When I was pregnant with my son, I read during my free time as much as I could and tried gathering knowledge about maintaining good health during pregnancy and also about the health of the baby.
I often read about peanut butter in exceptions, cautions, and notes which said that if you or anybody in your family is allergic to peanuts or peanut butter then there are chances that your baby too might have this allergy.
This often made me wonder how can allergies get transferred to unborn babies? But I argued with myself taking into account the fact that when nature, traits, and looks can pass on from parents to babies, allergies can too!
To solve my doubt, I spoke to friends and elders, asked my healthcare advisor, surfed the Internet and found many answers. Some said “Yes” and some said “No!”
Here’s what I found out for myself that ultimately quenched my thirst for information on this topic…
No! Mom’s allergies can’t reach the baby
Where’s your immune system?
Babies inside the mother’s womb are entirely dependant on the mother for survival. When she breathes- the baby gets oxygen; when she eats- the baby’s stomach is filled.
But, this doesn’t mean, that when she is allergic to something, the baby too gets it. This is true for the primary reason because babies do not have an immune system while they cozily and safely dwell inside the mother.
Allergies and allergic reactions are all about the immune system, so when they don’t have one in there, the chances of getting an allergy are extremely low.
‘P’ for Placenta, ‘P’ for Protection
The components or nutrients of food, most commonly- proteins, which can cause a reaction in the mother or the baby are not able to make it to the baby through the placenta.
Whoa! The placenta surely has an intelligent role to play out there, it seems! It again protects the baby from infections and allergies and thus, those little ones have little to bother about when Mom is busy struggling with her food allergies!
What can we do about it?
Since there is no proper evidence whether diet or exposure to particular allergens during pregnancy can make the baby allergic too, so all we can do is try and be on a safer side.
Prevention is better than cure
Be careful and prevent unforeseen allergies, assuming that the baby could become allergic too.
In such a case, the mother should avoid any food that she suspects or has even the slightest doubt of having an allergy of.
Increased intake of Probiotics during the last weeks of pregnancy can also help, but make sure to consult your doctor before doing the same.
Avoid high allergens
Expectant mothers should be careful with allergens like peanuts. If you have a proven peanut allergy then it is best to avoid having them. However, if you don’t have one and discontinue eating peanuts during your pregnancy then you might be missing out on the important nutrients that peanuts can provide you. Decide wisely with the help of your healthcare provider.
Breastfeeding for as long as you can can provide your growing baby with the essential nutrients and give her strong immunity to fight with infections and allergies. Breastfeeding is a well-known, proven and common protective measure to keep your baby guarded against all allergies.
To give the mothers-to-be reading this article some sigh of relief, I would like to share with you the lesser believed fact that unless you have an out-of-the-world allergy that is really severe and gives you a hard time breathing and in turn disrupts oxygen flow to the baby – it can’t affect your baby.
So, don’t spend hours worrying about your mild allergies and reactions; like I did, when I was expecting. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your pregnancy, counting days as you wait to welcome the little one to a healthy life ahead.