Nuts To You
What Do I Believe?
The entire controversy over peanuts can make a sane person crazy - or is that "nuts"? Regardless, the information has sometimes been confusing as governments warn against one thing or another for pregnant women, and then rescind their decision a short time after. The obvious problem is that women become suspect of the information given them. They are also afraid that they may do something dangerous, especially when it comes to their unborn baby.
Today, Peanuts Are Okay
So, here we are, once again addressing the peanut issue. Recently the British government reversed its advice to consumers about eating peanuts during pregnancy, breastfeeding and the first few years of life. The original advice was designed to avoid the sometimes deadly effects of peanut allergies on children. Now, new review of scientific evidence shows there is no real proof that eating peanuts while pregnant, nursing, or during the first few years of a child's life, causes or exacerbates a peanut allergy. The good news is that there are a number of other studies that are being funded by the government that hopefully will provide more solid and conclusive evidence.
If You Don't Have An Allergy...Go For It
The general advice on eating peanuts is that when you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, eating peanuts (or foods containing peanuts such as peanut butter) during pregnancy is fine. It is part of a healthy, balanced diet-unless you are either advised not to eat them by a professional healthcare provider, or you know you have an allergy to them.
The British Government, in their information concerning eating peanuts while pregnant, state, "You may have heard that some women, in the past, have chosen not to eat peanuts when they are pregnant. This is because the Government previously advised women that they may wish to avoid eating peanuts during pregnancy if there was a history of allergy in their child's immediate family (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergy or other types of allergy). But this advice has now been changed because the latest research has shown that there is no clear evidence to say that eating or not eating peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy."
But, If You Do Have An Allergy - STOP
Obviously, if you have nut allergies, you should not be eating nuts, period. Check with your physician if you have a family history or if the baby's father has a strong family history of nut allergies. A physician trained in food allergies may be able to help you know whether there is a reason to believe your baby may be adversely affected by your diet if it contains peanuts.
If you have made the decision to avoid peanuts while you are pregnant, then it would probably be wise to avoid ingesting anything that has the potential of having peanuts in it such as peanut butter, cereals, cakes, muesli, biscuits, some salad dressings, ice cream, and breads. Be sure to read the packaging to find out what, exactly, is contained in the product. When you are eating out, tell the restaurant that you have a nut allergy and ask whether peanuts have been included in the meal you want to order. Otherwise, choose a simple meal that has no potential of having nuts in it.