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New research has connected food allergies to date of conception. According to this preliminary study, conducted by Finnish researchers and reported in the
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, if your child is conceived in early spring, he may have a greater chance of developing food allergies.
In the study, experts gathered data on 5,920 Finnish kids born between 2001 and 2006. During the period of birth to age 4, 961 of these kids were tested for food allergies. The odds of having a food allergy ranged from 5 percent for those kids born in June and July to 9.5 percent for those born in October and November (and likely conceived in February, March or April). Plus, they found that those children whose first three months of fetal development ended in April or May were three times more likely to be allergic to milk and eggs than those who reached that stage in November or December.
But don't freak out if you had a fall baby -- and don't try to plan your pregnancy around these findings. This was only an observational study and even the experts admit that way more research needs to be done before any conclusions can be formed. What this study does do is add even more to our understanding of the environmental factors at play during pregnancy, all of which can predispose a child to having such things as food allergies, asthma or eczema. Babies risk for these (very manageable) health conditions are higher because of other factors, including if they run in the family, so if you're worried about allergies, discuss it with your child's pediatrician.
What do you do to make sure your pregnancy's healthy? Chime in below!