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Pregnancy With Celiac Spouse
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Hi all,

I am new to this forum and would like to ask for some advice from anyone that might have experienced the same. My husband is celiac and has been on a gluten free diet for the last 8 years. I am now 2 months pregnant on our first baby and have been worrying about whether I should be following a gluten-free diet during pregnancy and breast-feeding. I have heard that to minimise the chances of a baby developing celiac disease it is best to not introduce gluten into the baby's diet before 2 years old. So based on this i fear if me eating gluten during pregnancy might trigger the intolerancy into the baby.

If anyone knows more on this please help...

Thanks a lot!

Zoi

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I can't advise you on what to do during your pregnancy, but I can tell you what I did during mine.  My husband went gluten-free at the advice of two medical doctors (no testing) within a month or two after my daughter's birth.  During my pregnancy and while breastfeeding, I did not each my food triggers (milk, eggs, garlic, mushrooms and nuts).  Afterward she was born, I followed my allergist's advice on feeding her.

 

Breastfeed exclusively for as long a possible.  I went 8 months before I noticed that my daughter wanted to eat what we were eating! I followed this food introduction schedule (each food introduced one at a time and waiting a few days to check for reactions)::

 

First Month:  veggies 

Second Month:  fruit

Third Month:  Meats

Fourth Month:  grains (rice, corn, buckwheat, aramanth (sp?), quiona)

 

No dairy, gluten, eggs, garlic or mushrooms until she was one years old.  No nuts until she was two years old.

 

Her pediatrician was always after me to introduce grains at four to six months.  I refused.  She was a little baby and always was in the 5% bracket in weight but 50% in height and head brackets.  I used to argue with him that she was growing just fine and that genetically our families babies are always small.  I breastfed her always on demand at any time!  Later, he admitted that she had one of the "thinnest charts" and that I only brought her in for well checks.  He was of Indian decent and impressed that I was giving my baby different grains (just like his homeland).I nursed her until she was two years, three months.  By the end, I was just feeding her before going to sleep.  

 

My daughter's now a teen, tall, slender and strong!  No allergies that we are aware of, but since I've been diagnosed with celiac disease, I have finally decided to get her tested since I was a "silent" celiac. 

 

I hope this helps and I hope that someone else has more to offer regarding your actual pregnancy.

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Would you believe that I just picked up a copy of the July 2013 Reader's Digest and read "Six Crazy Medical Theories on the Verge of Going Mainstream", by Hallie Levine Skylar?  The section Gluten Issues are Caused by C-Sections talks about exposure to bacteria during a vaginal delivery vs. a sterile C-Section.  Breastfeeding to supposed to decrease celiac disease and allergies chances if you have a C-Section.   But it also talks about the latest research showing that infants introduced to gluten gradually beginning at four months had a significantly lower incidence of celiac disease compared with those who were given gluten after six months, according to a Swedish study published this year.

 

So, my earlier advice may be really outdated!  Is nothing clear cut?????

 

I have celiac disease, but was not delivered by C-Section but my mother (back in the late 50's) started giving me cereal in a bottle at one month!  I can take comfort that I let my C-Section delivered daughter nurse, pet the dog and cat and didn't freak about her crawling in dirt -- I guess......

 

I hope the article is on line.  

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Would you believe that I just picked up a copy of the July 2013 Reader's Digest and read "Six Crazy Medical Theories on the Verge of Going Mainstream", by Hallie Levine Skylar?  The section Gluten Issues are Caused by C-Sections talks about exposure to bacteria during a vaginal delivery vs. a sterile C-Section.  Breastfeeding to supposed to decrease celiac disease and allergies chances if you have a C-Section.   But it also talks about the latest research showing that infants introduced to gluten gradually beginning at four months had a significantly lower incidence of celiac disease compared with those who were given gluten after six months, according to a Swedish study published this year.

 

So, my earlier advice may be really outdated!  Is nothing clear cut?????

 

I have celiac disease, but was not delivered by C-Section but my mother (back in the late 50's) started giving me cereal in a bottle at one month!  I can take comfort that I let my C-Section delivered daughter nurse, pet the dog and cat and didn't freak about her crawling in dirt -- I guess......

 

I hope the article is on line.  

 

Many thanks for the feedback, it really helps a lot! I agree for the breastfeeding, its so important for the childs' immune system..i hope i will be able to breastfeed for as long as possible too.

Did you avoid allergens (milk, eggs, garlic, mushrooms and nuts) during pregnancy because you are actually allergic to them or just as a precaution to not trigger it in the baby? I am waiting to meet a gastroenterologist to ask for advice hoping they have had similar cases.

 

I fould the article too, thanks a lot, it is good food for thought for c-sections. I have heard more and more people trying to defend c-sections arguing that they have nothing less to offer to the baby but there are so many different opinions on this that it is very hard to know. I think the decision to breastfeed for as long as possible is the best you can do in any case. I think i will also have to teach myself not to freak out about letting children crawl in dirt, it will take some effort! :)  

 

Once i see the doctor i will post any advice he gives me in case anyone else finds it usefull. For the moment and till i see him i have tried to stop or minimise eating any gluten just to be on the safe side.

 

Hope your daughter stays always strong, allergen-free and happy!

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I avoided those allergens because they bothered me while I was pregnant and nursing.  Even though my husband was gluten free I continued to eat gluten during my pregnancy and while nursing.  My daughter never spit up and did not have colic.  So, I'm assuming she was fine with my ingesting gluten.  

 

As far as the C-section, it was an emergency (I had lots of complications) and not planned.

 

Keep us posted.  It would be nice to know.  

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I avoided those allergens because they bothered me while I was pregnant and nursing.  Even though my husband was gluten free I continued to eat gluten during my pregnancy and while nursing.  My daughter never spit up and did not have colic.  So, I'm assuming she was fine with my ingesting gluten.  

 

As far as the C-section, it was an emergency (I had lots of complications) and not planned.

 

Keep us posted.  It would be nice to know.  

 

Just had the appointment with my doctor so I thought i would let you know. He said that there is no point in going gluten free during pregnancy since I dont have any problems with gluten myself. I dont eat as much gluten as i used too before getting married since now i will only cook gluten free for both of us but he said there is no need to cut down on any gluten i am eating outside the house etc.

When the baby comes he did agree i should breast feed for as long as possible which i really hope to be able to.

 

There is one more piece of advice that i would like to share. We have discovered 2 types of seeds that one can use to substitute for wheat. These are "dinkel" and "Triticum dicoccum" (the name for the 2nd one in greek in "zea", i think that is the best translation i could get). Both of these are supposed to be much better quality in nutrients and have high amount of magnesium. Most importnat thing is that they have very low amount of gluten and of different kind so it biodegrades differently. Doctors still say it is not advisable to eat products from these 2 seeds if you are celiac but i am thinking it might be a good solution to switch to those myself and introduce those to the diet of the baby instead of classic wheat, when time comes. Its a bit down the line for us and not something i have tried, to be able to say more, but thought i should share the info for anybody interested to look into it.

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Just had the appointment with my doctor so I thought i would let you know. He said that there is no point in going gluten free during pregnancy since I dont have any problems with gluten myself. I dont eat as much gluten as i used too before getting married since now i will only cook gluten free for both of us but he said there is no need to cut down on any gluten i am eating outside the house etc.

When the baby comes he did agree i should breast feed for as long as possible which i really hope to be able to.

 

There is one more piece of advice that i would like to share. We have discovered 2 types of seeds that one can use to substitute for wheat. These are "dinkel" and "Triticum dicoccum" (the name for the 2nd one in greek in "zea", i think that is the best translation i could get). Both of these are supposed to be much better quality in nutrients and have high amount of magnesium. Most importnat thing is that they have very low amount of gluten and of different kind so it biodegrades differently. Doctors still say it is not advisable to eat products from these 2 seeds if you are celiac but i am thinking it might be a good solution to switch to those myself and introduce those to the diet of the baby instead of classic wheat, when time comes. Its a bit down the line for us and not something i have tried, to be able to say more, but thought i should share the info for anybody interested to look into it.

 

 

Dinkel and triticum are forms of wheat.  People with Celiac should not eat them.  If your husband has Celiac, he should not eat them.  A smaller amount of gluten is still gluten.

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Dinkel and triticum are forms of wheat.  People with Celiac should not eat them.  If your husband has Celiac, he should not eat them.  A smaller amount of gluten is still gluten.

True indeed!

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Sounds like you are doing your best to have a healthy child.  I'd just focus on the joy of being pregnant and keeping a gluten free house!  You will both need all your energy when your baby comes. 

 

Your strategy of introducing these "better" wheat varieties may not prevent your baby from developing celiac disease.  It's runs strongly in families, so there may be nothing you can do to prevent it from happening.  The good news is that you know that your husband has celiac disease and if your baby develops problems, he/she will be diagnosed much sooner and won't have to suffer.  

 

Good luck!

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My husband is a Celiac.  I was pregnant with my oldest when he tested positive (I was maybe 15 weeks?) so, a gluten-free pregnancy was already not an option.  His gastro said not to worry about going gluten-free, so I didn't.  I wonder now if maybe I should have?  We were as careful as possible - I breastfed all four of my kids well over a year (between 15-27 months each), we kept the first two gluten-free for over a year and then followed the newer advice with our second two and introduced gluten at nearly 6 months.  My first two had NO solids until they were 7-8 months.  Honestly, we just tried to do everything right with the information we had at the time.

 

My oldest was diagnosed three years ago at 5 1/2 and my second was just diagnosed today at nearly 5.  My younger two are 3 now and we are just assuming they will in a couple of years also.  Who knows if anything could have been done differently.  Who knows if anything would have made a difference.  I honestly don't know and I refuse to beat myself up over it.  One of my youngest was in the NICU for a week and was given occasional formula supplementation.  I worry that that could have changed the flora in his gut to make him more susceptible, but, again, there was nothing I could do.  It took me a few days to be able to keep up with the needs of premature twins.  I wish that hadn't been the case, but it was.

 

I wish you luck, but know that as long as you are trying your best, you can't beat yourself up later over things you learned after the fact.  It seems recommendations constantly change.

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