What does breastfeeding have to do with Celiac disease? #breastfeeding #celiacdisease

Recently there have been many Snowbird commercials depicting the beautiful Carribbean with its warm climes and tropical amazingness.  They abound in magazines, on TV, online, and I, for one, am torn.  Although the heat is enticing, I have nothing but dreams of Finland!

Do you know that 70 percent of the restaurants in Finland are Celiac friendly (aka gluten free with precautions for cross-contamination)?  This is in large part, because much of the population in Finland is diagnosed with Celiac disease.

What does Celiac disease have to do with breastfeeding? Well, for me as a Celiac mom, it is one way that I am trying to prevent my son’s genetic predisposition from turning on. Because breastfeeding enhances gut health, predisposition for Celiac disease can be reduced with breastfeeding prior to introduction of gluten into the diet. There is a great summary of the process in a New York Times Sunday opinion article from 02/24/2013 entitled “What really causes Celiac Disease.” I recommend reading it if you are interested ( tried to link to the article but someone out there in the Internet world does not want the link to work….hmmm wonder)

(I am not judgy about formula fed infants as, sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work out. This is just my experience.)
We introduced gluten into my sons diet after he was 6 months old and then stopped having gluten in our house after he was 9 months old because of my nonresponsive Celiac diagnosis. All this to say that I hope our efforts will preclude him from having my diagnosis, and that he will someday be dreaming of the Carribbean in wintertime, unlike like his mother, who is dreaming of hot springs in Finland (or a United States that has similar awareness of the disease)… we’ll see which happens first!

john pavlovitz

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