Coeliac Disease and Pregnancy

  1. Pregnancy holds no greater risk for women diagnosed with coeliac disease than those without, but it remains important to adhere to a strict gluten free diet to avoid complications.
  2. You should also aim to follow general healthy eating principles throughout your pregnancy and eat a balanced, varied gluten free diet, remembering to include plenty of calcium and iron rich foods.
  3. It is recommended that pregnant women should take a folic acid supplement for three months prior to conception and until the 12th week of pregnancy to help protect against neural tube defects. For the general population, 400 micrograms of folic acid per day is the recommended dose, however, for women with coeliac disease, a much higher dose of 5mg per day is recommended.
  4. This dosage will not be available to purchase over the counter, so you’ll need to visit your GP to obtain a prescription. Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables will also increase your natural intake of folate (folic acid). It is also recommended that pregnant women should take a daily vitamin D supplement, providing 10 micrograms vitamin D per day.

Weaning Your Baby

  1. If you have coeliac disease, your baby will have a 1 in 10 chance of developing the condition, but that means there is a 9 in 10 chance that they will not develop it. Babies with a family history of coeliac disease should be weaned in the same way as those without.
  2. Gluten can be introduced to a baby’s diet from 6 months of age, research suggests there is no benefit in withholding gluten containing foods beyond this point, regardless of family history. Once your baby is eating a range of solid foods, gluten should be included regularly.
  3. It is actually necessary to introduce gluten in to a baby’s diet in order to diagnose coeliac disease.
  4. Your health visitor will be able to provide further advice and support to help you wean your baby.
Coeliac Disease and Children

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