Can We Prevent Allergies Whilst The Child Is In The Womb?

Sometimes it seems as though we are ruled by what we can’t do.. Don’t do this, don’t do that – don’t eat this don’t eat that.

When a woman is pregnant these rules are rammed home even more, some of them such as don’t smoke make perfect sense and some such as don’t eat blue cheese are just downright cruel.

It would appear now though that what a woman eats three months before the child is born can have a massive impact on the child’s health.

According to the six Australian and New Zealand scientists who worked on the Early Life Nutrition Guidelines:

  • Pregnant women are advised not to avoid peanuts or other allergens.
  • Mothers are also encouraged to introduce their children to solid foods at sixteen weeks
  • Babies should avoid full cream milk during their first twelve months.
  • Sugar and fruit drinks, as well as added salt, sugar and fat should be avoided as the first three years of the child’s life set their eating preferences.
  • Taking supplements such as iodine and folic acid and eating oily fish like salmon or tuna several times a week can also help prevent allergies occurring.
  • Eating bread and cereals every day is encouraged.
  • Fat intake should be no more than 20-35 per cent of the woman’s total energy intake
  • Once the baby is born, women are advised to breastfeed for as long as possible (if they can).

The new guidelines are encouraging women (and men) to lose weight before they conceive. Apparently, when women are overweight it increases their chance of gestational diabetes – and the chances of their child growing up overweight. Women are encouraged to gain no more than 9-18 kilograms during pregnancy (unless they are already thin).

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