I am looking for advice breastfeeding my 3 yo DD, who has IgE allergies to dairy, egg, peanut, shellfish, tree nuts. We are strict on both our diets (hers more than mine). Just wondering what happens with weaning. She only nurses 1-2x/day so my milk is not huge part of her diet. She has shown signs of stopping, but I still encourage and am lucky to be at home with her to do so.
My DH is supportive but wonders if it is time to wean. Her ped and allergist are supportive but I have exceed their experiences. My family thinks I am just plain crazy for nursing this long!
It is actually an allergy question. I have been told that some children have changes with allergies when weaned, either for better or worse. I sometimes wonder if she would be better off if she was only exposed to those things she is actually eating (though I am careful, I am not as cautious with my diet as she does not seem to react and over 3 years is such a long time to be limiting myself..ie I'll sneak chocolate, or nibble of son's pizza!). But then there are the benefits of nursing even at this age. If she was not allergic, I would not even question CLW without influence.
From what I've experienced and read, if a child is sensitive to some food, they will be even more sensitive to ingesting the food directly as opposed to just through breastmilk. So, I don't think I've heard a "better" story for a child after weaning, as far as consuming a food. Is that what you're looking for? In either case, if your child is sensitive to a food, whether bfing or not, you probably want to avoid the food (or rotate, depending on the kind and severity of the reaction and your own feelings about consuming reactive foods).
I do avoid peanut, egg, shellfish, tree nuts, but will allow some dairy (not much at all). We have been going well for these 3 years but it is not easy. My sister has been vocal about me weaning. Just wondering what experiences moms have had when their allergic LO did wean and if anyone survived extended breastfeeding.
My son came down with whooping cough, within months after we weaned. I believe that the immune support from breastfeeding never ceases. Breastmilk is beneficial for cancer patients, and many other illnesses; and immune-challenged individuals all benefit from the immune properties inherent and unique to human milk.
However, if you have gut issues, yeast, allergies, intolerances, heavy metal toxicity, allergen food exposures, yourself, all of those diminish the "healthy" aspect of breastmilk, from my understanding.
An additional issue, is the healing effect of mama's milk, from a comfort perspective. And who initiates the weaning, impacts that for both of you. Perhaps, in different ways. For instance, *I* initiated weaning ds, and I wished many times subsequently, that I could have offered nursing for comfort and during illness. He still asked to nurse, and we did, but the milk was gone.
Additionally, his intolerance symptoms improved when we weaned. Although, I probably have heavy metal toxicity from a mouthful of amalgam and perhaps have/had yeast issues myself. So, gut healing would be my focus for a child with allergies. Gut healing *includes* breastmilk, imo.
P.S. Your child's nursing relationship with you has nothing to do with other people. What they think about your business is not your concern.
I haven't posted in a looooong time but had to here.
I have a long list of my own allergies, plus gluten sensitivity. El has never been tested except for muscle testing at 4 yrs old. He reacted to everything I did, whether I ate it or he did. So we kept him on an incredibly strict diet. He weaned at 2.5 yrs.
Than at 4 we had him muscle tested, plus did some elimination diet trials, and found that he is only intolerant of wheat and soy, but no actual allergy to anything. The dr thinks it was my antibodies from nursing that were actually causing him to react, and continue to react, or keeping his gut from healing, or whatever.
Now we have the same situation with dd, who is still nursing at 18 mo. Even things that I test allergic to but don't notice a reaction to, if I eat them, she reacts. But it's my allergy...supposedly not hers.
It sounds very different from your situation, but might help anyway. He got better after weaning because they were largely MY allergies, rather than his.
I wouldn't expect that your dd would get better or worse after weaning, if you are sure they are HER allergies. But I'm no expert!
Thank you for the pps. Since her allergies are IgE, i do think they are hers. But we did try NAET with her on me and experienced no improvement (my thought is that is was I not clear). I will continue on this path, as I agree that the comfort of nursing is so valuable, along with the immunity boost. I am sure I am the only mom who nursed her 3 yo at the allergist's office, waiting for skin pricks to react.
My dd weaned herself at just over 4 years and my ds is still nursing at 2.5. I survived-lol. I have excluded my allergens for many years now and while it can be nice to be more lax, I also recognize that my overall health is far better now that it was 5 years ago.
My children's health is my priority and I personally do not have an issue doing this for them. The reality is that I'm doing it for *us.*
I will have to agree with what Pat said. There are an extraordinary number of benefits to nursing and unless your sister is going to come over and comfort your dd in the middle of the night when she's sick, or deal with her crying because she got hurt EVERY SINGLE TIME, she gets no say. Dd was only really nursing for comfort at the end...when sick or hurt. But I'll tell you, when she was sick and didnt' want food but was willing to nurse I was a heck of alot more comfortable following her lead. And they get better at being soothed in other ways as they get older but at 3 I would still really want to be able to offer nursing after a serious bump.