Sunday, April 30, 2006

Prevention of food allergies 

No one knows why food allergies develop, but studies suggest that very early exposure to food allergens, maturity, and the types and amounts of certain bacteria in the infant's intestinal tract and immune system may cause food allergy.

There is no real way to avoid the development of food allergy, but the following are commonly recommended:

- Avoid early exposure to food allergens (cow's milk for 6-12 months; egg for 2 years; peanut, tree nuts and fish for 3 years)
- Breastfeed as long as possible (even if a prior solely breastfed sibling developed food allergy or eczema)
- If a specific food were implicated in the prior sibling's allergy, mother should avoid that food during lactation
- Verdict is still out, but best to avoid eating peanuts or peanut butter during pregnancy or lactation just in case; mothers should consult doctors about avoiding all other foods since these would impact the mother's nutritional requirements
- Nursing mother should avoid eating certain food if the child is found allergic to see if symptoms improve

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network is a great resource and where I got this information.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Chinese pregnancy & postpartum do's and don'ts 

My Mom grew up in a small village in China with different do's and don'ts during pregnancy and postpartum. Here are some:

While Pregnant:
* no banana, watermelon or any melons - cooling food (hon); mother is losing enough blood and heat so don't need to lose more of that
* no lamb or duck - not good for the baby (according to my friend Adoria, it is alleged to cause schizophrenia?)
* no shellfish - will ruin the baby's complexion
* no visiting monkeys at the zoo - kids will grow up be goofy & weird
* no hammering - hurts the baby
* no cutting near the bed - baby will develop cleft palette
* no cold liquids / cold things - cooling, loses body heat
* no moving, lifting heavy stuff - too stressful for the mother
* no visiting cemetaries; only talk about happy stuff - general bad luck
* don't stretch arms up - pushes baby up high which is bad for it

* eat lots of eggs - nice complexion
* ginger & pork feet vinegar - a get better food; calcium, gives more strength to the mother, restores the mother for when she gets older so eating this is very important
* fu jook, bak gaw & chicken egg & sugar water - good for you

* mother can't leave the home for 30 days - bad for the mother; might get cold and lose too much heat
* Baby can't leave the home for 30 days - might pick up a bad bacteria
* mother can't wash hair for 30 days - might lose even more heat from your head
* mother OK to bath but in ginger and "luk yau pei" (Chinese grapefruit) water
* baby must bathe every day; otherwise will have BO when older - all residue from being inside womb is bad for baby
* use baby powder but if none, use "see fun" - powder from sweet potatoes (readily available in average Chinese village)
* shave the head of babies so the hair grows back thicker
* eat more ginger and vinegar in general
* if nursing, eating more eggs - guarantees baby a nice complexion
* drink chicken and boiled rice wine alcohol everyday - good for mother; restores blood
* apparently in my Mom's village, people did not eat vegetables or fruit for the first 30 days, but just rice, salted fish, chicken and ginger; I would not recommend this, lest you and your newborn (if you're breastfeeding) get majorly constipated!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Happy 50th Birthday! my brother Wayne!