Infectious Disease

HCP recommendations for maternal feeding while breastfeeding children with food allergies vary

March 23, 2021

2 min read

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Source:
Healio interview

Disclosure:
Wangberg does not report any relevant financial information.

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Many women receive conflicting information about their diet while breastfeeding children with food allergies. This is evident from research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Researchers evaluated health care providers ‘recommendations and mothers’ practices using a web-based survey sent to nursing mothers of children with IgE-mediated food allergies.

Of the 133 women who participated in the survey, 43.4% said that after receiving a food allergy diagnosis, health care providers said they continued breastfeeding without dietary restrictions, and 17.3% were advised not to eat whatever they did Child was allergic to breastfeeding. 28.6% of respondents said that these concerns were not addressed by their healthcare provider.

Furthermore, 12% of women stated that their child was allergic to breast milk. Of these reactions, an allergist found that 75% were probably not IgE-mediated.

Healio Primary Care spoke with Hannah Wangberg, MD, a pediatrician and internist in San Diego to learn more about the survey results and what maternal nutrition guidelines are needed when breastfeeding children with food allergies.

Healio: Why is there a need for standardized maternal nutrition guidelines when breastfeeding children with food allergies?

Wangberg: In our study, we found that 30% of nursing mothers of children with IgE-mediated food allergies received conflicting advice from health care providers on whether or not to eat the foods their child was allergic to. We believe that mixed messages about this practice can be confusing for mothers and have unintended consequences, such as: B. premature weaning from breastfeeding. Inconsistent advice from health care providers can also affect trust in the health system. For these reasons and more, we believe that consistent and evidence-based guidelines from health care providers would benefit nursing mothers of children with IgE-mediated food allergy.

Healio: How should the instructions be?

Wangberg: Based on what is available to date, we do not recommend maternal elimination diets for most mothers who breastfeed children with IgE-mediated food allergies. These instructions only apply to IgE-mediated food allergies and not to non-IgE-mediated diseases such as food protein-induced allergic proctocolitis (FPIAP).

Healio: What does current research on maternal nutrition suggest when breastfeeding children with food allergies? What additional research is required?

Wangberg: While several studies have confirmed the presence of low levels of food antigens in some women’s breast milk, our study suggests that most breastfeeding mothers can safely consume the foods their child is allergic to. More research with prospective studies would help completely stratify the risks and benefits of this practice.

Healio: What Should Doctors Tell Mothers of Children With Food Allergies About Breastfeeding?

Wangberg: We do not recommend maternal elimination diets for most mothers who breast milk children with IgE-mediated food allergies. Should a mother raise concerns about an allergic reaction to possible food antigens in the breast milk of her food allergic child, she should be encouraged to discuss these concerns with her child’s allergist, who will provide additional guidance based on the nature of the reaction described.

References:

Healio interview

Wangberg H. et al. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2021; doi: 10.1016 / j.anai.2021.02.015.

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