Support Group

Is it OK to have Only One Child?

My hubby, Marcie & Me

I’ve struggled with this issue and like to end 2011 with a ‘preliminary’ conclusion. So, as I always do, I research. And based on recent studies, there is no evidence supporting that the only child will fare worse than children with siblings, in fact fare better in areas of achievement and intelligence. Here’s my pros and cons list.

Since, we’re already on the topic of social development; this research shows that eczema child has more behavioral problems (23% vs 5%), shows signs of fearfulness to strangers (40% vs 10%), more dependent on parents (50% vs 10%) and have sleep difficulty (this, we all know, see this post). 25% of eczema children aged 2-13 years old, 39% aged 14-17 years old and 28% aged above 18 years old are teased or bulled due to eczema. Issues usually arise if the eczema is severe, such as bandages are required or the rash looks quite bad that other children avoid the eczema child. The good news is that behavior issues are temporary, usually cease when the eczema got better. Moms of eczema children, although much more stressed, are more empathetic to their children which help to reduce behavioral issues.

And yes, back to my preliminary conclusion – I think I will have only one child, Marcie. I’m not crazy about kids, and the only reason I’d have another child is for fear of Marcie being lonely and orphaned. I’ll make more effort to foster friendships for her and be happy that we can look forward to a close relationship, early retirement and better quality of life (phew! no struggling with incessant scratching for 2nd child)

101 things that Mothers with Eczema Child do Differently

6 of the 101 things that Moms with Eczema Child do Differently – Family Tree

Family Tree – Who has Eczema?

At the first consultation, Marcie’s doctor Prof Hugo Van Bever of NUH asked if someone in the family has eczema. I started tracing the family tree, and the eczema gene seemed to be mutating more powerfully (as you can see in the family tree, we could only trace to my mother-in-law who only recalled she had mild itchiness when she’s 20 year old. My husband only had localized eczema, and his brother had quite a severe case. Marcie’s eczema is quite bad before she went on the one-time oral steroid course.)

So, you know why I’m even more fearful of having a second child as I’m always thinking that the gene is mutating powerfully. Read this post on sibling eczema.

This is the sixth of my “101 Things that Moms with Eczema Child Do Differently“, a tongue-in-cheek look at the many unique situations that we face. For more cartoons, click here to view.

Support Group

Will your Second child get Eczema?

Marcie and a sibling???

Are you considering whether to have a second child? I am, as Marcie is turning two years old, and I am really scared that my second child will have eczema. It feels like we’ve just got past the ceaseless scratching, the blood, the tears and still struggling with a good night’s sleep. Can I, should I, really have a second child?

I did a search online, and sad to say there’s no conclusive research on whether a second child will get eczema, here’s a quick summary of the research results:

1. Having older siblings have a protective effect on the younger siblings, because the younger sibling has more chances to mix with an older child, thus immune system more likely to be strengthened with more chances of infections

2. Having older siblings have NO protective effect! (so, you see it’s really contradicting) There are more instances of younger siblings with eczema due to filaggrin (FLG) deficiency, which is a deficiency in skin barrier protection. This FLG deficiency leads to dry skin, and increased chances of allergic march (i.e. getting asthma, allergy after eczema). When the younger siblings attended day care, there is less instance of this FLG deficiency.

3. There is a higher chance of the younger sibling getting eczema when both one parent and one sibling has eczema. There is also a stronger association between eczema in siblings and with parents.

4. Having more children protects the younger siblings. Problem is there is no answer as to how many children you need to have for one not to have eczema/allergy.

5. Younger siblings’ cord IgE is less, i.e. younger siblings have fewer instances of allergy than the older child. The first born tend to suffer from hay fever and pink eye from food or other allergies.

So, there you go, still no answer, anyone have more than one child, do share how the eczema in your children is. I’m really at crossroads…

For some links to the research, click here, here, here and here.