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Are Antibiotics Safe During Pregnancy?

Antibiotics during pregnancy linked to increased childhood allergies, asthma & eczema

Women who take antibiotics during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with an allergy-related condition such as asthma, hay fever or the skin condition eczema, according to a report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Doctors from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. reviewed medical records of 24,690 children and their mothers, and found that children who were exposed to antibiotics in the womb had a higher risk of developing these conditions than did children whose mothers did not take the medication during pregnancy.

The report noted that, "Approximately one third of the mothers were prescribed one or more courses of antibiotics during pregnancy and this exposure was associated with an increased incidence of all three allergic diseases."

Researchers couldn't say definitely what causes this link between antibiotic exposure and allergy conditions, but they suggested it might have to do with the fact that the immune system develops while the person is still in the womb. The exposure to antibiotics may weaken the immune system and leave the child more vulnerable to allergic conditions.

"Our findings suggest that exposure to antibiotics … in utero is a potentially important risk factor in the development of allergic disease," they concluded.1

It is fascinating that these results parallel similar findings in many studies which show that antibiotics given to a child during their first year of life is linked to a 400% greater risk of developing asthma.2

Doctor’s note:  It is interesting that our society often seems to act as if antibiotics are our first line of defense against infections, especially when you consider that all drugs have effects on the body in addition to the intended effects.  The simple truth is that our first line of defense lies in our bodies own innate intelligence.  To learn the five most powerful things you can do to strengthen your immune system, attend the Human Potential Program at Life Empowerment Institute.


 (1)"The Importance of Prenatal Exposures on the Development of Allergic Disease: A Birth Cohort Study Using the West Midlands General Practice Database," by Tricia M. McKeever, Sarah A. Lewis, Chris Smith and Richard Hubbard. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2002;166:827-832.

(2)Wickens K, Pearce N, Crane J, et al. Antibiotic use in early childhood and the development of asthma. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 1999: Vol. 29, pp766-71.