Allergies are certainly not the end of the world, some can be pretty dangerous, but I am very thankful that all I have to worry about is allergies and not some other serious diseases that other parents are agonizing over. But I am a little surprised. I spent so much time researching pregnancy and baby care before getting pregnant, it took us 2 yrs so I had a lot of time. I myself have allergies and severe asthma and I always wanted to do all I could to avoid these in my children. I avoided nuts almost completely during pregnancy and nursing. I gave birth naturally. I cloth diapered. I used natural cleaners and laundry soaps. I exclusively breastfed and let them self wean (all were 2+ yrs). I delayed solids and fed them organic homemade foods. I didn't vaccinate. We use homeopathic treatments and vitamins/herbs and other home remedies as much as possible for most illnesses. When I was younger I thought for sure doing all of this would almost guarantee that my kids would be much healthier than your average kid, and certainly more healthy than I am. I have asthma, but my mom smoked while pg with me and put me on straight cow's milk at 5 months old! I was bound to have allergies and asthma. I certainly don't brag to everyone that what I am doing and have done with my babies/kids will guarantee their health, but inside I hoped and believed it would. KWIM? I am not saying I might as well not have done it. I do believe I did what was best for them, and I enjoyed doing all those things, and I do firmly believe that if I had just gone ahead and done all the mainstream things like formula, vaccines, disposable diapers, Lysol, etc their particular ailments would likely be worse than they are. I know I did the right thing. And I'll do it again with any future babies. But I was wondering if anyone else felt somewhat surprised and almost betrayed by the hope that being super crunchy would protect their children? For the most part, my children are pretty healthy. My friends kids are always at the doctor for antibiotics for this and that and mine almost never have to see the doc for illness. My oldest (8) is still quite healthy, he has some seasonal allergies that are mild and hasn't got any other problems that we know of- in fact, he's the only one of my kids that had any formula- it was force fed him in the hospital when they took him from me for "observation". My 6 yr dd had horrible eczema as a toddler but has mostly outgrown it, but I am afraid that she will eventually be diagnosed with asthma, she seems to be following the same pattern I did at her age. This winter she hasn't been sick at all but has developed some wheezing and nagging cough when she gets running around or plays outside in the snow. My youngest is "intolerant" to milk and soy (extreme vomiting but skin tested non allergic to both?!) and severely allergic to peanuts and eggs. I was so careful to avoid peanuts during pg and nursing, but did indulge a couple times and I delayed intro to p/b till my kids were 4 yrs old because I fear peanut allergies! But my youngest got into peanut M&Ms accidentally just shy of 2 yrs old and reacted immediately with hives, rash, intense eye and ear itching and swelling of the eyes and tongue. The allergist assured me he likely would still be allergic if he had been 4 yrs old at the time of exposure....
I hope this doesn't come across as a "woe is me" post, it's not my intention at all. I also am not judging those mothers who used formula or disposables, etc I just wonder if there are others out there who have felt similarly about their little ones allergies, almost blindsided by them. Do you feel like you were sold a myth about BF babies being healthier, etc? Or do you still believe the research, still think you did the right thing?
Alex 8 Gabby 6 (Homeborn!) Gideon 2.... chickens, ducks, cats and a dog
The truth is that if you have any allergies, your kid is 50/50 for having them too. We can do all the other stuff to keep them healthy and help them but the fact is you can't change the genetics. Avoiding during pregnancy isn't proven to do anything. I actually just spoke with our allergist about this yesterday. So I try and focus on the good (like you, they aren't dealing with something really really bad!) That all the things I do for them can help them have optimal health aside for the genetics. That is all we can do.
Wow. I feel like I could have written the original post!
I don't have any advise but just more that I feel ya. I DO however believe in every choice I made-- from the organic/natural foods and products, the delayed solids, no vax, exclusive BF (oldest up to 3 yrs, youngest still going at 22 mos), chiro visits to cloth diapering. I feel though that had I not gone the route of "crunchiness", that my children's "intolerances" would be much, much worse. My children are the healthiest of ALL our friends, no joke. They get 1-2 colds a year and they only last about a couple to 3 days if that.
So hang in there, mama and know that you did what you thought was best for your children-- and continue to.