roasted peanuts.

Will keep you posted on what happens with LO! (due feb so watch this space)

bethoo Tue 08-Sep-09 14:01:44

not really conflicting advice, if you or your partner and any family memebers suffer from peanut allergies or asthma then not advised to eat peanuts but otherwise it can be beneficial as stated. i ate peanut through both pregnancies and this one and both children are fine. i love peanut butter on toast!

so avoid if there are known allergies and asthma.


stillstanding Tue 08-Sep-09 14:01:56

Agree with fiziwizzle - I would avoid if allergies in the family but I don't avoid them. I eat some but don't go overboard.

Issy42 Tue 08-Sep-09 14:25:38

So with you on this confusion OrangeAnge, I have hayfever and there is conflicting advice about whether I should eat peanuts or not. Food Standards Agency website admits that they don't really know whether you should or not. My midwife and doctor both said not to eat them, but when I asked doctor about the contradictory study, he said to avoid them in the first 13 weeks. My hospital consultant said don't go overboard eating them but no need to go checking packets to see if something contains them. I've decided to eat some at Christmas as am due a few weeks later so will give her some exposure but not too much.

A friend tells me she ate them during her first pregnancy - no allergies - avoided them during her second and child has lots of allergies. She's now expecting third and has decided to eat a small amount.

thedollshouse Tue 08-Sep-09 14:30:35

I have hayfever and I ate peanuts in my first pregnancy, I am not actively avoiding them in my second pregnancy either. If there was conclusive evidence that eating them increased the risk of allergies I wouldn't eat them, in some countries they feel it is beneficial to eat peanuts as they believe the earlier the exposure the better. I don't even particularly like them so wouldn't miss them if I had to give them up I'm just not convinced that avoiding them is the right thing to do.

woowa Tue 08-Sep-09 16:23:29

eating peanut butter straight out of the jar is one of my fave "i'm desperate for food NOW" snacks. My husb has a milk allergy, I have none, but I just can't add peanuts to brie, liver etc ban. One step too far...

OrangeAnge Tue 08-Sep-09 17:15:44

I really don’t mind having to avoid certain things as long as I know that I am doing some good for the baby. Or at the very least just being on the safe side; it can’t hurt to avoid certain things. But in the case of peanuts it seems that you could be doing harm rather than good. Confusing!

I have reactions to seafood, but nothing serious and my boyfriend has pretty bad eczema flare ups. I have been avoiding eating peanuts and peanut butter but hadn’t even thought about ground nut oil or muesli etc. Now I just don’t know what to do really.

Issy – I am due just after Christmas too so maybe I’ll give into the dry roasted by then too!

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 08-Sep-09 17:18:39

I listened to the advice that said 'exposure is best', as that is what I wanted to hear!

I suffered with hyperemesis for much of this pregnancy so far and at one point the only thing I could keep down was peanut butter on crumpets. So that is what I ate. It is also the only thing I have seriously craved this pg.

Mytheory was, if it was no bad for me, why did my body want it desperately when not a single morsal of anything else would stay down?

amarantha Tue 08-Sep-09 17:45:23

I have hayfever, cat allergy and eczema but dh has no allergies I've not made any effort to avoid nuts but aren't eating them by the handful. I'm veggie and nuts are important for me as a protein source so I'm in the protect against allergies camp. Besides if I paid attention to all the don't eats I think id starve :-)

ReneRusso Tue 08-Sep-09 17:53:24

We have allergies and atopic illness in the family. But I am definitely eating peanuts. In fact I find them a great snack in pregnancy. I think a bit of exposure is more likely to be a good thing, and there is no hard evidence of peanut allergy being caused by eating peanuts in pregnancy. Its pure speculation.

Tomatefarcie Tue 08-Sep-09 18:37:11

I eat peanuts too.

(well, I had a great big craving for the roasted ones in early pregnancy, sent Dp out to get some, puked them all up an hour later, haven't touched any since).

However, I loooove peanut butter. I don't eat loads and loads, but I also believe a bit of exposure is good.

blondieminx Tue 08-Sep-09 19:09:44

Happily eating peanut butter here too and have been since conception - no ill effects so far and I'm 22 weeks now. Advice from my MW was to avoid if eczema or asthma with me or DH (there isn't) so am having peanut butter toast regularly! Yum!

IMHO I'm not sure avoiding peanuts when you have a shellfish allergy or hayfever makes any sense as it's a different allergen but I am not a doctor...

If you fancy some peanuts then have them and enjoy! grin

maxbear Tue 08-Sep-09 21:07:26

Eat as many peanuts as you want

I have eaten peanuts during all three of my pregnancies and during breastfeeding as I have no family history of allergies, my dd and ds are both avid peanut butter fans and I expect dc3 will be aswell. I used to feel slightly guilty but don't need to any more thanks to some sensible advice from the food standards agency smile

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