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Ange7894

Pregnant Celiac-Really Need Advice

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Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and really need some advice. I was diagnosed with Celiac almost 4 years ago and it's been a constant question in my mind on whether or not to make my children gluten free from birth to prevent them from ever getting the disease. Well, now I'm actually pregnant and have less than 5 weeks to go before her arrival. I've called the pediatrician we'll be using and they told me not to make her gluten-free from birth as there's no guarantee she'll develop Celiac. Their logic was since they'll know I have it, if she develops it, it'll be easier to diagnose. My feeling though is I don't want her to EVER get it. I know how traumatic and hard it was those first few months after I was diagnosed, having to adjust my entire life and feelings about food. My main fear is having a small child go through that and not fully understand what's happening. Plus there's so many ways once she reaches school age where she could forget and eat something she shouldn't.

I know to some I might seem paranoid and over-protective, especially since she might not get it. But those who think that way have no concept at all of what it's like to go through this, and if I can avoid it for her, then I want to do that. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Well, here's what we did. I am Celiac, as is my 9 year old. My 12 yr old tested negative, but had vitamin defiencies. A shared household is dangerous for 2 of us, so we are all gluten free. It certainly would be safer for you to have a gluten free household. In the end, I think it's up to you. If your child wants to have gluten once he/she is old enough to decide for him/herself, then he/she can make a decision. I can only say that if I were you, I would make sure I have a gluten free household, because YOU need to be healthy to take care of your children.

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I don't think you're being over protective, and I think your plan will work in the short term, but not the long term. Eventually, she is going to make her own decisions, and she may want more proof than "because mom said so". Particularly when she's older, gets to high school and college, thinks she knows better than you, and disregards the dietary advice over the evidence she sees of so many people in front of her.

That's certainly no reason to go introducing her to gluten at 8 months, of course. And certainly no reason to not keep your gluten free household. But I would encourage you to keep your view of what happens after she's a few years old flexible, and see how things develop.

(And yes, I do understand where you're coming from - I'm just starting my third trimester this week, and my husband and I have been having the same discussion. Well, it was a short discussion, we both fairly immediately agreed on how we were going to handle it.)

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When I was diagnosed, we knew we test the kids. We agreed that if any one of them were positive or near positive, the household would go gluten-free. It's been great. They actually never complain about it. They go to parties and just pass up the cake.

I do believe that at least one will return to eating gluten when they get older. I'm okay with that. I don't believe any of them are foolish enough to eat it if it makes them sick.

Testing is iffy in kids. Plus, it affects their growth. Why not keep her gluten-free until she's older and then let her make her choice when she's older and done growing? Gluten is not necessary for a healthy diet.

Enjoy your pregnancy! What a wonderful adventure you are beginning!

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I can't tell you to make your baby gluten-free from day 1 or not. I was a diagnosed Celiac when I had my second. At that time we decided to follow the main stream gluten life for her. It didn't work out for her. It was hard to get a dr to diagnos her beside the obvious symptoms. Very common for drs to question why she is gluten-free, does she have a biopsy positive diagnosis, if not then it is debatable if she has Celiacs, etc. So by the time she was 2 1/2 she was gluten free and ok with it. When anyone offered her food she would ask "free for me?" in tolderese. She Learned at a very young age to ask before they eat. Both kids know the foods have to be approved before they get to eat it. They have no trouble speaking up to adults and teachers asking them to call mom about the food or treat. We have marked boxes in the pantry, removed the gluten from the toddler grab range, and educated both kids about their allergies. Overall I am shocked at how young a child can be and still accept that they eat special foods because other foods hurt their bellies. Their friends ask questions and are curious to try our special foods.

Evaluate what works best for you and your family. Enjoy your new baby!

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