Food Intolerances

When You’re a Food Allergy/Intolerance/MSPI Family: Avoiding Colic and Allergies with Baby #2

Monday May 15, 2017

Ever since we found out about Bean’s food intolerances four years ago now, I’ve wondered if we’d do anything differently if we had another kid. It’s on my mind more and more now that my due date approaches. Have any of you with children with food allergies/intolerance done anything differently the second time around? Do you think it had an effect.

Every mother I know with a baby or child with a food allergy or intolerance wonders whether they caused it in some way — was it all the pregnant binging on ice cream and cheese? This isn’t helped at all by the contradictory studies that have come about about food allergies. Seven years ago, families were warned not to offer eggs or peanuts before a child was one, as the belief at the time was early introduction might cause food allergies. And then, of course, that turned out to have been woefully wrong, and actually increased the number of kids with allergies out there. By the time Bean was born, the medical recommendations had completely reversed. Offering allergens early significantly lowered children’s risk of developing allergies.

So, what are those of us with one kid with food allergies and intolerances supposed to do when we have another kid?

The going research shows that subsequent children of food allergy families have a minimally higher chance of developing an allergy as well — roughly 13% of subsequent children will develop a food allergy. BUT, 53% of subsequent children will have a food intolerance. That seems…high enough to be worrisome.

I haven’t been able to find any studies about milk-soy protein intolerances (MSPI) specifically, but the online MSPI community seems to lean towards subsequent children having a high chance of having it as well. Anecdotally, my own cousins who’ve had children with MSPI, usually find their later children also had it.

As far as eczema (which is triggered by Bean’s food intolerances), a study in January showed that slathering a baby in vaseline, of all things, in the first 6 months of life reduced the risk of eczema. This might be overkill for parents who have no reason to suspect their baby might develop eczema, but might be worthwhile for those of us with a family history of eczema.

So, what’s a pregnant lady to do with so few studies and otherwise piecemeal anecdotal info? I really really don’t want to relive the (colicky, literally painful) months that led to Bean’s eventual diagnosis.

I made the decision a long time ago to cut out dairy and soy a month before my due date. (So, yes, if you run into a pregnant lady in SF gunning for milkshakes, cheesecake, and Chinese food in the next couple weeks, that will be me, getting my fill before elimination diet time.) Not because I think it’ll ward off a possible future food intolerance, but because that’s how terrible our first few months with Bean were. I will be avoiding that at all costs. Once baby is here, we can start doing careful food tests to see how he handles milk and soy.

I’m less sure of the vaseline study, but eczema is such a beast it might be worth a try. We’ll just have to make sure to perfect a secure grip on a slippery baby.

Have any of you done anything else? Give me all your wisdom.




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