Gluten Free Guerrillas
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coeliac disease in newborns

I am really sorry if this sounds like a stupid question, I am 15w 4d pregnant with my first child, my boyfriend (father of the child) has coeliac disease and I was wondering what the chances are of our baby having the disease. It wouldn't bother me as I have been adapting cooking for many years for him so another mouth wouldn't be a problem, I am just wondering what the chances would be or would it be a 50/50 chance?

9 Replies

Hi Ceribean,

Not a silly question at all. I'm currently 12+2 with my first and I have coeliac disease. Congratulations on the baby.

The official answer is that in the general population the chances of having coeliac are around 1 in 100, but when you have a close relative with coeliac the chances increase to 1 in 10.

I personally feel that you and I are in the best possible position, in that we're aware of what to look for and when to press for tests to catch the coeliac early when as little damage as possible has been done. And our children if they have got it will never be alone like I and possibly your boyfriend were. Our babies will, if diagnosed, always have someone to relate to.

Good luck to you :)


Hi ceribean

Just wanted to mention that some research indicates that when a baby is weaned and whether or it is breastfed has some impact on whether it develops cd. Sorry I cannot direct you to any particular documents or websites as I cant remember where I have seen it. I have a audiobook bought from itunes called and I remember the Dr advises on weaning a baby, hope this is helpful to you.

Good luck, hope everything goes well for you all


Further to the answers above, key thing is to avoid gluten in the baby's diet for the first 6-9 months - most baby foods are gluten free, these days but avoid rusks.

As the baby's gut/blood barrier has not fully developed if weaned on gluten it can cause gluten molecules to enter the bloodstream and increases the risk of triggering a gluten-related issue such as coeliac disease.

So keep the baby off the gluten (and make sure you tell family/carers to do so as well) and you will decrease the risk of issues.


thank you all for advice, like meanioni says in the first few months it wont be on many things that could contain gluten. I will keep an eye, but least I know what I am looking for as back when my boyfriend was young he suffered a lot as the condition wasn't that common. yeh the carers are going to be my family and his so there wont be a problem with that. thank u for advice


Just remember to watch out for the "hidden" potential gluten-containing items - e.g. foods containing malt, dextrose, semolina, maltodextrin, glucose syrup, modified starch, malt vinegar, code wheat starch, soy sauce, vegetable oil (where a specific vegetable source is not named).

Modern processed foods can contain any/many of the these so you or your family may unwittingly be giving your baby gluten - just keep an eye on the ingredients....


typo: should say: codex wheat starch


yeh I am aware of those things already been living with my boyfriend for 7yrs, as my boyfriend has it so we have gluten free soy sauce/Worcester sauce etc, I am aware of all those things I just wanted to know about the risks in newborns. trust me I am all clued up.


We had a few babies in the family recently so obviously this has been a concern. I'm the only coeliac. My consultant said the chances are about 1 in 10 if you have a first degree relative. He also mentioned that the latest studies (especially in view of the Sweden coeliac "epidemic") were to introduce gluten while having a protection of breastfeeding. So although it is a frightening you have to start a gluten introduction at weaning (family did about 6-7 months).

Ask your baby's paediatrician and your boyfriend's gastroenterologist for advice. In our experience if they are aware baby has a coeliac parent they will keep an eye on baby. Also look up the most recent studies online (including why Sweden's gluten avoidance was counterproductive).


thank u that is helpful, I am seeing my midwife in about 10 days so will tell her then, I know it will be trial and error when I begin weaning so I just need to keep my eyes and ears about me. I have been reading a lot online its just quite a lot to take in, but like I said I know what I am looking for and so do grandparents (of child) who will be looking after baby,


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