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Pregnancy and Food Allergies

May 1, 2013

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a scientist. I am only a mom, relating about my choices and experiences.

By the time my daughter was a year, we learned that she was sensitive to milk. If she had dairy a few days in a row, she would start to develop hives. The doctor wasn’t sure that this was conclusive of an allergy though, and by the time she was 18 months old, she had grown out of it.

So, when Joseph was born, I didn’t think anything about allergies until he started to get horrible eczema, and the doctor suggested that I could cut wheat out of my diet and see if it made an improvement. It did, with the eczema returning 24 hours after I ate wheat again. We also discovered that he got horrible hives when he drank cow’s milk formula. Once we found a formula that worked, I realized that the reason he had spit up so much when I was breastfeeding him was because he was reacting to the dairy in my milk. My daughter had spit up lots too, but I’d just thought it was normal.

So when doctors say that breastfeeding can help prevent allergies, I shake my head and say it sure didn’t help in my case.

Now, I’m expecting again. Baby #3 is due in October, and I’m thinking about what my plans are in case food allergies strike again. Due to lack of any evidence that limiting or ingesting food during pregnancy or breastfeeding prevents food allergies, I am continuing my diet same as before. Of course, the amount of dairy or wheat is reduced from before, due to me cooking dinners with Joseph in mind, but I still eat it. And I will continue to eat it until I see evidence in my infant that certain foods are bothering him/her.

However, this time around, if my baby is spitting up significantly, I think I will attempt to go completely dairy-free and see if that helps. I didn’t think I could handle that with Joseph, but now that I have experience with the dairy-free life, I think I might. We shall see.

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