In a modern civilized world, more and more people are confronted with such a problem as an allergy. To date, there are many medications against allergies, which effectively eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms of the disease and significantly improve the patient’s well-being. But the issue of treatment is especially important, when it comes to pregnant women, who bear a double responsibility – for themselves and for the baby. After all, everyone knows that taking any medication is not welcome during this period. Accordingly, future mothers who are prone to allergies, are interested in allergy medicine while pregnant.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Allergies?
There are three types of effect of pregnancy on allergy:
- pregnancy does not affect the course of the allergy;
- on the background of pregnancy there is an improvement in the course of allergic diseases;
- on the background of pregnancy there is an exacerbation of allergic diseases.
According to statistics, one in two pregnant women face a problem of a runny nose and nasal congestion, starting from the 12th week from the moment of conception.
If there is a direct link between the blooming of herbs (the appearance of a cat in the house, the change in a diet, etc.) and the problem with the nose – then the woman has an aggravation of allergic rhinitis.
Another allergic disease – bronchial asthma – occurs in 2% of pregnant women. However, if before pregnancy you didn’t have asthma, then during pregnancy, it is unlikely to appear. If asthma already existed, then its aggravation should be expected from 24 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. During the last 4 weeks before giving birth, the condition of almost all women with asthma gets better. Today, bronchial asthma is not considered a contraindication for pregnancy. The main thing is careful control by doctors. On the other hand, there are certain manifestations of allergy, which are usually found exactly during the first pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Allergy
Since the first days of pregnancy in the female body, hormone cortisol is being actively produced. This is a natural protection against allergies. Thanks to the occurring changes, the strength of allergic manifestations during the period of gestation of the baby is significantly reduced. The immunity is more “loyal” to the stimuli.
However, according to medical indicators, almost a third of future mothers suffer from allergies. There are cases when a woman faces this problem for the first time during the gestation period. By the way, the reaction of the female body to various stimuli is often attributed to the first signs of pregnancy.
But at the same time, doctors strongly recommend allergic women for whom such a condition is common (for example, there is a seasonal allergy), to take this fact into account when planning pregnancy. The reason is simple- in the first and the third trimesters, the use of medicines is highly undesirable.
However, it also happens that the allergy occurs, regardless of the season. It is very difficult to give any predictions about the course of the disease, because each case is individual. Self-medication in this situation is strictly prohibited. Therefore, if at the most crucial moment in your life you have an allergy, be sure to discuss the methods of its treatment and allergy medicine while pregnant with a specialist.
The Impact of Allergy on the Baby
The placental barrier protects the fetus from allergic processes that occur in the mother during reaction to the stimulus. The fetus does not have its own allergic disease. But the baby feels the influence of the maternal immune response due to:
- deterioration of the state of health of a pregnant woman;
- indirect influence of pills on providing the embryo with food;
- direct harmful effects of allergy medicine while pregnant.
Most drugs penetrate the placental barrier. This can directly affect pregnancy. Accumulating in the cells of tissues, drugs provoke toxic reactions: malformations, miscarriages, etc. There can also be metabolic and functional disorders in infants, including a delay in mental development.
What’s more, medicines affect the biological processes in the body of a pregnant woman indirectly. The drugs affect the activity of the placenta, restricting the supply of oxygen, nutrients and removal of decomposition products, enhance the tone of the uterus and adversely affect the biochemical processes in the mother’s body, preventing the fetus from developing normally.
Effect in Different Trimesters
The first trimester of pregnancy in this regard is the most dangerous, especially the term of 3 to 8 weeks. During this period, the main organs of the embryo are being formed. Therefore, at this time, if possible, it is desirable to completely abandon the drugs, if the health of a pregnant woman is not under the threat.
In the third trimester of pregnancy, biological changes in the body of a woman lead to a change in the concentration of drugs in the blood. It may go up or down depending on the medication. Also, the rate of excretion of drugs of different groups from the body varies. It can increase or decrease. Thus, it changes the expected effect of taking certain medicines for chronic diseases. As a result, the symptoms of the disease in pregnant women may worsen. Accordingly, it is necessary to monitor the concentration of the drug in the blood and, if necessary, adjust its dosage.
Treatment of a pregnant woman is a difficult medical task. The influence of medicines on the fetus, and the emerging need for the selection of another allergy medicine while pregnant is also taken into account. The principle of “benefit / risk ratio” is fundamental for the treatment.
How to Treat Allergies during Pregnancy?
As you have already understood, most drugs against allergies have a contraindication regarding the period of pregnancy. Therefore, self-medication is not an option. After all, every mother puts the child’s health first.
If you have allergy symptoms, then first of all go to a doctor for a consultation. Only a specialist will be able to adequately assess the severity of the disease and appoint (if necessary) the safest allergy medicine while pregnant. But in most cases, future mothers have to wait, especially if this is a seasonal reaction.
Allergy Medicine while Pregnant
Most antihistamines are not allowed to be taken during pregnancy. For example, Tavegyl cannot be used not only during pregnancy, but also during lactation. The fact is that this medication can significantly disrupt the development of the nervous system of the baby.
The list of banned drugs includes well-known to many Diphenhydramine. The danger is that the drug can increase the tone of the uterus and, at a later date, provoke premature birth. Doctors also do not recommend future mothers taking Astemizole, which has a toxic effect, and Terfenadine, which can reduce the weight of the baby.
With regard to such anti allergic drugs as Aerius and Zyrtec, then to date there is no data that would confirm their safe effect on the body of a woman and the baby. Many other drugs, although they have completed all the necessary studies, can be used by pregnant women only after the doctor’s approval. That is, a woman should take allergy medicine while pregnant only when her condition can threaten the baby, and the only way to eliminate the danger is taking antihistamine medications.
The best remedy for allergies during pregnancy is prevention. Perhaps it will take a lot of time and effort from you, but in this way you will protect yourself and your baby.
If you have a seasonal allergy, doctors recommend that you do not spend much time in places where flowers grow: parks, squares, gardens. Also, do not forget to wash your face, hands and change clothes after the walk.
If you are aware of your predisposition to an allergy, then make sure that you have an air conditioner installed in your home. It will maintain normal indoor humidity, which will reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
Regularly conduct a wet cleaning in the house and change the bed linen. Try not to use feather pillows and other “dust collectors”.
During pregnancy, it is important to minimize contact with various allergens and not to test the immune system. Keep in mind that it is already weakened by a special situation. Compliance with hypoallergenic nutrition will help you as well. To do this, you must exclude allergens from the nutritional menu: citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc.), berries and fruits with red pigment, as well as honey, chocolate, seafood, etc.
Be healthy and take care of your baby!