Two new studies being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Houston contain new information on how prenatal diet, the way the baby is delivered, and infant feeding practices can affect the risk of allergy.

The study includes examining the medical charts of 158,422 children and surveying and recording the diet of 1,315 pregnant women during pregnancy and their history of allergies.

Here's what you may want to know about allergies in early infancy and preventing the same:

1. Researchers are learning more about how a pregnant woman’s diet can affect the chance of her child developing allergies.
2. Additionally, researchers have found that cesarean delivery may increase the risk of allergies in infants, compared to vaginal delivery.
3. Researchers say women should try to eat a well-rounded diet and stay healthy but not be overly worried about the risks.

"We found vaginal delivery was associated with a reduced rate of development of allergic conditions." said David Hill, MD, PhD, ACAAI member and lead author of the study "While a mother can’t always control the way her baby is delivered, exclusive or supplemental breastfeeding may be helpful in reducing the rate of onset and overall burden of allergies in children."

David Fleischer, MD, ACAAI member and co-author of the study added "Pregnant women – especially those with allergies – should be aware that their diet during pregnancy can affect their child’s chances of developing eczema and/or food allergies"

What should pregnant women do to prevent allergies in the child?
* Though in the research stage, that above findings aren't new and have been in existence since long.
* It is yet to be determined, how the mom's diet or lack thereof, during pregnancy impacts an allergy development. Also, it is not known if a mother's microbiome affects an infant's immune development.
* Adjusting the maternal diets during pregnancy is suggested to limit the development of allergies, asthma and atopic eczema.
* The interruption in transmission of the maternal microbiome and subsequently compromised intestinal microbiome that happens when an infant doesn't pass through the birth canal. However, the study doesn't say that having a C-section or giving an infant formula will cause allergy issues.
* For now, pregnant women are advised that there is no need to avoid food allergens during pregnancy, which is in line with current international guidelines. It is important to note that these guidelines do not actively recommend intake of food allergens, all pregnant women should ideally consume a healthy, varied diet if possible.
* If a child shows early signs of an allergic disorder, such as having eczema, the parents should seek help from an allergist. Doing so early in life may help minimize the severity of allergies.

Allergies & Asthma Clinic in Austin and Round Rock, provides the latest, proven and most up-to-date diagnostic treatment options in allergy and asthma care. The Clinic offers allergy testing, allergy shots, allergy drops and has treated thousands of patients, both adults and children, with various conditions of allergies and asthma.

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