Thursday, August 14, 2008

Eating Gluten During Pregnancy

Sarah Beth asked, I had a quick question for you--I am pregnant and have one gluten intolerant kiddo already...what did your doctor say about eating gluten during your pregnancy and nursing? THanks!"

So. We don't actually see a doctor for the gluten intolerance issues. We saw one for the original diagnosis, but my own research was in pretty stark contrast to some of his recommendations, and... so, I guess we've been taking care of things on our own.

I have made the decision not to completely eliminate gluten during my pregnancy, for two reasons:

  1. Some research suggests that the more types of foods you can expose your baby to in utero, the fewer allergies they will have (like the research that indicates children raised with pets are less likely to be allergic to pet dander, right?). (Wouldn't it be nice if I could back that statement up with a link? I can't.)
  2. There hasn't yet been research to prove that staying gluten-free during pregnancy reduces your child's risk of gluten intolerance - (look a linky!). http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91634452

I have, however, tried to very much limit my gluten intake during pregnancy. As much as possible, I've followed the Weight Watchers Core plan, which involves fruits, veggies, lean meats, fat free dairy products, brown rice, potatoes, beans, along with ONE serving of whole-grain, no-corn syrup cereal and ONE serving of whole wheat pasta a day. (Of course WW has a complete listing of everything and all the rules, but this is basically it.)

This is just what I've done with my pregnancy, I think it's something every mom has to decide for herself (without guilt! we don't need it!). Of course, if, during my nursing days, I notice baby reacting to any gluten in my diet, I will eliminate it then.

6 comments:

Diamond said...

As long as you are answering questions, I have one.

My 4 year old was diagnosed with CD at 18 mos. She and my husband went on the GF diet and are both doing GREAT. I now have a 1 year old. I did not limit gluten during my pregnancy or while I've been nursing. He has only been eating GF since we introduced solids.

My husband sees no reason to introduce gluten since we already have the GF diet in place. I wouldn't mind someone who could share a box of Oreos with me (justifying the purchase of said Oreos).

How did you find out your son was gluten intolerant?

Tenille said...

Ooh - great question, Diamond! I started out with a normal, somewhat balanced diet while nursing D. He had troubles with skin rashes and some greenish poops. I took out the gluten, and the problems cleared up (though his problems were NO WHERE near as serious as E's).

As he started solids, we did try to introduce gluten, but he again reacted with skin rashes and poop problems, so we again elminated the gluten from his diet.

We haven't done a trial-run of gluten for either kid since Christmas, and it's possible they've outgrown it, but we're afraid to try, honestly. When is there a good time to have a miserable, hurting kid? Never, really! :)

Jamie said...

We didn't figure out the gluten issue until my daughter was 4!!!!

I thought it was an issue... the Docs tested and said, "nope". I was still naive and took their word for it.

Now I know so much better!

As a fully breastfed infant, she had HORRIBLE baby acne type rashes and severe constipation issues. Once solids started, she had failure to thrive (9lbs 7oz at birth to 16lbs 2oz at 12 months), began having horrible screaming fits, red blotchy face, constipation continued (we are talking... bad, screaming in pain while trying to have a BM).

If I had known that this was Gluten... I would have cut it out entirely for my next baby (while breastfeeding and then on her regular diet) I didn't. Know we know she also can't have Gluten, though her issues were very different.

Good luck!

Sarah Beth said...

My daughter had a completely different issue with gluten. She was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 18 months...she quit walking completely and her knee was HUGE. Anyway, after the children's hospital said we were going to inject a chemotherapy drug into her knee my husband and I said no way. We found a WONDERFUL doctor who eventually found that she was gluten intolerant. We took her off of gluten and she started walking again almost immediately. She's almost three and hasn't had a problem since except for the one time she got gluten(was crawling the next day!). It's amazing what that little protein can do.
It's really hard to stay away from gluten during pregnancy with all the nausea and all, but I am thankful that I am not alone in this. Thank you so much for answering my question. I'm probably on the same page as you when it comes to us consuming the gluten.

Tenille said...

Sarah Beth - oh my! I'm so glad that you discovered the gluten issue and were able to avoid chemo - what an awful situation!

I've been doing a little bit of reading lately about the positive effects a gluten-free diet can have on fibromyalgia patients.

It really goes to show how gluten can attack every system of your body, if you are intolerant!

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