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Antibiotic-Free Pregnancy Could Keep Baby Asthma-Free

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profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Updated
January 30, 2017
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Have asthma? Hoping that your baby won’t? A new study recommends steering clear of antibiotics during pregnancy.

The study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, looked at how prenatal antibiotic use affected at-risk children. Children considered “at risk” for asthma included those with a parent who had asthma, hay fever or eczema. And when mom took antibiotics during pregnancy, twice as many babies were diagnosed with asthma by age three — 22 percent compared to 11 percent.

“The more we know about what factors increase the probability of asthma developing, the better we can assist our pregnant patients,” said study co-author Dennis Ownby, MD. “We wouldn’t recommend not giving antibiotics to a pregnant woman, but we recommend caution when symptoms are not clearly caused by a bacterial infection. Pregnant women with asthma should work with their allergist to create a healthy outcome for themselves and their children.”

The problem may be that antibiotic overuse has increased the number of drug-resistant germs. Interestingly, the study was unable to find a correlation between antibiotics during pregnancy and child wheezing.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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