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Are allergies/intolerances/food hatreds linked to pregnancy cravings?

(33 Posts)
nickelbabe Wed 03-Aug-11 13:04:30

Not a research thing, I promise.

I made a theory about 15 years ago, that a child is more likely to be allergic to/have intolerances to/hate foods that their mother craved when pregnant.

I made the theory after talking to a few of my sister's friends who couldn't eat certain things, and they were things their mum had cravings for when pregnant.

I hadn't thought about this random theory for years until I jsut read a friends comments on her own pregnancy.
She craved curry and baked beans when she was pregnant, and her son (who is now 9) is the only boy in the whole world who hates baked beans. (he won't even try them)

So, my question is:
Do your own children have food problems with anything that you craved?
(or did you?)

thanks. smile

nickelbabe Wed 03-Aug-11 13:05:08

("he won't even try them" doesn't mean he's never tried them, but that he can no longer try them, having hated them for many years)

nickelbabe Wed 03-Aug-11 13:06:11

(and i do realise that this isn't a scientific survey, nor is there any reason why it should be assumed that not having cravings means that your DC won't have any food problems)

babybarrister Wed 03-Aug-11 13:09:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nickelbabe Wed 03-Aug-11 14:14:49

thank you smile

anyone else?

CokeFan Wed 03-Aug-11 14:33:25

Dd is allergic to cmp and eggs. I couldn't drink milk when pregnant because it made me barf mightily. Yogurt and cheese were fine though. Didn't really have any cravings (except chocolate, and I don't think that was pregnancy related grin)

nickelbabe Wed 03-Aug-11 14:45:18

I wonder if it also works the other way round, then, that things that you couldn't eat also have a bearing on your DC's diet.

babybarrister Wed 03-Aug-11 14:46:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fraktious Wed 03-Aug-11 15:17:15

On that footing DS will grow up allergic to/detesting twixes!

My allergies were less severe when pregnant and I'm allergic to the works, DH is disgusting healthy apart from reacting strangely to ibuprofen and DS is too little to show any evidence of any of his own yet.

nickelbabe Wed 03-Aug-11 15:57:11

oh dear, that could be bad news! shock
(the twix part, not you being allergic to everything, which is already bad news )

Lovesicecream Wed 03-Aug-11 16:12:54

Ds1 hates my two fav foods, potatoes and cheese, ds2 loves them

shouldbeelswhere Wed 03-Aug-11 16:16:39

I craved almonds and ate loads during pregnancy, my DD is allergic to nuts but not almonds confused. I craved mashed potato with my DS and he dislikes mashed potato but no allergy

bruffin Wed 03-Aug-11 16:23:13

I had craving for peanut butter on toast throughout both pregnancies. DS went on to have treenut, peanut and seed allergies but he has grown out of the peanut allergy and likes peanuts now, he also has non food allergies.

DD has no allergies. DD loves peanut butter!

Both of them were born before pregnant women were advised not to eat nuts.

eragon Wed 03-Aug-11 17:19:11

I dont believe this at all, most allergies are common foods, i ate a wide list of food, as you do, and only once during my pregnancy did i have any cravings.
crisps and raw mushrooms with my 2nd, and no he isnt allergic, and loves mushrooms, and lots of other foods.

my allergic kid is allergic to the most common foods, beans, eggs, peanuts and was allergic to tree nuts, and lots of other stuff.

this is piffle. when my mum was pregnant with me she lived on pork pies and banannas, and yes i love both, and am not allergic to them.

seems a odd idea to me..........

nickelbabe Wed 03-Aug-11 17:25:46

it was just a pattern that seemed to be forming.
as others on the thread have shown, evidence says ye and as much evidence says no.

greenbananas Wed 03-Aug-11 17:54:07

nickelbabe, I have sometimes wondered the same thing. I ate LOADS of eggs and had cheese sandwiches every day - DS is allergic to eggs and dairy. I had baked beans about 3 times a week, and virtually drank ketchup - DS cannot eat pulses and for a long time he was unable to tolerate tomato. I drank a glass of orange juice each day with breakfast - DS gets awful eczema from citrus fruits. And so on...

However, when I asked our allergy specialist about this, she told me not to feel guilty because there was absolutely no evidence that diet during pregnancy makes a difference. Also, I have since realised that most of the foods DS is allergic to are high-risk foods anyway (and lots of allergic children find it difficult to tolerate tomatoes and citrus fruits).

Fortunately DS is okay with wheat smile - and I ate bread every day when pregnant...

freefrommum Wed 03-Aug-11 18:55:45

Really don't think there's anything to this theory, interesting as it may be! My DS is allergic to milk, eggs and wheat. I hate milk and dairy products like yoghurts, cream etc so only ever have small amounts of skimmed milk and some cheese. I also dislike eggs but I do eat quite a lot of wheat. The only cravings I had during pregnancy were for roast dinners and acidic orange juice.

Whelk Fri 05-Aug-11 08:54:44

Nickelbabe - do your dcs have allergies? Why do you want to know this?

I'm sorry but I'm going to sound quite grumpy here. I am sure it is not your intention to offend but there is a very recent thread where many of us said that we found people's theorising as to why our dcs had allergies really quite upsetting.

Many of us have spent far too much time wondering about what we have done in pregnancy to cause what is often a very distressing and limiting condition.

I'm sorry to sound grumpy and petty but it's been a bad few weeks allergy-wise for me and I'm not really in the mood to answer idle theorising -type questions unless I know why you want to know.

nickelbabe Fri 05-Aug-11 10:54:38

I haven't seen that thread, sorry.

I don't have chidlren yet, I'm pg with my first.

I didn't want to upset anyone, and I believe that cravings can't be helped anyway - your body tells you what to do, not vice versa.
If it has got grounding, it isn't something that could have been helped - you don't know if you're going to have cravings until you do.

besides which, it was more of an idea regarding food hates and intolerances rather than allergies - i think allergies are much more complicated than that! but there is a chance that an intolerance could be genetic, or inborn.

It was a genuine question from a curiosity point of view. I certainly wouldn't want to lay blame on the parents! Besidse, as the previous posters have demonstrated, the occurances are no more than coincidence (or the results of tossing of a coin)

Whelk Fri 05-Aug-11 17:51:14

That's Ok nickelbabe. It's fair enough if you are trying to avoid allergies and intolerances with your first child. I'm more than likely a little over-sensitive about it all.

The advice we have had from the specialist is that it's genetic and like most illnesses there's very little you can do in terms of what you eat/drink to prevent it.

Good luck with your pregnancy.

youarekidding Fri 05-Aug-11 18:12:19

Congratulations on expecting your first child. grin

I hate tomatos, beans, ketchup sauce etc but like tomato based pasta sauces. DS is allergic to ketchup (not tomatos but probably something in it/ or the fact its histamine rich!) see your right allergies are complecated!

He won't eat tomatos, never did, wouldn't even try them at 6 months when given his first tastes.

I had a period in childhood when dairy would make me sick - I couldn't seem to digest it. Chocolate, even a mouthful would make me vomit for hours. sad Luckily I can eat chocolate now grin, but still have to limit dairy. (have IBS so maybe related?). DS however only likes chocolate and yoghurts as a sweet choice of food (not cake, rice pud etc).

I have been told/ read/ heard all sorts. That CS births can give higher chance of allergies, eating certain food when pg can and most recently that it's by being too clean - which I am not wink.

ChocaMum Sun 07-Aug-11 16:16:00

Sorry for the long post, I hope this helps answer your question though. First of all you have to remember that allergies are when your bodies immune system reacts to a protein as if it is an infection, it developes an immune response to it when it shouldn't do. So it is a natural reaction gone into overdrive and inappropriately.

The most recent evidence showed that telling high risk pregnant mums to avoid nuts during pregnancy actually led to an increase in nut allergies. It's still all up in the air which is why the government have withdrawn that advise and just tell people to eat normally.

The suspected theory is that you have a genetic predisposition to getting allergies i.e. allergies run in the family and this includes conditions like eczema, asthma, hay fever and urticaria. And then it's a matter of after birth what triggers your immune system to actually develop the allergies or not. They call this the 'Allergic March.' There is strong evidence for bf reduces the risk. However like many of the above mums I ebf and my DD still has lots of allergies, so there is clearly more to it.

The next part of this theory is if you are exposed to food proteins that trigger allergies through your skin before beng exposed through the oral route, you are more likely in a susceptible individual to develop an allergy. So having eczema as a young baby makes this risk higher as your skin barrier is much weaker than a baby with normal skin. And delaying weaning makes this risk higher because you have had a higher chance of coming across the protein from the environment and through your skin than through the oral route. This is because the body often treats anything crossing the skin as a potential infection and so develops antibodies to it. While if you are first exposed to it through your gut the body thinks this is food so won't develop antibodies to it. However some babies with a strong genetic predisposition will already have developed antibodies very early on so early introduction of foods will not help in these cases.

This is also how the overal cleaner society theory fits in. When back in the days people didn't have access to clean water and their children were covered in dirt this acted as en extra barrier to anything passing through the skin. Also through lack of hygiene all sorts were going into babies mouths, so they developed tolerance to these things rather than an immune response.

Currently the two big studies looking into this and so far supporting this theory are the LEAP Study and the EAT study, both being down at St Thomas' Evelina children's hospital.

Sorry if this is TMI! Allergies are complicated as everyone above has said. Living with allergies is much harder than we can all put into words, so naturally it will cause emotional responses in people too.

Anyway congratulations and good luck on your first baby! smile

nickelbabe Mon 08-Aug-11 11:17:29

Thank you ChocaMum - that's really interesting, and it's thrown up some thoughts I hadn't even considered.

AngelDog Tue 09-Aug-11 23:05:42

No, although it later turned out I was intolerant to some of what I was craving (cheese).

Gumps Tue 09-Aug-11 23:34:03

I craved milk with ds2 and he had horrendous silent reflux and was dairy intolerant.
Now pregnant again and have avoided drinking too much milk. Can't seem to lay off the mars bar ice creams though...

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