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Can You Prevent Food Allergies In Babies During Pregnancy

November 03, 2020 2 min read

When it comes to baby food allergies and pregnancy, new research is teaching us more every day about how a pregnant woman's diet, feeding preferences, and family history can affect the development of allergies in babies.

There have been many myths and misconceptions surrounding preventing allergies during pregnancy. To help alleviate some of these concerns, SpoonfulONE is here to answer some of your most pressing questions.

Should I Avoid Eating Common Allergenic Foods While Pregnant?

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), there is no evidence to suggest that restricting a mother’s diet while she is pregnant or breastfeeding will prevent the development of food allergies. 

Therefore, doctors do not recommend avoiding specific foods during your pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding to prevent food allergies in your baby.

In fact, restricting your diet during pregnancy can make it harder to get the calories and nutrients you need to support the growth and development of your baby. 

Eating a diverse diet, including common allergens, is important for a developing baby. A study completed by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) showed that out of the 1,315 pregnant women surveyed, babies were more likely to develop food allergies when born to mothers with poor diet diversity and who had a history of allergic disease. Of the mothers classified in this way, 33% of their children were diagnosed with food allergies by the age of 2.

That makes having a well-rounded diet from the different food groups, such as grains, vegetables, fruits, oils, milk, meat, and beans, essential in making sure that your baby gets the nutrients they need to grow healthy.

The bottom line: restricting the diet isn’t good for the baby -- pregnant women should eat a diverse diet, including common allergens, during their pregnancy to help prevent the development of allergies.

Is My Baby At An Increased Risk For Developing Food Allergies?

Allergies, in general, tend to run in families, so if a parent, sibling, or other close relative has been diagnosed with a food allergy or another allergic condition like eczema or hay fever, your baby may be at an increased risk. 

However, studies show that at least two out of every three children diagnosed with a food allergy do not have a parent with one. 

Although family history is an important risk factor for any disease or condition, when it comes to food allergies, bigger risks exist. The biggest risk for developing a food allergy is eczema.

To see if your baby is at an increased risk of developing food allergies, talk to your pediatrician.

Early Food Allergen Introduction in Babies

When your baby reaches 4 to 6 months old make sure their diet includes common allergens (nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, etc).