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Fall and Winter Babies More Prone to Allergies

winter-baby-sm250There are lots of things we consider when planning our families.  Our pre-pregnancy checklists include things like making sure we have enough money socked away, enough space in our homes and, of course, a willingness to give up sleep and social activities for the foreseeable future.  But what about checking our calendars? According to a new study, prospective parents might want to consider the time of year baby will be born when deciding to conceive. 

The study, published in the Journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, found that babies born in the fall and winter months were more likely to suffer from food allergies than those born in the spring and summer.  The reason for this, they suspect, has to do with the lack of sunshine during those months.  With less sunshine, newborns are exposed to less of the vitamin D that helps the body suppress allergy cells.

Dr. Milo Vassallo, lead researcher of the study, says that a 20% higher incidence of hospitalization due to food allergies was noted in babies born in fall and winter as compared to those born during other times of the year.

When the body is faced with a molecule of food it has to decide if it’s a friend or a foe. Vitamin D contributes to tolerance but reduced levels of vitamin D triggers intolerance in the body.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most babies in the U.S. are born in August.  This fact, we can assume, has more to do with all that cold-weather cuddling than anything else.  Or does it?  When deciding to get pregnant, did you take into account what month your child would be born?

Image: Vato Bob/Flickr

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