Q:

7/11/2013
What dietary restrictions would be recommended, for a breastfeeding mother of an infant diagnosed with a milk protein allergy?

A:

Thank you for your inquiry.

In general, the mother should avoid eating any food to which the infant is allergic. In the case you described, this would include milk and milk products.

I have copied for you below an answer to a similar question that was posted on our “Ask the Expert” website. I did so because the response was composed by Dr. Wesley Burks, who is an internationally known expert in food allergy.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Question:
7/20/2012
We know that strict avoidance is recommended both for infants and mothers when cow's milk allergy is diagnosed in infants. What about other food allergies? e.g egg, nuts etc. Is avoidance necessary for the mothers of breastfed infants from all offending foods in other food allergies?

Answer:
You are certainly correct regarding the fact that mothers who are breast-feeding should avoid ingesting cow's milk when their infant is known to be allergic to cow's milk.

If a child has milk allergy, then the mother who is breast feeding their child should avoid all milk products. If the mother is ingesting milk, the milk proteins will pass through the breast milk into the child and they will have an allergic reaction. There have been studies where the mother is given the food and then they breast-feed their child, the children then have a typical allergic reaction.
Wesley Burks, M.D.

This admonition would extend to any food to which the infant was sensitive. That is, if an infant is known to be allergic to a food, then that food should be avoided by the mother when breast-feeding.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology