Thursday, March 23, 2006

Preventing asthma in your child - Precautions before and after birth

All of us who have strong family history of allergies, be it nasal allergy (allergic rhinitis), skin allergy or asthma have a higher than average risk of having kids with allergies. This is more so if both parents (& their immediate family) are sufferring from multple allergies.
In my practice I often find such parents worrying about how to prevent asthma in their newborn child, especially if they already have a child with asthma.
The truth is that we really do not know of any sure shot way to prevent this from happening, but here are a few things that can help;
  • breast-feeding- exclusively for 6 months
  • maternal dietary restriction during breastfeeding - avoiding foods with potential for allergy like milk, nuts, wheat, egg etc. (these maybe avoided during pregnancy also in certain cases with the doctor's consent)
  • late introduction of solids and allergenic foods (milk, nuts, wheat, egg) - again indtroduction of solids after 6 months and allergenic foods probably after 1 year
  • and the use of hypoallergenic infant formulas (this is a new concept, and is still not FDA approved)
As I said before, there is no guarantee that this will work, but it may improve the chances of your kid not getting any major allergies as they grow

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