Can you eat peanut butter while breastfeeding
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Peanuts allergy is one of the most common and severe allergies among babies. In some cases, this allergy is inherited through genes, but in others, it might be influenced.

Find the answers to ‘Can you eat peanut butter while breastfeeding?‘, ‘What are the signs of peanut allergy in breastfed baby?‘ and ‘Does eating peanut while nursing help baby?‘ here. Keep on reading.

To know if you can eat peanuts or peanut butter, you need to consider the quantity you want to eat it in as well as your family’s history of allergies.

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Can you eat peanut butter while breastfeeding?

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Most of us love peanut butter! But can we eat it if we are breastfeeding?

  • This is a question you should ask yourself if you are in this situation. The good news is that you can enjoy your peanut butter even if you are breastfeeding.
  • As a matter of fact, exposing your baby to peanut butter might reduce the risk of developing an allergy for peanuts.
  • Their bodies will be used to peanuts and will learn to digest them properly.
  • As long as you don’t overdo it, two sandwiches with peanut butter a day will not do any harm to your infant.

If you overeat peanut butter, however, the reaction might be just the opposite.

Can You Eat Peanut Butter While Breastfeeding? 1
  • Your baby might develop an allergy to peanuts because too much of the peanut butter you eat, get to them via the breastmilk.
  • If you know your child has a peanut allergy, you have to avoid all forms of peanuts. The consequences can be severe and even fatal in this case.
Can You Eat Peanut Butter While Breastfeeding? 2

Peanut transfer to breast milk

Breastfeeding Baby

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) study, there is a peanut-specific protein (allergen) called ‘Ara h 6‘ that had been shown to transfer to breast milk within 10 minutes after consuming 30 g of peanut protein.

This allergen amount in breast milk peaks after 1 hour of consumption. However, the peanut protein can still be seen over 24 hours.

Can You Eat Peanut Butter While Breastfeeding? 2

Signs of peanut allergy in breastfed baby

Typically, the allergic response to peanuts shows up within minutes after exposure to peanut products. If your family has a history of nut allergies, especially for peanuts, then it is most likely that the baby would have it too.

There are different signs, but the most critical peanut allergy signs in a breastfed baby are shown below:

  • Runny nose / Blocked Nose / Watery Eyes.
  • Weak pulse.
  • Pale or Blue Coloring of the skin.
  • Repetitive cough.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Skin reactions.
  • Itching.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tightening of the throat.
  • Digestive issues.
Can You Eat Peanut Butter While Breastfeeding? 2

Eating peanuts while breastfeeding helps babies from allergy

Breastfeeding Peanut Study

On contrary, according to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology research findings, nursing mothers could help protect their babies from developing allergies by eating peanuts while they are breastfeeding.

Researchers in Canada found babies will be 5 times less likely to develop an allergy if the nursing moms ate nuts in the first year before the weaning process.

Can You Eat Peanut Butter While Breastfeeding? 2

As you can see, the truth is in the middle when it comes to peanut butter. But even if in small amounts it is safe and even beneficial, you should avoid it entirely if you have a history of allergies in your family.

In this case, your baby might inherit the allergy for peanuts and, therefore, not react well at all to even the smallest amount of peanut butter!

If you are pregnant and considering breastfeeding or already are breastfeeding, ask your family doctor if you should avoid peanuts.

Can You Eat Peanut Butter While Breastfeeding? 2

Key References

  • [1] – “Peanut Allergy May Be Triggered by Breastfeeding”. Accessed December 28, 2019. Link.
  • [2] – “Presentation and Management of Food Allergy in Breastfed Infants and Risks of Maternal Elimination Diets. – PubMed – NCBI”. Accessed December 28, 2019. Link.
  • [3] – “Eating peanuts while breastfeeding could protect babies from allergy, study suggests”. Accessed December 28, 2019. Link.


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