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How Your Pregnancy Affects Your Child's Risk of Developing Allergies
Nearly everything you do can affect your unborn child while you are pregnant, so it's no surprise that your pregnancy can also have an effect on your baby's allergy risk.
Fish Oil Can Reduce Inflammation and Allergies
Pregnant women who took fish oil supplements in a Western Australia study had babies who were less likely to develop severe eczema or egg sensitivity. Fish oil supplements reduce inflammation which may trigger allergies.
Probiotics May Be Helpful
Another study examined whether the babies of women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a lower allergy and asthma risk. Although taking probiotics did not affect the asthma rate, it did lower the allergy rate. Researchers think that the effect is due to protective effect probiotics have on microbes in your gastrointestinal tract.
Early Exposure Is Also Important
Exposure to pets during a child's early days can also affect his or her allergy risk. Living with a cat during the first year of life reduced the risk of a cat allergy by 48 percent, according to a study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy. Male teens who lived with dogs had a 50 percent lower allergy risk.
Are you concerned that your child's allergies may mean that you will have to give up your pet? Although rehoming a pet may be necessary if allergies are severe, most children can live with pets if you are willing to make a few changes.
About three in 10 people who have allergies are allergic to cats and dogs, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. The Foundation notes that cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Many people assume all pet allergies are caused by exposure to dander, a combination of pet hair and skin cells, but dander is not the only allergen that triggers symptoms. Your child may also be allergic to your pet's urine or saliva.
How You Can Reduce Pet Allergens
Decreasing your child's symptoms starts with reducing allergens in your home by:
Do you have a question about the best type of pet shampoo to use to reduce allergens or concerns about your pet's health? Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.
Annals of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: The Effects of Maternal Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Infant Allergy, 3/14
American Academy of Pediatrics: When Pets Are the Problem, 11/21/15
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Pet Allergy Overview
Humane Society of the United States: How to Live with Allergies and Pets
Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America: Pet Allergy: Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats?, 10/15
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children
Reuters: Probiotics Linked to Lower Risk of Allergies for Kids, 8/22/13
Fit Pregnancy and Baby: Pets, Pregnancy and Your Baby’s Allergy Risk
Clinical & Experimental Allergy: Lifetime Dog and Cat Exposure and Dog- and Cat-Specific Sensitization at Age 18 Years