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Breast Feeding

Hives caused by decreased lactation?

03/02/2007

Question:

After one year of breastfeeding, I have begun weaning my baby. For the past two weeks I have had terrible outbreaks of hives and I cannot find any source. Could the hives be a reaction to the decrease of lactation? I am taking Benedryl to ease the itching. Please help!

Answer:

To my knowledge, there is no association between weaning a baby from the breast and hives.

However, there is always a first time for everything.

The only possible mechanism I can think of is that your body is having to reabsorb the milk from your breasts, and that something in the milk (cow milk protein?) is causing an allergic reaction in your body.

My suggestion would be to try emptying your breasts thoroughly by nursing more temporarily to see if your hives go away.

If they do, you may be onto something!

Then you could try weaning more slowly to see if that decreases the hives.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati