A study published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology revisits the age-old question of this generation: “Is it risky to eat peanuts during pregnancy?”
In 2000, the recommendation was to avoid peanuts during pregnancy to reduce the risk of a child developing a lifelong peanut allergy. Then in 2008, medical groups changed their minds and said not to worry about it. The scientific research has flip-flopped, and thus, the advice has too.
In this recent study, pediatric allergy experts looked at over 500 babies, 3—15 months of age, who were already known to have allergies. These babies had a significant allergic reaction to cow’s milk and/or eggs, a skin test reaction to cow’s milk and/or eggs, and/or moderate to severe eczema (an allergic skin condition, sometimes due to a food allergy). Also noteworthy: over 60% of the parents of these kids also had allergic disease. (This is really no surprise because allergies are hereditary!) It’s important to keep in mind that the study participants were already predisposed to allergies.
The researchers asked moms to report on their peanut consumption during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. (Reality check: do you really think moms are able to remember exactly how much peanut butter or pad thai they ate 3—15 months after delivery?!) So, this is a weakness of the study.
But, the results are significant. Moms who said they ate peanuts products at least twice a week in their 3rd trimester were more likely to have a baby with abnormal blood/skin test levels showing a sensitization to peanuts. But let’s be clear: these children did not have allergic reactions after eating peanuts. Their lab results just showed a likelihood of peanut allergy.
And, what about indulging in a Reese’s peanut butter cup while nursing? Good news. This study did NOT show an association with peanut consumption while breastfeeding. So, go for it.
What does this all mean for you?
This is an intriguing study that is worthy of follow-up. It wouldn’t hurt to limit peanut intake during pregnancy (less than twice a week) if a pregnant woman or her partner has known allergic disease. But, this dietary restriction probably isn’t applicable to all pregnant couples at this point, given conflicting results in the scientific research to date.
If you are like us, pregnancy is a really good excuse to go shopping! Besides all that cute baby stuff, there are a few key purchases you should get for yourself. Warning: none of these must-haves were spotted on the runways at New York Fashion Week.
1. Granny panties. We know, it can be pretty demoralizing to outgrow your sexy little thong undies. But, granny panties can be quite comfortable with your ever-expanding belly. When you reach this state, you probably won't care about how those panties look on you. If you are really dead set on the thong, you may want to check out Hanky Panky brand or Cosabella brand--both of which are low enough to sit below your blossoming belly.
2. Maternity Belt. This can be a real quality of life-saver if you've got back, belly, or leg pains. Our suggestion: don't order one online. Go into a maternity store, get fitted, and figure out which style suits you best.
3. Support hose. We know, we know, they just don't look good with your Christian Louboutin's. But, you shouldn't be wearing those right now anyway! Support stockings help reduce swelling in your feet and improve blood flow in your legs. That's a good thing...trust us. They come in white, black, and beige knee-highs and white thigh-highs (no need for a garter belt, they have a tight elastic at the top). Most pharmacies stock them. "TED hose" is a well known brand name.
If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, there are several things
to put on your to-do list...start taking prenatal vitamins, get
up-to-date on any vaccinations, strive for your ideal body weight, and
stop any bad habits that might impact the health of your pregnancy and
your baby.Smoking fits into that last category. A new study from
the Centers for Disease Control estimates that moms-to-be who smoke
account for up to 8% of premature births and up to 19% of low
birthweight babies. And even more scary, almost 25% of Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SIDS) could be prevented if the baby's mother did not
So just quit smoking, right? If it could only be that easy!
If you are pregnant, certainly the safest way to stop is to
attend support groups or therapy. Although no one can say that nicotine
replacement products (gums, lozenges, patches, and inhalers) are 100%
safe during pregnancy, the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists say that the benefits of stopping smoking outweigh the
potential risk of these products. It's also safe to try a prescription
medication that helps reduce the withdrawal symptoms.The best
thing to do is to quit before becoming pregnant. And, make your partner
Is it fact or fiction that breastfeeding helps you drop those post-pregnancy pounds? Well, it is true that breastfeeding after delivery helps shrink your uterus (womb) and reduces your risk of bleeding. But, you are still unlikely to be wearing your skinny jeans at your baby's two week well check (even if you are celebrity and have a personal trainer 24/7).
Here's a fun story we helped out with at Self Magazine on the subject.
If you're a dad-to-be and you are gaining weight along with your beloved pregnant gal, you aren't alone. Check out this great story in Parenting this month... Dr Michele Hakakha, co-author of the much anticipated Expecting 411, enlightens us on Couvade Syndrome.