How to Manage Your Allergies During Pregnancy

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Some women have had allergies prior to pregnancy and others develop them during it. In best cases, it’s best to manage them, regardless of the severity. If your allergies are merely an annoyance, you won’t have to minimize them but if they are affecting your sleep and breathing, it will take more work.
There are two ways to keep your allergies in check during your pregnancy and the most important one is to avoid the allergens. To do this, you will need to figure out what it is that you are allergic to. The most common allergens are dust, pollen, mold, and pet fur. Getting an allergy test during pregnancy is not advised, and can be very expensive, so you’ll just have to take note of when your allergies occur. If you are outdoors when you begin feeling symptoms, you are most likely allergic to pollen, though there is a chance that it could be dust. However, symptoms of a dust allergy will usually occur indoors. Mold allergies will also be more likely to happen indoors, in rooms where mold is present. Allergic reactions to pets are the easiest to identify because they will happen when you are animals or fur. Once you’ve identified the source of your allergy, avoid them. Stay indoors as often as possible if you are allergic to pollen, have someone help you dust your house if you are allergic to dust, limit contact with animals and animal fur if you are allergic to pets, and have mold removed if you are allergic to mold.
Though staying away from your allergens is your first line of defense, sometimes they can’t be avoided. In these cases, treatment may be needed. It’s important that you use safe medications to treat your allergies during pregnancy. Medications such as antihistamines and (some) nasal sprays are considered safe for pregnant women to take. Antihistamines include Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, and Benadryl. Most of these medications have little to no side effects but Benadryl should be avoided if you have something to do. Safe nasal sprays include Nasalcrom, Rhinocort, and Astelin.
Some allergy medicine is not advised during pregnancy. Steer clear of decongestant pills and nasal sprays as well as antihistamines that include decongestants. Antihistamine nasal sprays should also be avoided. However, whether or not a medication is considered safe, speak to your doctor before taking anything. They know your medical history and will be able to guide you to the allergy medicine that it right for you.

By Alecia Stanton of Expecting Parents Alliance of America
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