University of Derby appeals for expectant and new mothers to take part in allergy study

When it comes to nutrition in pregnancy, managing cravings and avoiding potentially harmful foods are usually top of the menu for discussion.

Now researchers in the East Midlands are appealing for expectant mothers and new mums to take part in a study about whether or not they avoid certain foods in pregnancy and while breastfeeding – due to allergy fears.

The study is being undertaken by psychologists Dr Christopher Barnes and Dr Rebecca Knibb, who are based in the Psychology department at the University of Derby.

Dr Knibb is an international expert in the area of food allergy and its impact on families, and has been filmed on these academic subject areas in the past by BBC television's Horizon programme.

In relation to this latest study, the pair are keen to interview around 20 women from the Derbyshire area in February and March who are either in the final trimester of their pregnancy or within the first six months of the birth of their baby, and are breast-feeding.

Volunteers who take part in the research will be invited to an interview which will be conducted by a research assistant either in a room at the University's Kedleston Road site or in the participant's own home.

Dr Barnes said: "We hope that this study can provide a more in-depth understanding of mothers' attitudes and knowledge about food allergies, and other issues such as the impact of avoiding certain foods during and after pregnancy.

"We hope it will provide a vital base for future research in the area and provide healthcare providers with information to help give more informed advice to new mothers and mothers-to-be in the future about food and allergies."

If you are interested in taking part in the research, please contact Dr Christopher Barnes via email at: by Monday, January 31 2011, at midday. All data will be treated in confidence.

For more information contact Deputy Head of Corporate Relations Simon Redfern on 01332 591942 or 07748 920038 or email

First published in January 2011

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