Did your mother tell you not to go out into the cold with wet hair or you’d catch a cold? We all know that cold weather itself doesn’t make us sick. But when your body is working hard to keep you warm - like when you have wet hair in the cold - it is more susceptible to infections from viruses.
Your mother was wrong, but she was also right.
Doctors believe that the roots of allergic diseases - eczema, food allergies, and asthma - start in pregnancy. Like wet hair in the cold, it’s not because of what a mother eats, or whether she has allergies. It seems to be that the immune environment during pregnancy can make a baby more susceptible to allergic disease after they are born.
During pregnancy, a mother’s immune system is trying to keep both mom & baby safe from infection. If the immune system is working too hard against infection, the baby is bathed in a stew of immune cells that cause a hyperactive immune system (aka lots of allergies) after birth.
A mother’s microbiome during pregnancy is a major decider of whether the immune system is working too hard or is properly controlled. So a prenatal probiotic that balances the bacteria in mom, and keeps mom’s immune system from being too active, can prevent a baby from ending up with a hyperactive immune system after birth.
Other ways to keep mom’s microbiome and immune system in balance are for mom to get plenty of rest, enough exercise, a healthy diet, and limit stress. All of these factors affect the health of mom’s microbiome and baby’s eventual allergy risk.