Pregnant and Have Allergies? You’re Going to Need This

Pregnancy is rough enough as it is. Worsening allergies in pregnancy just makes it worse. Can you  do something to spare your unborn child the same fate?

Turns out that the answer may be yes, and the fix may be pretty simple.  But first, let’s go over some other factors during pregnancy that we already know contribute to problems in the as-yet unborn child.  The fist that pops to mind is the seemingly innoculous Tylenol.  Yes, I know that your OB told you to stay away from ibuprofen during pregnancy because of the potential side effects.  As an alternative, many are still recommending Tylenol / acetaminophen as a safe alternative.  It’s not.  In an older blog post, we discussed the links between paracematol (Tylenol) use during pregnancy and allergies and asthma in the child.

This actually makes sense because it is well accepted that Tylenol use is linked to development of allergies in an adult.

Other pregnancy factors that play a role in the child’s health include:

  1. Artificial sweeteners and sugar sweetened beverages have been linked to preterm birth. (Tweet this)
  2. Antidepressant use in 3rd trimester increases risk of infantile convulsions by 490%. (Tweet this)
  3. Eating polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) (from grilling meat) in pregnancy is linked to ADHD and anxiety.
  4. Heavy exposure to a commonly used pesticide has been linked to brain damage in the infant.

There are others, but you get the idea.  The choices you make during pregnancy play a huge role in the future health of your child.  Some of the above may be a little more challenging, so I’ll give you an easy and inexpensive tool.

Vitamin D.

Yup.  How’s that for simple?  We already know that low vitamin D levels are linked to the development of obesity in children and wheeze in children.

This particular study looks at vitamin D levels in cord blood and what effect they had on development of eczema in the infant’s first year.  In particular:

  • Mom’s vitamin D levels were related to supplement use and sunlight (based on the season during testing) and NOT dietary intake (don’t rely on your milk to help you here)
  • When vitamin D cord blood was below 75 nmol/L (30 ng/ml) the risk of developing eczema was 266% higher. (Tweet this)

The bottom line is that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy seems like a pretty good idea along with the use of probiotics to maintain a healthy bacterial flora in the mom.  Stick with nursing instead of formula and add in some probiotics occasionally during the first few months and the risk of eczema should be almost zilch.

Given the increasing evidence, should ob/gyn’s be recommending vitamin D to all their pregnant patients?

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.