Pregnancy is one of life’s many phases when your body undergoes different changes. These changes occur mainly due to hormones which influence to a great extent your immune system and your susceptibility to allergies.
Causes of allergies in pregnant women
Allergies are the most problems that occur during pregnancy due to various reasons. Fungus, dust, pollen etc. are some of the environmental allergens that lead to sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes. Most pregnant women suffer from food allergies and have rashes or itching on skin. The allergic reactions may also occur due to medicines, chemicals, animal dander or insect bites. Some of the allergies go away quickly while some persist for long. This depends solely if you have taken these allergies seriously or not.
If you have asthma before conceiving, then you must take proper care so that it doesn’t worsen during pregnancy. You can take certain measures to prevent occurrence of allergies during this period.
Follow these preventive measures:
- Quit smoking during pregnancy. Moreover, stay away from people who smoke. It will not only help in preventing allergies but also help in the healthy development of your baby.
- Avoid food causing allergies: When you get pregnant, make a note of those foods that you have already been allergic to. Some of the common food allergens are peanut, soy, wheat, sesame, egg, milk, fish, shellfish etc. Such allergens have a tendency to trigger the immune system. Once you have identified them and avoid them, then take expert opinion for confirming how your nutritional requirements are to be met. Maintain a food diary before meeting the nutritionist.
- Stop alcohol intake: In order to avoid allergies during pregnancy, you should avoid taking alcohol which is dangerous to your baby, as well.
- Stay indoors: If you are allergic to pollen, try to stay inside your house where there is filtered air conditioning. And if you go out, you can wear sunglasses and remove your shoes outside the door. Don’t forget to wash your face and hands immediately after coming from outside.
- Stay away from dust: Use vacuum cleaners and wet mops to clean your house in order to avoid dust allergies during pregnancy. Keeping clean will help you avoid dust allergies.
- Keep your pets away: During pregnancy, you may have allergic infections due to animal dander. If you have a pet at home, make sure to have a separate room in your house in which your pet doesn’t enter.
- Avoid chemicals: During your pregnancy, stay away from household chemicals like paint thinner as it may worsen your allergies.
Treatment for allergies during pregnancy
If you are suffering from allergies before pregnancy and having regular medications, then you should consult your doctor if they can be continued or not after you get pregnant. While you should always consult your doctor before taking any type of medications, here are a few medications to treat allergies:
- Antihistamines: Generally, over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines are considered to be safe during pregnancy. They help in treating seasonal allergies and perennial allergies. But they have side effects like drowsiness etc.
- Allergy shots: If you are having allergy shots before pregnancy, then only allergy shots are considered to be safe. But many allergists feel that it not a good idea to start allergy shots during pregnancy as they may cause reactions to the already changing immune system due to pregnancy.