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Food allergies and pregnancy: What I wouldn't do for a little peanut butter right now!

As I’ve mentioned before, my two year old, Alex, has several severe allergies. The worst of them (i.e., the one that’s life-threatening) is peanut. We have epi-pens in every bag and when we fly we have to beg the flight attendants not to serve peanuts since some airlines (um, Delta) don’t seem to care if your kid is allergic and will go into anaphylactic shock if he eats a peanut someone dropped.

Here’s the weird thing: Lately Alex has been talking nonstop about peanuts. “Mommy, I love peanuts. Mommy, you eat peanuts? Squirrels eat peanuts, Mommy.” I have no idea where this has come from. I never talk about peanuts and even skip the song about a guy loving peanuts on his kiddie song CD in the car. So now I’ve had to explain to him how peanuts are icky and that they would make him sick and that we can never, never eat them. This is probably a good thing for him to hear at this point. And fortunately last night as I was reading him a book (about a choo choo train) he said, out of the blue, “Peanuts are dangerous Mommy.”

The thing is, all this peanut talk is only making me miss peanuts more. Particularly peanut butter on whole grain toast, which I used to live on before we discovered Alex’s allergy. Since then, we don’t keep peanut butter in the house and we don’t eat it because if we touch him after touching peanuts, he’ll break out into crazy ridiculous hives (this is how we first discovered the allergy back when he was a year old…).

There are several schools of thought on where peanut allergies come from and some people suggest strict avoidance while you’re pregnant, while others say you need to introduce it a little to prevent an allergy. I definitely ate peanut butter while I was pregnant with Alex and also a little while I breastfed. This time around I won’t be doing either so it will be interesting to see what happens with baby # 2 in terms of allergies. It’s all so strange to me considering Nick and I are not allergic to a single thing in life. How about you guys? Any allergies? Any worries? Advice? Anything you don’t eat when you’re pregnant to avoid introducing an allergy?

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