Can a Woman Safely Eat Peanut Butter During Pregnancy?

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Will a child develop peanut allergies if the mother eats peanut butter while she's pregnant?

The jury is out on this question and no one really knows the answer for sure. For years, pregnant women ate this high protein food because many of them craved it and the others knew that it was important to eat lots of protein for their developing child. Today, as more information is found about the relation between eating peanut products during pregnancy and a possible peanut allergy developing in their child, many women are confused and not sure whether to eat it or not.

Study points to peanut sensitivity in kids whose moms ate peanuts during pregnancy

In November, 2010, the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology published a study that involved testing babies between the age of 3 months to 15 months to see if they showed a sensitivity to peanuts. The mothers of the children all ate peanuts during the third trimester of their pregnancy. The study pointed to the fact that babies whose mothers ate a large amount of peanuts had a greater risk of being sensitive to peanuts.

Babies in the study had sensitivies to milk and eggs

The study involved over 503 babies who were believed to have food allergies to milk and eggs. The children had blood tests to determine if they had a sensitivity to peanuts, and 140 out of 503 babies did test positive for peanut sensitivity. This sensitivity puts the babies at a greater risk of developing an allergy to peanuts in the future.

More research is needed to discover the answer

In the meantime, doctors usually recommend that women who have a history of peanut allergies in their family not eat peanut butter during their pregnancy as a preventive measure. Some doctors say that women with allergies, asthma, or eczema in their family of the father's family should avoid peanuts. Other women without family histories of allergies are usually told to eat peanut butter or peanuts as long as they don't eat in excess. Women can also eat sunflower seed butter, a substitute for peanut butter that looks and tastes a lot like the real thing. Most people with peanut allergies can safely eat this food.

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