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Allergic reaction to breastfeeding??

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So this guy today was telling me about his sister being allergic to breastfeeding, I thought no way. He says she would break out in hives and had constant edema for the short time she breastfed. Her doctor told her she was allergic to oxytocin (which is clearly impossible!) He swore it was true, hell I have my breastfeeding educator cert and have never heard of this so I gave him the benefit of a doubt and came home and scoured my books, nothing. when I googled I actually found a couple pages on it! Basically saying that its a sensitivity to the amount of oxytocin released at let down! (i wonder what happens when she orgasms!!) Has anyone heard of this or experienced it? I'd love to learn more.
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by on Nov. 10, 2010 at 8:09 PM
Replies (11-19):
by Group Admin -Tabitha on Nov. 11, 2010 at 9:35 AM

When she stopped breastfeeding the hormones changed...OR she stopped at the point her body was regulating the hormones already..I highly doubt it was the breastfeeding

by on Nov. 11, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Maybe it was psychologocial?  Stress can bring on hives, maybe she hated nursing and her body lashed out?

by Gina on Nov. 11, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Oxytocin is a hormone not only released from sex or nursing but from dailyinteractions. Know that instinctive feeling to trust someone you've just met? Oxytocin at work.

There's a doc at the Claremont colleges who's been doing some interesting research in this area. Check out and search "oxytocin."

by on Nov. 11, 2010 at 12:00 PM

There IS such a thing as a hormone allergy. It's rare though.

by on Nov. 11, 2010 at 9:41 PM

Interesting.  My rash lasted almost 2 wks and then was totally gone.

Quoting masonmomma:

He said that the edema was consistent throughout but that the hives would only present after she nursed and it was about 2 months worth of breaking out in various stages. Normal postpartum rashes wouldn't last that long and represent would they? She also said when she stopped nursing the hives and edema stopped.

Quoting mindi6103:

Was he maybe talking about PUPPS rash?  Or confusing it with that?  I had PUPPS rash really bad after my 2nd baby.  I had swelling and severe rash with that but it had nothing to do with BF.

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by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM

I also had this allergic to oxytocin with both of my birth. When breastfeeding the hive becomes red and extremely itchy. It tooks about 8 weeks to clear up. I carried on with breastfeeding. They are both fine and I am Ok as well. 

by on May. 1, 2014 at 7:05 AM
I just found this post after Google searching "allergic to oxytocin breast feeding". I can definitely say that this is a true phenomenon. After 11 months of nursing I am just now figuring out why I scratch myself raw after every single session. I've chalked it up to other reasons, but this is definitely why. There is some info about it on the internet but not a whole lot.
by Kyla on May. 1, 2014 at 10:33 AM

I wonder if it would have subsided after 8 weeks when the hormone levels 'calm down'. 

by Gina on May. 1, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Oxytocin is released in a large number of situations. It's known as the "trust" hormone; we experience it in everyday interactions.

Is she a hermit? **grin**

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