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Clinical case review

A pregnant woman with concerns about paediatric allergy

John Sinn

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Abstract

Parents who already have a child with food allergies often seek advice about primary prevention of allergy for subsequent children. What is the current approach to allergy risk reduction, including for early onset allergic conditions such as eczema?

Article Extract

Case scenario

Shelley, aged 33 years, is in the midtrimester of her second pregnancy. She is part of a highly atopic family and her first child, now aged 3 years, has severe peanut and egg allergies. During her second pregnancy, Shelley has been avoiding these foods in her own diet, which she hopes will help to prevent allergies for the baby. She is initially horrified when she is told that it might be a good idea to introduce highly allergenic foods early to her second child, but she is keen to learn more about this ‘new’ approach to allergy. She plans to breastfeed and asks for information about introducing potentially allergenic foods to the new baby.

  • Will Shelley’s dietary restriction affect the risk of food allergy in her second child?
  • What is the current advice for introducing potentially allergenic foods to a new baby?
  • Is there anything else that Shelley can do, either now or later, to help avoid the development of allergies in her children?

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