Pregnant During Allergy Season?
Pregnancy and allergies can be a challenging combination! Many expectant mothers experience at least one season in which pollen and other environmental allergens are rampant during their pregnancy. Medication options to treat these allergies are limited during pregnancy. Here are a few things to remember about safely treating runny nose, watery eyes, clogged sinuses and itchy skin when you’re pregnant.
Now is the Time to Indulge in AC
Even if the heat isn’t getting to you yet, the increased pollen count more than justifies the use of air conditioning when you’re coping with both pregnancy and allergies. If budget constraints make whole-house AC impractical, put a unit in your bedroom. That way, you’ll get some allergen protection while you sleep, and can always retreat there during the day if needed. Look for the type that allows you to install a HEPA filter, for additional protection from seasonal allergies.
Keep Pollen on the Doorstep
Along with closing the windows and relying on air conditioning, rinsing off the day’s accumulation of pollen and debris is helpful. It’s the best way of keeping allergic reactions at bay while you’re pregnant. Once you get home, change out of your “outside” clothes, and put them in a closed hamper. Showering and changing clothes will help keep those allergens from irritating you indoors.
Effective Old School Anti-Itch Remedies
Pregnant women often experience hives and other rashes. It often starts as a reaction to the stretching skin needs to do to accommodate your expanding midsection. Pollen and other seasonal allergens can intensify the irritation. The tried-and-true oatmeal bath is still the best natural hive relief method around. Oatmeal-based or aloe vera-infused lotion are also soothing. When your itching is localized, a paste made with baking soda and water provides much-need homeopathic allergy relief.
Water Can Be the Best Sinus Relief of All
If you’re accustomed to taking sinus medicine during allergy season, the adjustment to allergy more natural remedies can be difficult. However, flushing your sinuses with salted water is not only better for your baby, but also a less invasive way to deal with seasonal allergies. This homeopathic method involves either using a neti pot or a premixed saline nasal spray. If you’re using your own neti pot or nasal bulb, blend about 1 cup of warm water with a pinch each of salt and baking soda. Tilting your head over a sink, pour a slow stream of the salted water into one nostril, then the other, and flush your sinuses. (Your doctor can give you additional pointers, if needed.)
Sometimes OTC Medicine is Less Risky than the Allergy Itself
If you absolutely can’t function because of severe itching or clogged sinuses, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor about medication. There may be topical ointments to recommend. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines if asthma attacks are likely.
A More Serious Problem Sometimes Masquerades as a Seasonal Allergy
In rare cases, what seems like a seasonal allergy could actually be a more serious situation. Severe itching, for example, could indicate a pregnancy-related liver condition. Watch for accompanying symptoms like dark urine and yellowing skin, especially in the last trimester. Report any of these symptoms to your OB as soon as possible.