Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Baby Center's 10 Signs your baby has allergies

Dear Baby Center,

Thank you for the recent email with 10 Signs your baby has allergies.  For once, this was a timely email.  W (and I) have been battling a stuffy nose for about a week.  As there are no other symptoms aside from the stuffy nose and slight headache, everyone has been saying "You both must have allergies." But clearly, as a baby generally does not develop seasonal allergies until 3 to 4 years, it is not likely that "It must be the pear trees!"  We could be dealing with dust allergies as we have been outside at the ball park with dust and dirt flying around (and as a mom of a young child my house is not dust-free).  It could also be that after 6 months of exposure to the Nanny's cat W has finally developed his father's pet dander allergy. Of course, that wouldn't explain why I also have a stuffy nose.  A cold it must be then!

I am obligated to mention that although I appreciated pages 1 and 2 of your article I was more than disappointed with pages 3 and 4. When answering the questions "How can I prevent my baby from allergens" and "What can I do to prevent my baby from getting allergies in the first place?" you didn't even mention that exclusive breastfeeding and delaying solids until 6 months or later have been shown in studies been associated with a reduction in allergens.  (Of course this is controversial, probably because of formula lobbyists and the lack of funding for breastfeeding research). 

Your expert quote:
"Someday we'll be able to look at genetics and really know what a child is destined to be allergic to and what to do about it," says Virant. "But the reality is that, right now, there's nothing that predictably helps." 

Supermom and Lactavist Rebecca: "At least try breastfeeding exclusively and not giving solids until 6 months or later - besides the possible benefit of a reduction in allergies, we know that neither are detrimental to your child's health.  Do them a favor - breastfeed."

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