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Foods to avoid while breastfeeding

There is no need for a woman who is breastfeeding to make a list of foods which she should avoid while in that process. However, mothers whose family has a history of severe food allergies should do so. Despite of what most people think, food allergies are pretty rare and only a small percentage of people actually have them. Less than 5% of people is actually allergic to some food. The list of the foods people are allergic to is not long and the 90% of that list is made of just nine foods. These foods are cow-milk products, soy, shellfish, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, egg whites, citrus fruits and food additives. People are most allergic to cow's milk, some 2.5%. Next in the line are the eggs and 1.3% of people are allergic to them. 0.5% of people are allergic to peanuts and shellfish. In majority of cases where people think that they are allergic to foods, they are just intolerant.

There were some studies that claim that breastfed babies can get allergic to the same food as their parents through breast milk. Babies get sensitized to allergens which are in the breast milk. Symptoms like fussiness, vomiting, spitting up, colic, rash or persistent congestion can be visible on the baby if the baby is allergic to something in the diet of the mother. However, if more frequent nursing calms the baby, then it is not the food allergy that caused the fussiness.

Allergy symptoms are hugely decreased or even prevented through breastfeeding. This milk coats the inside of the intestines which will fight off the foreign substances.

What does food allergy looks like?

In some people it manifests in an itchy mouth and throat while others may experience a rash or cramping, vomiting or diarrhea. Hives, wheezing, runny nose, unusual crying, rhinitis and shortness of breath are some of the symptoms which occur quite often as well. However, the most dangerous and life-threatening symptom is the anaphylactic shock.

Since food allergy is family related, it is believed that if the mother avoids the foods family members are allergic to throughout the whole pregnancy then the baby will most likely be allergy free.

Cow's milkMost people are allergic or intolerant to cow's milk. Eczema or dry and rough skin patches with the tendency to open are the most common side effects of cow's milk allergy.

EggsEggs are used in the making of certain foams or milk toppings so a mother should be aware of what she is intaking.

PeanutsFor a long period of time peanuts allergy was considered to be present throughout the life. However, recent studies have shown that 20% of children who are allergic to it outgrow it.

Capsaicin or red pepper and fish can cause allergic reaction so a mother should avoid the intake of these foods as well.

The mother is not obligated to totally avoid the intake of “colic foods” while breastfeeding. Allergens are the things that should be avoided.

Some of the foods that are considered to cause a fussy and colicky reaction in babies who are breastfeeding include beans, broccoli, cabbage, caffeine, citrus fruits, corn, eggs, dairy products, iron supplements, medicines, onions and spicy food.

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