Allergies and Pregnancy
It has not been proven that foods a woman eats can sensitize her fetus. If however, you have allergies to certain foods, you should be particularly careful to avoid them while you are pregnant as allergic reaction may affect your fetus too. Common offending foods are: cow’s milk, eggs, citrus, and wheat.
When you avoid some of the nutritious foods we just mentioned, it is important to eat a varied and balanced diet to supply missing nutrients. For example, if you eliminate milk, be sure to get an adequate amount of meat and legumes as well as a good source of calcium.
Allergies and Feeding
Can the food you eat when you’re nursing affect your child? If you have allergies to certain foods, it is best to avoid those foods when you are nursing. Even if you have a food allergy, your baby will benefit from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding for at least one year may help delay or prevent food allergies in your child.
When and how should I start my baby on solids if food allergies run in my family?
In the early months of his life your baby’s digestive system is not mature enough to handle certain foods. He may develop symptoms such as a rash or diarrhea as a result. It doesn’t mean he is necessarily allergic to them. It just means he may not be quite ready for them. This is one reason why it is important to wait to introduce solid foods. It is best to wait until after your baby is 4-6 months old.
If you suspect your baby has food allergies consult your physician. She will ask questions such as: What are your baby’s symptoms? How long after your baby has eaten the food is it until the symptoms appear? Do you have a history of allergies in your family?
She may have you eliminate the suspicious food from your baby’s diet for a few days to see if the symptoms disappear; and then add it back to see if the symptoms reappear. It’s a good idea to keep a record of everything your child eats for a while so the physician can help you identify the problem. What can you do to prevent or delay food allergies in your child if there is a family history of food allergies?