Most babies will develop immunity to allergies, but there are some cases where you baby can be allergic to something. This could be due to genetics or exposure to their mother’s allergens. However, most babies should not have any problems with allergies.
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So what causes an allergy in a baby? It all comes down to the immune system. When a person is exposed to an allergen, their immune system will produce antibodies that look to attack it, since the body perceives the allergen as a threat.
If your child has a genetic disposition to allergies, that means that their immune system will produce a lot of antibodies. This means they are more likely to develop allergies during their lifetime.
A mother can pass on her allergies to the child. If she was allergic to something when she was pregnant, she passed it to the baby through the placenta or breast milk.
What you eat during pregnancy may play a role in whether or not your baby is allergic to certain foods. If your baby is exposed to certain things before birth, then there’s a good chance they may develop an allergy to them after birth. So let’s find out what you should avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding to not trigger the onset of allergies in your baby.
If you want to avoid allergies in your baby, then avoid eating these foods during pregnancy: pineapple, citrus fruits, grapes, rye, soy, and peanuts. When taken in large amounts during pregnancy, the following foods could also predispose your child to allergies: dairy products, beef, eggs, fish, tree nuts, and shellfish.
The environment can affect a baby’s allergies
Some experts believe that babies can be born with a predisposition to developing allergies later in their life. If they were exposed to substances like dust mites or cigarette smoke early on in life, they can aggravate the immune system over time and lead to allergies and other health problems such as asthma, eczema, and hay fever.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that babies are more likely to develop allergies if their mothers have been exposed to high pollution levels during pregnancy. Pollution exposure has long been associated with asthma, but this was the first time it’s also been linked to dietary and seasonal allergies. The researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,000 pregnant women living in Mexico City – one of the most polluted cities in the world – over 14 years. They found that those more heavily exposed to air pollution had an increased risk of their baby developing food and seasonal allergies by up to 30%.
How to help your child avoid allergies
- Clean air is key
One way to ensure that your baby does not get an allergy is by living in a house with clean air and avoiding large crowds where allergens are more concentrated, like at the mall or an amusement park. This may mean limiting time spent outside when pollen counts are high.
Breastfeeding provides many benefits for babies, including improved immune system function, protection against infection, and decreased risk of obesity later in life. If you choose not to breastfeed, be sure to provide formula made with powdered cow’s milk or soybean-based infant formulas.
- Choose what you eat wisely
Avoid eating foods linked to developing allergies during pregnancy, but do your best to eat a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals, so be sure to include them regularly in your meal plans. You may also want to add omega-3 fatty acids with cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines. These are especially important for a baby’s brain development and immune system function.