Pregnancy, Breast Feeding & Hay Fever

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For many women, going through the changes in the body that go hand in hand with being pregnant is a marvellous experience. For some, though, it can be rather unpleasant if the pregnancy co insides with the hay fever season. Having to cope with runny nose and eyes, an itchy face, inflammation and sneezing is almost too much to expect! The problem being is, that while pregnant, many of the remedies that would normally help to alleviate the symptoms of hay fever are otherwise contra indicated (advised against). Any chemicals or unhealthy substances can find their way across the placenta or into the breast milk and have a direct affect on the health of the baby.

Some expectant mothers find that their symptoms can be so severe that it causes them to become stressed. As this will have adverse affects on the baby it is best to see the GP and discuss possible options. Your GP will be able to recommend mother/baby friendly treatments. Plus, prescriptions are free for expecting mothers in most EU countries.

Antihistamines during Pregnancy & Breast Feeding

In most cases antihistamines are to be avoided. Not because they are particularly harmful to the pregnancy, but rather because very little research has been conducted on what levels of antihistamine would be safe to ingest. If symptoms are severe enough, however, your GP might prescribe one of the older tried and tested antihistamines such as piriton. These first generation antihistamines do have the risk of making you sleepy, though, as they have an added sedative, so they must be taken with care.

Corticosteroids during Pregnancy & Breast Feeding

Corticosteroids used as a nasal spray are a safe method for reducing the symptoms of runny and itchy nose as they work directly on the nasal mucosal lining. They are a very localised treatment and tend to work on the tissue directly surrounding the area of application. There is little chance of any of the spray travelling through the body to the foetus. 

Decongestants during Pregnancy & Breast Feeding

Decongestants are universally recognised as best to avoid during pregnancy as little is known about the potential effects on the foetus or on a baby that is being breastfed.

Sodium Chromoglycate during Pregnancy & Breast Feeding

Sodium chromoglycate is another highly localised treatment that can help reduce the runny nose and eyes and the itchy feeling in the eyes, nose and upper throat. Usually in the form of eye drops or a nasal spray, they can be safely used to help alleviate these irritating symptoms of hay fever with little or no risk to the baby.

Homeopathic Remedies during Pregnancy & Breast Feeding

Homeopathicremedies are probably the best type of treatment to explore during pregnancy as it is the only form of treatment that offers completely all natural solutions to hay fever relief. There are no end of remedies that can easily be made up from plant extracts and things such as honey and onions. Any health food store will no doubt have a very good selection of products on offer as well as advice tips on what might be best to take for certain hay fever symptoms. Before embarking on the road of homeopathic remedies it might be a good idea to see your GP and discuss any concerns you might have. 

One final alternative for the relief of hay fever symptoms during pregnancy is to simply try and remove the offending pollens from your environment. This can be achieved in different ways. Plan you days during the hay fever season according to the projected pollen count. Keep your house pollen free as much as possible by washing your clothes after you come in from the outside. Don’t dry your washing outside. Wash your hands, face and hair before going to bed in order not to spread any pollen on the bed clothes. Try and keep the windows closed and use the air conditioner if possible in warm weather. Keep pets well brushed and clean after they have been outside. Petroleum jelly lightly applied around the nostrils will help to catch pollen in the air before it enters the nose.

Hay fever can be very unpleasant in itself without the added changes your body go through when pregnant. But it is possible to combat the symptoms effectively while still ensuring a healthy environment for your baby.

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