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Breastfeeding Anaphylaxis


Updated September 22, 2012

Updated September 22, 2012
Anaphylaxis in a breastfeeding woman is a rare medical condition. Symptoms occur in the breastfeeding mother, and can include urticaria and angioedema shortly after the woman breastfeeds, although symptoms can be more severe and even include anaphylaxis. The cause of breastfeeding allergy is not completely clear, but most likely involves various hormones that are active during breastfeeding, such as prolactin and oxytocin.

A report of breastfeeding allergy occurred in a woman three days after the birth of a third child, and only during breastfeeding. Similar symptoms happened after the birth of her second child. Other causes of allergy, including to foods, medicines, and latex, were not found.

Women who experience allergic reactions with breastfeeding may be able to control symptoms with the use of antihistamines. Those with severe symptoms should have access to injectable epinephrine and may consider stopping breastfeeding.

Learn more about allergies during pregnancy.


McKinney KK, Scranton SE. Breastfeeding Anaphylaxis: A Case Report. Presented at the 2008 American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Accessed November 11, 2008.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this site is for educational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your physician for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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