Friday, May 21, 2010

Pregnancy and Allergies

An email from a reader got me thinking today about when I was pregnant after having one child with food allergies. I was worried about the new baby developing food allergies like Sophie's. But I was terrified that she would have allergies that Sophie didn't have--and make our list even longer! I talked with our allergist and he gave me some recommendations based on the current research. Nothing is guaranteed, but it worked out for me--Maggie doesn't have any allergies at all. What are your thoughts on pregnancy and food allergies? Did you have a specific plan to avoid allergies? Did it work?


Mama Pickles said...

I lived on milkshakes my first pregnancy because it was all I could keep down for the first 6 months. I also avoided eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and shellfish because I was allergic. My son was born severely allergic to milk. He is also allergic to eggs. With my second I avoided everything I did in the first pregnancy with the addition of avoiding milk. My 2nd son was born allergic to peanuts. I think it avoidance during pregnancy can help some, but if severe food allergies are in your genes, I don't think there's much you can do to help.

Rachel@AllergenFreePlease said...

Emily, we are thinking about getting pregnant again and would love the info that your allergist shared with you about the research. Send that info my way if you can :)

Emily Hendrix said...

I will share my allergist's recommendations, but I definitely think you should check with your allergist to see what he/she thinks. It's been 5 years, so there may be more recent research, but our allergist said that there's really no way for food particles (i.e. allergens) to cross the placenta, but there is evidence that they are passed through breast milk. So he suggested that starting a few days
before I anticipated having Maggie, I should avoid the allergens that are the most concerning (like peanuts, nuts, and shellfish) and continue to avoid them until I was done nursing. I decided to avoid
all of the top 8 and continued that for about 6 months, and then
slowly introduced the less-threatening allergens back into my diet at that point. (The distinction I'm making within the top 8 allergens is that peanuts, nuts and shellfish are unlikely to be outgrown but eggs, wheat, milk, soy and fish are more likely to be outgrown. So even if my child had developed a milk allergy, chances were good that it would be a temporary condition rather than a life-long struggle.)

Stacy said...

My first child ahs allergies to milk, eggs, dairy and nuts. SO when I got pregnant I was freaked out about my next child getting the same or more. My 2nd child at 4 weeks was vomiting prijectile and so I got rid of dairy inmy diet. It made no change to ehr vomiting and crying all day4nd all night. I took her to her dr and he out her on reflux meds. IT has made a huge difference at 7 weeks old. I hope it stays that way and she won't have allergies. Thanks for your info. IT helps a ton.