Hello! Just a quick background: I have had "chronic fatigue syndrome" for about 10 years following possible Lyme or "mono" infection (but that is beside the point!). Right now, some doctors think I may be in an ill-defined autoimmune state.....though a lot of my autoimmune markers, such as for lupus, are negative in bloodwork, so it is not really a diagnosis. I tested negative for Celiac, but I have noticed I seem to feel worse overall eating gluten and possibly dairy, and I seem better off them. Another interesting tidbit is that I had a very bad reaction to a DPT vaccine a few years ago, but things eventually got better.
So something strange is going on.....I am even a little worried my child may end up autistic or is pre-disposed that way (though I hate to say that), considering I myself had a bad reaction to a vaccine and I seem to need to avoid gluten. First off, I am not going to vaccinate the baby, because of my reaction. Or I may do a delayed schedule and try to skip the DPT.
But my question is if I should avoid gluten and possibly dairy completely during my pregnancy, for the health of the baby? The difference in my health has never been profound enough for me to "stick with it" completely, though I keep trying. But now that I am worried about providing the best possible environment for my baby, I sometimes feel I should. But it's even harder to stick with it while pregnant, hungry, grouchy, etc.
I am wondering if it will make a difference either way for the baby. Is a mother avoiding gluten while pregnant, if sensitive, supposed to benefit the baby? Or do you think it would have no real bearing on the child's health? Is it thought to impact whether or not the child ends up being sensitive to gluten (or is that genetics/luck)? Or, could me avoiding gluten cause the child to then be sensitive??? (not sure that makes sense because most moms consume gluten)
ps--I have also noticed I feel better on Acai berry capsules, which reduce inflammation, so I am thinking about continuing those while pregnant. I guess the main reason I was thinking about avoiding gluten is to further reduce any inflammation.
If you feel much better when avoiding gluten and dairy then that’s a big clue. You could try some GI function stool tests to see how much impact gluten might be having on you. One can certainly be intolerant without having “official” celiac antibodies.
Studies on food avoidance to prevent allergies in the unborn have weak findings. There does seem to be some suggestion that avoiding major allergens can have a small impact on reducing the child’s risk. Avoiding these foods during early lactation would be especially important. You can test these foods in your diet, through your milk, after two or three months, if you feel the need. Beyond that question is the fact that a healthier mother births a healthier baby. If your intestines are chronically inflamed, you will not be passing the healthiest of flora to your baby and this can have lasting impact.
The Acai supplements sound just fine. Some good probiotics (milk-free) daily can help with your intestines and possibly improve what flora you pass on to your newborn. Probiotics can also increase the amount of healthy bacteria you pass in your milk.
Linda F. Palmer, DC
"The Baby Bond"