Suffering from allergies while pregnant can be frustrating as it can be difficult to know what is safe and what is not. Many doctors recommend completely abstaining from allergy medications during the first trimester while the baby's organs are forming. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any medications for allergies. Take only the recommended dosages.
Certain antihistamines can be used during pregnancy. These include diphenhydramine, which is more commonly known as Benadryl. You can also take chlorpheniramine, which is found in Chlortrimetron. Doctors' opinions differ on newer medications such as Zyrtec, Claritin and Allegra. These drugs are classified as Category B drugs, which indicates that studies in pregnant animals show no side effects, but no human studies are available.
Some decongestants are considered safe during pregnancy. Pseudophedrine, also known as Sudafed, is considered safe by most doctors during the second and third trimesters. Do not use during the first trimester because it can cause a greater risk for gastroschisis, a condition in which digestive organs can grow outside of the abdominal area. This drug is classified as a Category C drug, meaning that studies in pregnant animals may show adverse effects, but the benefits may outweigh the risks.
Most likely, if you take allergy shots, your doctor will have you continue them. However, it is not recommended that you start allergy shots during pregnancy. Doctors usually recommend reducing the dosage by about half of what is normally given. One side effect that doctors worry about is anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction, which can affect the fetus.
Some natural remedies are safe to use during pregnancy. These include saline and a humidifier. Saline is safe because it is basically salt water. Place a few drops in your nostrils a few times a day to help ease congestion. Cool-mist humidifiers or vaporizers also help ease congestion. Use it at night. Be careful if you choose a vaporizer because they release warm air and can cause burns. Also, do not put any oils in your vaporizer without first consulting with your doctor.
If you do not want to take any form of medication, there are other remedies you can try. Avoid your allergy triggers. If you are allergic to outdoor pollens, do not spend time outside in the early morning hours when pollen counts are the highest. Also, if you smoke, consider quitting. It will help ease your allergies, and your fetus will develop in a healthier environment. Avoid secondhand smoke, which can also cause allergies to become worse. Uses an air purifier to help get rid of allergens in the air inside your home.