Dietary advice poor for mothers breastfeeding infants with food allergies

Lifestyle

Physician recommendations to mothers providing breast milk to children with immunoglobulin (Ig)E-mediated food allergies are inconsistent, according to a study recently published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Hannah Wangberg, M.D., from Scripps Health in San Diego, and colleagues assessed maternal dietary practices and health care provider recommendations for providing breast milk to children with IgE-mediated food allergy. The analysis included 133 mothers who completed the web-based survey.

The researchers found that after food allergy diagnosis, 43.4 percent of mothers reported they were advised by their health care provider to continue breastfeeding without dietary restriction, while 17.3 percent were advised to avoid eating the food(s) their child was allergic to while breastfeeding; 28.6 percent reported this concern was not addressed. Only 12 percent of mothers (16 of 133) reported their child experienced an allergic reaction to breast milk. An allergist evaluated these reactions and reported that three-quarters likely were not IgE-mediated.

“Standardized, evidence-based recommendations would enhance the well-being of these mother/infant dyads,” the authors write.