There is no question about it, being an allergy parent is hard! Whether you’re a new mum trying to establish if your baby has a dairy allergy, or the parent of an older child who is starting school (or university!) with allergies, we all need some extra support every now and then.
Unfortunately, finding the right support can be a challenge. Access to allergy services is variable and frustratingly slow at times. In particular diagnosis of allergies in babies is notoriously challenging; it can take multiple appointments to reach a diagnosis. This can leave new parents unsupported at one of the most venerable times in their life.
Then there’s the emotional side of things. The mental load of caring for a child with allergies is significant, and constant. At times, many of us will struggle to get the understanding we need from friends and family. No matter how supportive they want to be, it can be difficult to truly understand what an allergy parent is experiencing unless you’ve been there yourself.
Luckily there is a lot of help out there. Trusted information from professionals, free helplines, webinars and camaraderie from other allergy parents – it’s all out there, once you know where to look. Read on for all the details:
The Allergy Mums Club stories section of my website is a great place to learn from other parent’s experiences. Allergy mums have shared their diagnosis journeys, top tips about living with allergies and favourite recipes. The stories cover all different sorts of allergies including those in the top 8, and those which are more unusual. It’s a great resource for other allergy parents, and I’m so grateful to these mums for sharing their knowledge and advice.
Social media can be a scary place, but look in the right places and you will find a great community who want to help and support each other.
Remember that these are people sharing their own experiences and not medical experts; always do your own research before following advice.
There are some fantastic dietitians and clinicians specialising in children’s allergies who share their expertise on Instagram. They are all very experienced and share exactly the sort of info allergy parents need. For example, guidance on the milk and egg ladders, meeting calcium needs, and comparisons of dairy alternatives.
They will often answer questions on their posts and carry out Q&As, but can’t give individual advice (although some do provide consultations you can pay for).
Here are some in particular I would recommend:
All of the resources above can provide you with much needed additional support and information, but none can replace individual medical care. You should talk to your child’s medical professional about any concerns.
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