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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

Rebekah3

Breastfeeding

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Hey all,

I've been diagnosed with presumptive Celiac disease (all positive blood tests, no biopsy yet. See the Gastro next week). I am nursing my 8 month old. I nursed my first for 19 months, and I planned to let this one self-wean too. My question is this: Is breastfeeding reasonable while transitioning to a Gluten Free Diet/ active celiac? My symptoms are mainly neurological and probably some vitamin deficiencies. I'm also a Type 1 diabetic, which has it's own challenges with breastfeeding. Has anyone done this? If I was a treated Celiac (gluten free already) breastfeeding would be fine, no? But will continuing to do it through the transition be ok? Thoughts? Experiences?

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You can absolutely breastfeed while gluten free! Our entire family has been gluten free since my daughter was diagnosed with Celiac a little over 2 years ago. That means my 9 month old has never had any exposure to gluten, in utero, or through breastfeeding, and now through the introduction of solids. He has no deficiency, growing like a weed, starting solids on track, hitting all his milestones wonderfully. Just eat plenty of raw, whole foods. In fact since Celiac is generally considered hereditary  (though not necessarily), by continuing to breastfeed, you are giving your baby the best possible foundation for a healthy digestive system. Way to go, mama!

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Breastfeeding is one of the biggest gift a mom can give her baby. Not just from a nutritional point of view but also psycho-developmental perspective.

Of course, the healthier the mom, both physically and psychologically, the better for her baby.

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We have been completely gluten free in our household for the past year since my two year old was diagnosed with celiac. I had a new baby two months ago. The pediatric gi dr told me to introduce gluten through breastfeeding between 4-6 months. He said this was based on a study saying introduction at this age has been shown to help stop celiac from occurring. Just because a child has the gene doesn't mean they have to develop celiac. So if you were nursing during that time, which it sounds like you were, you should be fine going gluten free. If you are worried, I would talk to a gi doctor to see if you need to continue to expose your little one to gluten. If they recommend you do, I would ask your significant other to feed them a minimal amount each day outside the house. Then wash the baby's mouth (brush any teeth they might have) and I would assume nursing would be safe for you. This is all my opinion and I highly recommend talking to a dr to confirm, but I wouldn't stop nursing until both you and the baby are ready.

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On 6/11/2017 at 5:40 PM, pschwab said:

We have been completely gluten free in our household for the past year since my two year old was diagnosed with celiac. I had a new baby two months ago. The pediatric gi dr told me to introduce gluten through breastfeeding between 4-6 months. He said this was based on a study saying introduction at this age has been shown to help stop celiac from occurring. Just because a child has the gene doesn't mean they have to develop celiac. So if you were nursing during that time, which it sounds like you were, you should be fine going gluten free. If you are worried, I would talk to a gi doctor to see if you need to continue to expose your little one to gluten. If they recommend you do, I would ask your significant other to feed them a minimal amount each day outside the house. Then wash the baby's mouth (brush any teeth they might have) and I would assume nursing would be safe for you. This is all my opinion and I highly recommend talking to a dr to confirm, but I wouldn't stop nursing until both you and the baby are ready.

This isn't exactly what they are saying. They suggest ACTUAL gluten introduction at that time.  There is no guarantee that gluten is passing from Mom to Baby via breastmilk at any time.  

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Our pediatric gi specialist and my sister-in-law's pediatric allergist said gluten definitely comes through breast milk. My nephew has a gluten allergy and she couldn't eat gluten while nursing him or he would have a reaction every time.

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My mom did not bf me at all. The recipe for formula, given by the doctor, had milk, Karo syrup and cream of wheat. Can you believe it?  I was a very fat baby.

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No, it is not possible for a baby to develop celiac disease while breastfeeding. This means that it is only once gluten containing solids are introduced to the diet that it is possible for celiac disease to occur in  an infant. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.

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