Tips for Moms-To-Be

Expecting MotherAlthough it isn’t known why some children develop allergies, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that moms-to-be can help prevent or delay the onset of food allergies in their child by avoiding peanuts and tree nuts during the last 3 months of pregnancy.

New moms are advised to:

  • Breastfeed their babies. Moms with food allergies should avoid eating highly allergenic foods like peanuts during the months they breastfeed.
  • Feed babies only breast milk or infant formula until they are at least 6 months old.
  • Hold off on feeding babies milk and milk products until after their first birthday.
  • Wait to serve babies egg whites until after they are 2 years old.
  • Keep diets free of peanuts, tree nuts, and fish until children are at least
    3 years old.
NewbornThese guidelines are especially important for families with a history of any type of allergy because there appears to be a genetic link when it comes to food allergies. A child has about a 10% risk of developing an allergy if neither parent has one. If one parent has an allergy, a child has a 20 to 50% chance of having it, too. If both parents have an allergy, the child’s chances of having it vary from 40% to 100%.

Some children outgrow their food allergies, but some do not. Children have the best chance of outgrowing allergies to eggs, milk, or soy. They are unlikely to grow out of peanut, tree nut, fish, or shellfish allergies. Parents should work with their children’s physicians to manage food allergies and track how they change over time.

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