All parents wish the best for their child – best education, best nutrition, best psychological development, and certainly best health. While kids will fall sick every now and then, there is nothing inherently wrong with that, one particular type of ailment can torment them for life – allergies, the human body’s immune system’s reaction to certain foreign substances, called allergens. An allergy can be symptomized by something as simple as a sneeze, an itch, or a runny nose; or something as complex and life threatening as a difficulty in breathing.
While the exact reason why the body develops an allergy is not yet known, it is believed that genetics is large to be blamed – studies have shown that only 10% babies will develop an allergy that neither parent has; on the other hand, 70% babies will inherit an allergy that both parents have. In any case, it doesn’t mean that parents are totally helpless to prevent allergies from developing in their babies.
Here is what you can do:
In addition to creating a strong bond between the mother and the child, breastfeeding provides babies with nourishment, and antibodies needed to withstand viral and bacterial attack. By breastfeeding, mother’s pass on their ability to resist infections and allergies to the baby.While allergies themselves are not passed on to the baby, it is advisable to keep an eye on how the baby reacts to the food that mother takes.
If in extreme conditions, the mother is not able to breastfeed the baby, it is advisable to use other milk substitutes (rather than bovine milk), such as Hydrolyzed milk. Made up of broken down amino acid components, Hydrolyzed milk is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in babies, as proteins are usually what cause milk allergies in babies.
WebMD defines Probiotics as bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. In addition to keeping the mother’s stomach healthy, taking Probiotics during pregnancy can likewise help protect the baby against allergies. Especially for babies who can’t be breastfed, supplementing the dietary regimen with Probiotics can help in proper development and maintenance of their digestive system.
Exposure to solid food:
It is recommended that you introduce babies to solid food slowly – preferably over a three-day period – to understand how they are reacting to that food. Introducing a lot of different food items in a short period of time will make it difficult for you to spot the allergen your baby reacts to. The conventional wisdom is that seafood, nuts, poultry, and cow’s milk should be avoided until after the baby is at least 12 months.
Exposure to chemicals:
If you or your partner has a family history of asthma and allergies, it is advisable that you buy only those baby products that contain only hypoallergenic chemicals. Although typically found in soaps and shampoos, hypoallergenic chemicals ought to likewise be sole constituents of baby’s clothes, toys, sheets, or even mother’s garments. Basically, anything that touches the baby’s skin, ought to contain only hypoallergenic
The hard truth is, there is no telling what a baby might develop an allergy to – some babies are allergic to pets, some are allergic to flowers, yet others are allergic to their toys. We are surrounded by allergens that can trigger an unfavourably susceptible response in a baby at any time, and the best you can do is to regularly wash their bedding in hot water and vacuum their room at least once a week.
Recent research has shown that introducing peanut-containing foods to children at 4-6 months can help them develop resistance against allergies that tend to start in childhood – this is contradictory to the conventional wisdom of waiting at least 2 years until your baby’s first PB&J sandwich. Similarly, it has newly been discovered that kids who grow up on farms or with dogs in the house are less likely to develop allergies.
Point is, the nature of allergens and, more importantly, our understanding of them is constantly changing, and it can be difficult for you to figure out on your own what’s best for you baby. Luckily, our experts are always happy to work with you to ensure that your baby gets the best care possible.
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