Dumb Reasons to Blame a Mom for Her Child's Asthma
Well, it's been a LONG time since I've given birth, but I remember all the things I was supposed to do to have a healthy baby.
I had to avoid some soft cheeses, lunch meat, raw eggs (no cookie dough!), unpasteurized juice and milk. I wasn't allowed to take ibuprofen, cold and flu medicine, or herbal remedies. I also had to limit caffeine and avoid heavy lifting or sports that had a risk of falling.1
I didn't drink or smoke, I ate healthily and I exercised every day. I also breastfed each child for the first year to give them a great immune system.
But my kids have asthma anyways
And yet - all 3 of my kids were diagnosed with allergies and asthma. In fact, even after 5 years of allergy shots, they still struggle with allergies. They have also had countless urgent care visits, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations. (It's kind of sad when the respiratory therapist recognizes you and your kids while you are shopping at Target!)
As a mom, I wondered if I could have done more to give my kids a healthier start in life. Then I started hearing all sorts of things that could cause asthma - and I felt like they blamed moms. Oh puh-leeze!
Is it not enough that we spend months throwing up, getting stretch marks, having heartburn, and letting anything we drop stay on the ground (not even going to try to bend over to pick it up, right?). We can't sleep when we're pregnant and spend most of the night repositioning our pillows under our belly, trying to roll over, or getting up multiple times to go to the bathroom.
We're busting out of our clothes, can't squeeze our bloated feet into any of our shoes, and feel like we're going to be pregnant forever. Some also suffer from pre-term labor and are ordered to bed rest for months at a time.
After all that, we get blamed for our kid's asthma?
Studies linking pregnancy and asthma
Exposure to electronics
One study said that pregnant women exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) had increased risk of their child developing asthma.2 It claimed that pregnant women exposed to hairdryers, microwaves, coffee grinders, fluorescent lights, transformer stations, and power lines were more likely to have kids with asthma than those that weren't exposed. In fact, the higher the exposure to magnetic fields, the higher likelihood that your child could develop asthma.
Does that mean you have to stop using the microwave and your hairdryer? Talk to your doctor, but I don't see how you can avoid electronics - they are all around us! Some researchers were skeptical of the study, too.
A report says that babies born via c-section have higher rates of asthma. 7.9% of babies born vaginally have asthma vs 9.5% of babies born via c-section.3 Why? Well, they think:
"Why C-sections might lead to chronic health problems isn’t clearly established, but one prevailing theory is that women may pass “good” bacteria to babies during a vaginal delivery that protects against disease, Blustein said. Another possibility is that hormones released during labor might play a role in minimizing risk..."
But many of us don't have an option for how to deliver a baby - I didn't. My kids were breech, so I had to have c-sections.
Don't blame moms because their kids develop asthma
Researchers don't actually know what causes asthma. It can be genetic, as it is in our family. Children can develop asthma by early exposure to a respiratory infection, irritants, or allergens. Adults can develop asthma from chemicals and dust in the workplace.4
For all you moms - what's the weirdest thing someone told you to avoid during pregnancy so your child didn't develop asthma?
Have you ever gotten "moon face" as a side effect of prednisone?