Maternal Modification and Breastfeeding
including at least one sibling with a food allergy. Subjects without any Skin Prick Test (SPT) result or modification status were excluded. A Total of 1580 subjects were included in analysis.
Subjects in the modified group were advised by The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit, after already having an allergic child, to avoid binging on any food in the second half of pregnancy and during breast feeding (Soutter, Swain, & Loblay, 2002). They were advised to avoid egg, all nuts, seeds, cheese and chocolate (Soutter et al, 2002). In this diet, some dairy, fish and lean meat was permitted. Avoiding possible trace amounts of allergen was not prescribed due to the potential of impaired weight gain. Environmental measures were also suggested. These were total cigarette smoke avoidance, a well ventilated household and dust mite precautions.
Atopic disease markers To assess allergen sensitisation, patients’ positive SPT results were used. In a SPT, a drop of protein extract was placed on the forearm and a small prick was made through the drop. A positive skin prick test was defined as a 3mm x 3mm or greater wheal on the skin after 10-15 minutes in the presence of a 3mm x 3mm or greater response to 1% histamine dilution and no response to a 0.9% saline control. The presence or absence of eczema and the presence or absence of asthma at any time during a patient’s history were also used as a marker of atopic disease.
Procedure Information was obtained from patient consultations with Dr Velencia Soutter and patient family records. SPT results for milk, soy, wheat, egg, fish, shellfish, sesame, peanut, other nuts, meat and other food allergies, age when SPT was taken, duration of breast feeding, if maternal modification measures were used during pregnancy and breast feeding, and the presence of eczema and asthma were entered into excel 2000 for each subject. SPT results were sorted into four age categories for each group for SPT sensitisation comparisons;