The study followed 298 mother-child pairs through the child’s 3rd year from 1998 through 2009 in urban Chicago. Of the 103 children born to mothers who took antibiotics during pregnancy, 22% were diagnosed with asthma by age 3 compared with 11% of children born to mothers who did not take antibiotics during pregnancy. Analyses on the timing of prenatal antibiotic use showed a consistent relationship with use later in pregnancy, but outcomes were not associated with antibiotic use in the first trimester.
Researchers recommend caution in prescribing antibiotics to pregnant women when symptoms are not clearly caused by a bacterial infection. Prenatal antibiotic use, however, was not associated with the development of wheezing.
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