Managing Allergies During Pregnancy
is a time of intense change within the female body. The hormones of pregnancy
have steroidal type effects and which can dampen down
During pregnancy, the body's immune system tends to be less reactive than at
other times. This is normal, and necessary to prevent your body 'rejecting' your
pregnancy. (As, half of your baby's genetic material is 'alien' to your body.)
Because of this, allergic conditions (such as
eczema) - often seem to
get better during pregnancy, although a minority of women may find they get
worse. Similarly, autoimmune conditions tend to improve – but not always. There
is no way of predicting exactly what will happen.
At certain times, you may become sensitive to certain soaps or other washing
or cleaning products, or to cosmetics or perfumes. You may also be more
sensitive to sunlight. (a local reaction – itching or a rash.)
If you know what you're allergic to and are pregnant, try to avoid that
thing(s) rather than taking lots of medications. It also helps to decrease
exposure to cigarette smoke and other known environmental irritants.
Keep in mind that some medications are safer to use than others while you
are expecting. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies
drugs into five categories as to their safety during pregnancy.
Category A: Studies in pregnant show no adverse effects on the
fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy, and there is no evidence of
adverse effects in later trimesters. If this drug is used during pregnancy,
the possibility of fetal harm appears remote.
Category B: Either (1) Studies in animals have shown adverse
effects on the fetus at doses many times
higher than the usual human dose, but human studies show no adverse effects
on the fetus or (2) Studies in animals show no adverse effects on the fetus,
but human studies have not been done.
Because the studies in humans cannot rule out the possibility of harm, this
drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
Category C: Either: (1) Animal studies have revealed adverse
effects on the fetus but there are no controlled studies in women or (2)
Studies in women and animals are not available.
Category D: There is positive evidence of human fetal risk, but
the potential benefits may be acceptable despite the risk, as in
life-threatening diseases for which safer drugs cannot be used or are
Category X: Studies in animals or humans demonstrate fetal
abnormalities. The risk of using the drug in pregnant women clearly
outweighs any possible benefit.
Category NR: Not rated.
Avoidance of known allergens is the key in decreasing the frequency and
intensity of allergy symptoms. If avoidance does not relieve the symptoms there
are non drug options:
Saline nasal sprays
Allergy Shots During Pregnancy
Allergy shots can be continued during pregnancy in women who do not have
reactions to the shots. However, routine allergy skin testing and initial
allergy shots should not be given during pregnancy.
It is important to remember, that if the mother has allergies there is a 30%
chance of her baby having an allergy. If both parents have allergy, the baby’s
risk increases to 60% and if both parents have the same allergy for example
asthma, then the risk of allergy in the unborn baby reaches 80%. Maternal
smoking during pregnancy and the eating of allergy provoking foods in her
in the last few months of pregnancy may encourage allergic diseases to develop
in the baby.
Pregnant mothers should:
Not smoke cigarettes and avoid passive smoking.
Avoid excessive alcohol intake.
Avoid allergy provoking foods such as peanuts,
nuts, sesame, eggs and fish.
Seal pillows, mattresses and box springs in
special dust mite-proof casings.
Wash bedding weekly in 130 degrees F water
(comforters may be dry-cleaned periodically) to kill
Use filtering vacuums or "filter vacuum bags" to
control airborne dust when cleaning.
Close windows, use air-conditioning and avoid
outdoor activity between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m., when
pollution are at their highest.
Avoid excessive exposure to pets such as cats,
dogs, horses and house-dust.* Keep home humidity
under 50 percent to control dust mite and mold
Continue to take regular prescribed Preventive
and Reliever Asthma medication throughout pregnancy.
The Reliever Beta Agonists actually help to
the womb muscles. Medication such as aspirin, beta
blocker medication and codeine are other possible
Avoid all non-prescription drugs and vitamins
that contain colorings or additives.
Avoid any allergy provocative procedures in
pregnancy such as Skin Scratch Testing or Desensitisation
Pregnant women should continue to
a balanced diet and get plenty of
Dated 03 August 2012