Seasonal allergies occur when your body reacts to allergens that tend to show up in a certain season. Seasonal allergies are usually your body’s reaction to pollen. The severity of seasonal allergy symptoms can range from hardly noticeable, to annoying, to intolerable without medication or other treatment. symptoms can become more severe during pregnancy. When not controlled, allergies and asthma can lead to the need for antibiotics or steroids, which might cause health problems for a woman and her baby. Let’s discuss what women should know about seasonal allergies and asthma during pregnancy and what they can do to relieve symptoms safely.
Allergies vs Nasal Congestion during pregnancy
Nasal congestion usually starts sometime in the second trimester, as high levels of estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow throughout your body causing mucus membranes to swell and soften. This can make you as stuffed up as if you had a cold or an allergy, sometimes resulting in postnasal drip that may make you cough or even gag at night.
If you’re suffering from allergies, you’ll most likely experience the additional symptoms (Sneezing, Headache, Runny nose, Itchy eyes, Itchy skin and/or mouth etc.) along with the stuffiness and coughing. If noticeable itchiness and sneezing aren’t plaguing you, it could just be the hormone-related congestion of pregnancy.
Home remedies for seasonal allergies
Pregnant women with seasonal allergies can use several home remedies to relieve mild allergies. Some examples include:
- Creating a saline nasal spray by combining 8 ounces of warm water with 1/4 salt to the water. You can add this to a spray or squeeze bottle to irrigate and soothe irritated nasal passages.
- Wearing over-the-counter nasal strips at night. These position the nasal passages so they’re more open. This reduces a person’s symptoms.
Safe Medications for seasonal allergies during pregnancy
Most pregnant women can safely take over-the-counter allergy medications. Examples of medications that have research to support that they’re safe for pregnant women to take include:
There are always risks when taking any medication during pregnancy. Women should talk with their doctors before taking allergy medicines to make sure they aren’t potentially harmful.
How to prevent allergies during pregnancy
Try these tips to prevent or alleviate allergy symptoms while you’re expecting:
- Watching news reports and checking pollen counts daily. During episodes of large pollen counts, pregnant women can avoid too much time outdoors to keep exposure down.
- Avoiding going outdoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., the times when pollen counts are usually the highest.
- Taking showers and changing clothing after being outside. This can help remove pollen that builds up on hair and clothing.
- Wearing a protective filter mask when doing outdoor activities like mowing the lawn or gardening.
- Stay away from people who are smoking.