Rhinitis of pregnancy is a condition which includes a congested and/or runny nose without an allergy, cold or infection. The condition affects 20 to 30 percent of pregnant women and can start in the second month and last through delivery. There are some safe options to use during pregnancy to relieve symptoms.
Regular use of a neti pot can alleviate and even prevent symptoms of rhinitis of pregnancy. Irrigation of the nasal passages removes the build up, easing the runny nose.
If you are also congested, saline can help break up the mucus build up. If you choose to make your own saline solution, use salt that does not have iodine in it. The iodine can irritate the nasal passages.
Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, gives the body the liquid needed to clear any congestion that many be causing the runny nose.
There are some antihistamines that are relatively safe for use during pregnancy, according to the Food and Drug Administration. These are Chlorpheniramine, Loratadine and Diphenhydramine. Out of these three come such brand names as Chlor-Trimeton allergy tablets, Claritin, Alavert and Benadryl. As with any medicine, consult a physician first.
While this is sometimes easier said than done, avoiding irritants can help prevent or relieve a runny nose. Common irritants include pollen, animal dander, dust, smoke and perfume.
In some cases, doctors will prescribe antibiotics to control any possible infections to prevent complications such as pneumonia. In these instances, the doctor looks at the mother's medical history and current health of the baby and mother before determining if antibiotics are necessary.
In people with severe allergies, an allergist may prescribe steroids to help control the runny nose and other symptoms including hives. This is generally considered a last resort, as steroids can increase the size of the baby according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.