HomeAsk the allergist: Your questions answered – August 2019

Ask the allergist: Your questions answered – August 2019

August 12, 2019

Ask the allergist is a regular feature in our newsletters where Dr. Julia Upton answers your questions!

Dr. Upton
Dr. Julia Upton

Dr. Julia Upton is a Canadian allergist who is on staff at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital in the Immunology and Allergy Department. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and is the Section Chair of Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis with the CSACI. Dr. Upton is also a member of our Healthcare Advisory Board.

Please note: Dr. Upton is answering as an individual allergist and her answers do not constitute an official position of her affiliated organizations. Her responses are for informational purposes only and do not constitute specific medical advice, recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Please talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have regarding your own health or the health of your child.

This month she answers your questions about food allergy and breastfeeding.

Is there a recommendation for breastfeeding and food allergy?

  • If an infant is diagnosed with a food allergy, should a breastfeeding mother avoid that allergen in her diet?
  • If an infant is showing early signs of dairy intolerance like eczema, should a breastfeeding mother cut out dairy from her diet?
Mother nursing her child

Most breastfeeding mothers can eat what they like, and it is rare for babies to have symptoms from foods in breast milk. Routine avoidance of foods from the maternal diet is not recommended. If there is concern, speak with an allergist.

A maternal elimination diet is recommended with certain allergic conditions, such as when an exclusively breastfed baby has FPIES or a similar condition. It is not typically recommended to use a maternal elimination diet for infant eczema.

If an elimination diet is considered, it should be done with medical supervision to ensure the symptoms are treated with elimination and for the benefits of the special nutritional requirements during breastfeeding.

Thank you, Dr. Upton, for your insightful and helpful answers!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask Dr. Upton in the months to come? If so, please send it along to us at info@foodallergycanada.ca.

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