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  • Can Food Allergies Be Prevented During Pregnancy?

    By: Annie Bunje

Can Food Allergies Be Prevented During Pregnancy?

By: Annie Bunje

Can Food Allergies Be Prevented During Pregnancy?

By: Annie Bunje

Learn the facts about food allergies and pregnancy, so you can effectively prevent your baby from developing a food allergy.

There are many common misconceptions related to food allergies and pregnancy. We’re here to help empower parents (and expecting parents) with the facts so that you can safely navigate this important milestone for your family and effectively prevent a food allergy.  

Myth #1: Avoiding peanuts and other allergenic foods while pregnant can help prevent food allergies for your baby

Fact: According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Guidelines for Diagnosing a Food Allergy (see Guideline 36), expecting mothers should not restrict their diets in order to prevent a food allergy. There is no conclusive evidence to support that avoiding peanuts has any effect on a baby’s risk for developing food allergies and in fact, there is new evidence from the landmark LEAP study to show that avoiding or delaying introduction can significantly increase a baby’s risk for developing food allergies.  

Unfortunately, older and now outdated recommendations have caused much of this confusion. In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised allergy-prone moms to avoid peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy to help prevent their babies from developing food allergies

Based on current recommendations, expecting mothers should not restrict their diet in an effort to prevent a food allergy for their baby.  

Myth #2: Eating peanuts and other allergenic foods while pregnant can help prevent food allergies for your baby

Fact: In the 2019 Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there was insufficient evidence to show that consuming allergenic foods while breastfeeding has any preventative benefits for your child and food allergies.  

“No conclusions can be made about the role of breastfeeding in either preventing or delaying the onset of specific food allergies.” - American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), March 2019.

Therefore, the AAP continues to recommend early and sustained allergen introduction, regardless of a mother’s diet while pregnant and/or breastfeeding.

Learn more about the AAP Guidelines on Food Allergy Prevention here

Myth #3: My baby isn’t at risk for food allergies if they don’t have a family history

Fact: Over 50% of children suffering from a food allergy do not have any family history or a direct family member with a food allergy.  Moreover, babies aren’t born with food allergies -- rather, they develop them over time. So in fact, all babies are at risk of developing a food allergy. That’s why according to the new medical guidelines on food allergy prevention, early allergen introduction is recommended for all babies.

How to Effectively Prevent Food Allergies for Your Child

In recent years, there’s been overwhelming support for new evidence showing that introducing allergenic foods early and often can help prevent 80% of food allergies.  This has been clearly shown in the groundswell of new guidelines from leading medical societies all over the world supporting early allergen introduction. The science and guidelines are clear: early and sustained allergen introduction starting at 4 months of age is your child’s best defense against food allergies.  

Learn more about the new guidelines on food allergy prevention here and subscribe today to give your child an allergy-free future!

 

  

  

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All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.

 

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