Should You Avoid Nuts During Pregnancy?

Scientists now know that what a woman eats during pregnancy has long-lasting effects on her baby. The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care recently studied mothers’ consumption of a variety of foods such as vegetables, fish, eggs, milk products and nuts. Nearly 3,000 mothers participated in the study, with children from birth to 8 years of age. Researchers concluded that mothers who ate nuts daily increased their baby’s chance of developing asthma symptoms by 47%. (Not so with any of the other foods on the list.)

Based on the results of this study, there appears to be a pathway for allergy antibodies to pass from mother to baby. Researchers do not recommend that mothers completely eliminate nuts from their diet, but limiting your intake of highly allergenic foods, such as nuts, may be a good idea. Additionally, if you have a strong family history of allergies, experts recommend reducing the amount of nuts you eat during pregnancy.

Pediatrician recommended that children under the age of three not be given nut or nut products. And since the proteins from peanuts can be carried through breast milk, nursing mothers should try to reduce or eliminate nuts from their diet.

For more information, see Suite 101.

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