Dr-Karen Robbins

How Do Pregnant Women Decide Which Foods To Avoid To Prevent Food Allergies in Their Children?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Karen Robbins

Dr. Robbins

 Karen Robbins, M.D.
Allergist at Children’s National Health System 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background is that mothers are often concerned that something they did contributed to their children developing food allergies. Many will relate that they ate a lot of one specific food allergen while pregnant, and question how this could have impacted their unborn child. We realized that we hear a lot of anecdotal stories in clinic, but were not sure how frequently mothers try to alter their diet in the hopes of preventing food allergy in their children. We also were not sure where families get information or guidance on this topic.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: At the time that this population was studied, a relatively low percentage of mothers reported restricting major allergens (e.g., milk, egg, nuts) in the hopes of preventing food allergy for their children. However, some groups were much more likely to do this: specifically, mothers who themselves had a food allergy, or mothers who had another child with food allergy.

While the mothers who avoided a major allergen had an increased tendency to report a ‘problem with food’ in their infant early in life, this did not persist. And we did not find higher odds of these children having a food allergy diagnosis later in infancy.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: First, we should try to see if these findings hold true now, since food allergy awareness has changed since the time that this data set was collected. It would be useful to see how pregnant women decide to try dietary avoidance, and what sort of sources of information they use.

It would also be useful to see what sort of guidance they get, if any, from the medical establishment.

It would be interesting to see how this impacts their overall nutrition and what impact, if any, it has on their pregnancy and health of their children.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This topic has not been studied in much detail to date, so there is a lot to learn about prenatal dietary changes when allergies are a concern. No financial/COI disclosures.


AAAI abstract 2018


K.Robbins M.Jacobs A.Ramos K.BalasL.Herbert

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Dec 19, 2018 @ 9:32 pm


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