If I Have Allergies During Pregnancy Will The Baby Have Allergies
Allergy symptoms during pregnancy are not believed to have any impact on whether your baby develops allergies. Genetics, however, are a major factor in the development of allergies in children. If a child has a parent or a sibling with allergies, then they are at increased risk of getting allergies, too.
An expectant mothers diet during pregnancy may be a factor in whether a child develops allergic rhinitis, food allergies, asthma or eczema. One study found that expectant moms who ate plenty of food-based vitamin D reduced their childs risk of getting allergic rhinitis. Foods with a lot of vitamin D include dairy products, cereals, fish, eggs and mushrooms. Learn more about the allergic march.
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Potential Harm To Baby
As mentioned, some early studies reported that taking Benadryl and other medications with diphenhydramine could cause abnormalities at birth. These included cleft lip, cleft palate, and other problems with the development of the upper mouth and lower nose.
However, several recent medical studies have found that diphenhydramine doesnt cause these or any abnormalities at birth at all. This research shows that taking Benadryl at any stage of your pregnancy, even the first trimester, is safe.
Is It Really Allergies
Rhinitis is inflammation of the mucous membranes in your nose. It’s usually caused by allergies or a viral illness like the common cold.
But it can also strike when you’re pregnantâand it has nothing to do with allergies or acute illness.
Research shows this pregnancy rhinitis affects between 20% and 40% of pregnancies. Symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion
Researchers suspect hormonal changes in pregnancy make some mucus-producing glands more active.
Also, your blood volume increases during pregnancy. That means blood vessels widen and take up more space. In a tight space like nasal passages, this can lead to allergy-like symptoms.
A healthcare provider uses the following criteria to diagnose pregnancy rhinitis:
- Symptoms are present during the last six or more weeks of pregnancy
- There are no signs of a respiratory tract infection
- There is no known allergic cause
- Symptoms disappear in the two weeks after delivery
If you have rhinitis symptoms but antihistamines aren’t helping, this may be why. Talk to your healthcare provider about the possibility of pregnancy rhinitis.
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Taking Hay Fever Medication In Pregnancy
If youre pregnant you should always try and seek advice from your GP or pharmacist before you take any sort of medication. Not all medications can be taken safely during pregnancy, as some may affect the development and growth of the baby.
If you have mild hay fever, or dont experience symptoms, its best to avoid taking medication, as its not necessary. Before taking medication there are some preventative measures that can be taken to avoid your exposure to pollen.
What Are The Safest Antihistamines For Pregnant Women
Generally, the safest antihistamines for pregnant women tend to be second-generation oral antihistamines. These are allergy meds that dont cause drowsiness or sleepiness. This class of antihistamines is typically safe for pregnant women. The active ingredients to look out for are loratadine and cetirizine .
First-generation oral antihistamines, including fexofenadine , chlorpheniramine , and diphenhydramine , have also been found to be generally safe for pregnant women. However, your doctor might note that these meds can cause drowsiness and should not be taken before operating heavy machinery, driving, or doing anything that requires your full attention and performance.
So, to recap antihistamines are the front-line defense against allergic rhinitis and are generally considered safe while preggo .
But what about decongestants?
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Safety Of Benadryl During Pregnancy
Youre not alone in seeking allergy relief while pregnant. Up to 15 percent of women in the United States report taking antihistamines like Benadryl while they were pregnant. Medical research shows that Benadryl is most likely safe for your growing baby.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that Benadryl is in a group of antihistamine drugs called H. This group has been tested by many research studies and found to be safe during pregnancy.
Other brand-name allergy meds in this family of antihistamines include Claritin and Zyrtec. Doxylamine, another H antihistamine commonly used to help with sleeplessness in pregnancy, is considered safe. You may know it by its brand name, Unisom.
Another kind of allergy antihistamine drug is called H. This kind has been tested by fewer medical studies and may not be safe during pregnancy. OTC antihistamines in this group include Pepcid, Zantac, and Tagamet these should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.
Allergy Medications To Avoid
While most antihistamines are safe to take during pregnancy, some other medications often used to treat allergy symptoms may not be. Expectant moms should be mindful of combination allergy formulas that include other ingredients unsafe for pregnant women, like aspirin or other NSAIDs, and some cough suppressants or expectorants.
You should also take care to avoid allergy medications with decongestants like pseudoephedrine , says Dr. Jones, unless your physician or midwife has approved it.
Although decongestants are unlikely to cause problems with the fetus, they can cause an increase in blood pressure in certain individuals, Dr. Jones explains.
There is some research suggesting a slightly higher risk of birth defects associated with pseudoephedrine, although so far, those possible risks have only been identified during the first trimester.
That means Sudafed may be a limited-use option for women in their second and third trimesters who do not have any previous hypertension issues .
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Main Findings From This Study
- Scientific research suggests that using most types of antihistamines during pregnancy is not linked to birth defects.
- Out of 54 studies examined, 9 studies showed potential links between certain antihistamines and certain birth defects. Researchers need to study these potential links further.
- Researchers found many studies on antihistamine medications typically used to treat allergies, asthma, or nausea and vomiting .
- Examples of H1-receptor antagonists include diphenhydramine , dimenhydrinate , loratadine , and cetirizine .
- Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant and you have taken any medicine or are thinking of taking any medicine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as dietary or herbal products.
- Pregnant women should not stop or start taking any type of medication that they need without first talking with a doctor.
- If you are planning a pregnancy and are using any medications, please talk to your doctor about which medications are necessary and should be continued.
Allergy Medicine While Pregnant: What Is Safe To Use
Can you take allergy medicine while pregnant? What allergy medications are safe to use while pregnant?
Continue reading to discover safer medications and a guide to better allergy treatments.
It can feel risky taking medications that you usually rely on. Your condition may feel worse because of temporary changes to your pregnant body, like heightened stress or morning sickness.
In addition, you might find yourself waking up with a stuffy nose in the middle of the night when all you want to do is rest.
Youre already overloaded with donts for pregnancy. The list of things to avoid seems to grow by the week. So, if you suffer from allergies while pregnant, you may be restricted in your choices.
Pregnancy is already stressful enough, but choosing the ideal allergy medicine while pregnant for you and your baby shouldnt be.
After all, there are plenty of options that work as well as or better than your regular allergy medicine.
Therefore, you will require a little digging and time to discover whats safe and whats not.
Allergy sufferers often take antihistamines to relieve their symptoms. Some studies have shown that taking over-the-counter allergy medicines while pregnant is safe, including chlorpheniramine, hydroxyzine, and dexchlorpheniramine.
Cetirizine and loratadine are among the newer antihistamines that are potentially safe. Additionally, you can use a corticosteroid nasal spray safe during pregnancy.
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Should I Continue My Allergy Shots During Pregnancy
It is appropriate to continue allergy shots during pregnancy in women who are not having reactions to the shots, because they may lessen your allergic or asthma symptoms. There is no evidence that they have any influence on preventing allergies in the newborn. It is not generally recommended that allergy shots be started during pregnancy.
To summarize: It is extremely important to monitor closely any asthma or allergic problems during your pregnancy. In the vast majority of cases, you and your child can look forward to a good outcome, even if your asthma is severe, so long as you follow your doctorâs instructions carefully. At the very first signs of breathing difficulty, call your doctor.
Remember the danger of providing an inadequate supply of oxygen to your baby is a much greater risk than taking the commonly used asthma medications.
The best way to take control of your allergies and have a healthy pregnancy is to speak with an allergist.
This page was reviewed for accuracy 4/17/2018.
What Are Some Alternatives For Treating Allergies While Pregnant
Even though for the most part Benadryl and many over-the-counter allergy medicines are possibly safe during pregnancy, natural alternatives may be something to explore as well. Some women may try to take no medications unless absolutely necessary during pregnancy. Medical professionals might also recommend trying alternatives to medicine first. One non-medication option for allergies is the use of a neti pot. With a neti pot, individuals can clear allergens and irritants from their nasal passage. Its also called sinus irrigation. Other allergy prevention strategies can include avoiding triggers or wearing a mask when certain allergen levels are high, or air quality is low. Some pregnant women may opt to stay indoors on days when there are high levels of pollen for example.
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What Else Could It Be
Symptoms of hay fever are similar to those of the common cold, but unlike a cold, hay fever is not caused by an infection and it is not contagious.
Another common condition in pregnancy is pregnancy rhinitis. Symptoms are very similar to allergic rhinitis but are not associated with an allergic trigger.
People with allergies are also more likely to have asthma. While around 8 in every 10 people with asthma also have allergies, not everyone with allergies has asthma. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing when breathing out , a persistent cough , shortness of breath. and chest tightness.
If you experience any of these symptoms, ask your doctor whether it might be asthma.
Is It Safer To Skip Allergy Medication Altogether When I’m Pregnant
If your symptoms aren’t bad, your doctor may suggest other treatments instead. You could allergy-proof your home or rely on saline nasal sprays.
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Is Tylenol Pm Safe During Pregnancy
Acetaminophen is a medication that is commonly used to treat pain and fever. Tylenol PM is a combination of acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine is a medication that is used to treat allergies and insomnia.
There is limited information on the safety of acetaminophen and diphenhydramine during pregnancy. However, based on the available information, acetaminophen and diphenhydramine are likely safe to use during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and need to take medication for pain or fever, acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may be a safe option. However, it is always important to speak with your healthcare provider before taking any medication during pregnancy.
Watch The Pollen Count
The main culprit behind spring allergies is pollens in the air. Pollens primarily come from trees and grasses.
When pollen grains get into the nose, the immune system mistakenly labels them as foreign and releases antibodies to attack them. That leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger runny noses, itchy eyes and other symptoms.
Avoiding triggers is your first and best option, although that isnt always easy. Check your citys daily pollen count. The higher the pollen count, the more severe the allergies. When the counts are high or when its windy, keep your windows and doors closed. If possible, stay inside.
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What Allergy Medications Are Safe
Thankfully, there are more allergy medications that are safe to take than ones that arent, so you dont have to suffer with miserable allergy symptoms just because youre pregnant. Many over-the-counter antihistamine medications and nasal steroid sprays are safe to take in pregnancy, says OBGYN Danielle Jones, MD, of Mama Doctor Jones.
Most allergy medications listed above will have relatively little effect on the pregnancy and contain the same risk and benefit profile for the person taking it as if they were not pregnant, says Dr. Jones.
Can You Get Allergy Shots During Pregnancy
Allergy shots are considered safe for pregnant women, but only for those who had been on the receiving end for a while before conceiving. Most allergists say it’s not a good idea to start allergy shots during pregnancy, because they trigger changes in your already-fluctuating immune system and may cause unexpected reactions.
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Try To Avoid Allergy Triggers Wherever Possible
The most common environmental allergens that cause allergy symptoms are mould, pollen, and animal dander. Avoiding these allergens is also a challenge.
Whenever possible, limit your exposure to things like these that trigger your allergies.
The best thing to do when pollen or pollution levels are high is to limit your outdoor time. For maximum protection, keep your windows shut and turn on your air conditioner or a fan.
If you find mould or animal dander indoors, you may want to open the windows .
Choosing An Allergy Medication
Once you know which medications are safe to take, youll have to figure out which one will work the best for you. If your allergies are chronic or environmental , you may want to find an antihistamine you can take every day, such as Claritin or Zyrtec.
Seasonal allergies can also be treated this way, but if your symptoms are very infrequent, Benadryl is a good, super-safe choice.
Benadryl can make you excessively drowsy, so be careful of when you take it if youre not sure how it will affect you, dont take a dose before driving. If it makes you sleepy, save your dose for the evening hours, before bedtime.
If you suffer from sinus pain or pressure during allergies, one of the nasal steroid sprays can be a good option. Pregnant women often end up with excess nasal congestion anyway, thanks to an increase in fluid and blood volume a nasal steroid can help relieve some of these additional symptoms.
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Will Taking Benadryl Cause Birth Defects
The U.S. FDA classifies Benadryl as a Category B medication during pregnancy. Category B medications are ones that are believed to pose no risk to humans during pregnancy, including the fetus. It is important to realize that no medication is ever 100 percent safe. Benadryl isnt a Category A medicine. Category A medicines are the ones that are considered the safest during pregnancy with no known adverse reactions. While its unlikely Benadryl would cause birth defects, always consult a physician first. There are some instances where the use of Benadryl or diphenhydramine in the first trimester has been linked to an increased risk of a baby being born with a cleft lip or palate, although this risk is very low. Along with trying to avoid Benadryl during the first trimester, its also best to use allergy medications as minimally as possible during pregnancy.
Allergy Medications For Pregnancy And Children
Choosing the safest allergy relief medication can be overwhelming, especially if you’re pregnant or looking for the best allergy medicine for kids.
Here you’ll find answers to your questions about allergy pills and common allergy medicines, including if you can take allergy medications during pregnancy and which allergy medications are safe for children.
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Recommendations For Pregnant And Lactating Mothers
I suppose you dont need to remind anyone before doing anything, be sure to consult with your doctor.
With allergic rhinitis, pregnant and lactating mothers are allowed:
- antihistamines: claritin, zyrtec, erius, etc.
- nasal steroids: nasonex, desrinitis, etc.
To make life easier for the nasal mucosa when it is bombarded with steroids, ENTs recommend directing the spray to the side of the nose.
Inhaled glucocorticosteroids budesonide and beclametozone are recommended ifbronchial asthma first appeared during pregnancy.
If a woman becomes pregnant during basic therapy, then the drugs continue to be taken in the prescribed dosages.
In expectant mothers, exacerbations of bronchial asthma are treated with steroids and bronchodilator drugs all the same as in non-pregnant women.
Bronchial asthma attacks during childbirth are extremely rare.
Anti-asthma medications can be used during labor.
Local anesthesia will be better than general anesthesia.
How To Choose An Allergy Medicine While Pregnant
After youve identified which medications are safe to take, you need to determine which ones are effective for you.
If you suffer from chronic or environmental allergies , you may want to consider an antihistamine to take every day, such as Zyrtec or Claritin.
You can also treat seasonal allergies with this method, but Benadryl is a good, super-safe option if your symptoms are rare.
However, Benadryl may cause you to become extremely drowsy. Therefore, apply caution when you take it.
If you are unsure how Benadryl will affect you, dont take it before driving or operating a machine. Does it make you sleepy? Use it in the evening before going to bed. It may even improve your sleep!
If you experience pressure or sinus pain during allergies, one of the nasal steroid sprays is an ideal choice.
Pregnant women often experience excess nasal congestion due to increased fluid and blood volume. This can cause swelling throughout the body, not only in the ankles. Therefore, a nasal steroid can alleviate some of those additional symptoms.
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