Recently, we learned of a parenting book for parents of children diagnosed with FPIES. We had an opportunity for an interview with author, Angelika Sharma, and here is what she shares about her book, “A Mother’s Guide to FPIES”.
Tell us a little about your book and your aim in writing it.
Our little girl, Annika, was born at the start of the pandemic, when we were extremely isolated; all of our family members live abroad and could not visit. By the time we started solids and her first reactions occurred, that still had not changed and so learning to navigate FPIES felt lonely to me. While I was relieved to find content by The FPIES Foundation, some of which helped me advocate with our pediatrician, who initially did not think FPIES was a ‘real diagnosis’, I really needed a companion who could point me in the right direction and tell me everything would be OK.
What inspired your book?
Quite simply: I wanted to be the friend that I needed when we first got the FPIES diagnosis. Since we’re unlikely to have other FPIES parents in our existing circles, this seemed like the best way to do this. In addition, I had already written a book, enjoy putting information into an absorbable format and had the rough structure ready in my head.
More importantly: having read my share of parenting and potty-training books, I knew just how overwhelming it feels to have to read 200+ pages as a busy parent, only to have very little valid content strewn throughout. I wanted to write a book that is quick to read and the best starting point for a parent because I am clear there is always more to learn on each individual FPIES journey.
What does your book provide?
“A Mother’s Guide to FPIES” is a companion to parents and caregivers who are new to navigating FPIES. It is a quick, parent-friendly read that is meant to encourage and set families up to thrive on their FPIES journey.
Can you tell us a little about it?
FPIES is rare but you are not alone: a Mother’s Guide to FPIES is a quick-to-read guide on a rare condition from a mom who has been there and stayed sane. It opens the door into another allergy home for you to take a peak and get guidance on the day to day as you find your new groove, from telling others about your child’s FPIES diagnosis to trialing foods and tips for travel.
This guide is packed with the real-life input and encouragement you would hope to obtain from a friend who has been there and wants you to thrive, including
- The journey to a diagnosis
- How to explain FPIES to others
- The how to of trialing and choosing nutritious new foods
- Tips for mealtimes and travel and so much more, focused on your sanity.
Do you recommend this for both new food allergy parents and ‘veteran’ food allergy parents?
New food allergy parents will benefit the most from the content, however even seasoned FPIES parents told me they found encouragement and inspiration they wish they had had access to sooner.
As the creator, do you have recommendations/advice for utilizing the book?
- Read the book from cover to cover once
- Highlight the points you want to put into practice
- Pass along the book to another caregiver for your child, as another jump starter to conversations about and continually learning more about FPIES.
Do you have a website? How can people connect with you?
I have a social media presence where I share about my writing, my Reiki practice and our life as a family with FPIES: it’s @reikiandtea on Instagram.
Anything else you would like to share that we did not ask?
What a kind question! I can also share that I am one of the many moms who gave up their career during COVID, navigating a very different life to the one I had built over so many years by switching over to freelance work. I know the discomfort we all have to live through as we grow and wish that in sharing how I navigate my own path, others feel inspired on their journeys, too.
This is a written interview with Angelika by Joy Meyer, Co-Founder/Co-Director of The FPIES Foundation.
Angelika Sharma is mom to Annika, a pandemic baby who was diagnosed with FPIES at 8 months old. Since leaving her corporate career, she focuses on writing and has published two books, including “A Mother’s Guide to FPIES” – a companion to parents with a new FPIES diagnosis.
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