Are you pregnant and have Celiac Disease? While you can certainly have a safe birth and healthy child, there are some things that you and your doctor should probably be aware of. According to a recent study written about over at BabyFit:
Swedish researchers recently analyzed data from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. They obtained information on almost 2.8 million births from women without celiac disease and from 2,078 births to women diagnosed with celiac disease. Only 1,149 of these women were diagnosed with celiac disease before giving birth.
The women with undiagnosed celiac disease were 62% more likely to deliver infants with poor growth while in the womb, and at least twice as likely to have a baby with low birth weight (compared to the women without celiac disease). The researchers believe that the inflammation in the small intestine causes poor absorption of nutrients, and therefore poor weight gain in the infant. The researchers feel that if a woman were diagnosed and treated for celiac disease 1-2 years before conception, her risk of having a pre-term birth or low birth weight baby would be similar to a woman without celiac disease. Following a gluten-free diet 1-2 years prior to conception would allow the inflammation in the small intestine to diminish and absorption of nutrients to improve.
Obviously if you are already pregnant you can’t give it a year or two as mentioned in the above article, but you’ll want to be extra careful throughout your pregnancy to stay 100% gluten free.