A newly-funded Australian study will focus on the dietary intake of pregnant mothers and the development of food allergies in their babies. The study will include about 2,000 expectant mothers and will include both eggs and peanuts in risk assessments.

The research will be headed by Professor Debra Palmer, a researcher at the University of Western Australia to follow on similar research globally that has found clear links between early childhood exposures to allergens and development of allergies later in life.

The study hopes to alleviate concerns of expectant mothers by leading to guidelines for allergen intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The study’s goals are to link dietary intake realities with potential allergy risks. If the guidelines can be made, it could lead to a reduction in food allergies in Australia and globally.

A pregnant or breastfeeding mother who knows whether or not eating more or less eggs or peanuts will lead to food allergy with her child will be less stressed during pregnancy. Not having “to worry about ‘one-eighth of a peanut’ risking their child’s life” is important, says Federal WA Minister Ken Wyatt.

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