Itchy and runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat, constant sneezing, and frustration – these are the loyal friends of anyone with allergies. These allergies are also quite common during pregnancy. While allergies are a cause for concern at any given time, they are all the more concerning when you are pregnant because you want to avoid, as much as possible, taking oral steroids and antibiotics because of their possible impact on your pregnancy and the development of your baby.
Of course, not all antibiotics are unsafe, and your doctor will recommend that you have them if that is the safest way to treat your condition. But if we can find safer, natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy or reduce the symptoms effectively, that sounds like a better alternative. That is exactly what we will discuss in this article. Find out some allergy remedies including some natural remedies for skin allergies during pregnancy in this article.
What Causes Allergies During Pregnancy?
What causes allergies in pregnant women is pretty much the same thing that causes allergies in the general population too. It is just that pregnancies can make allergies worse for some because, well, pregnancy constantly changes your body, and the immune system is now working for two people, not one, so is relatively weaker than before.
Related Reading: 9 Common Pregnancy Aches and Pains With Remedies
So, what is an allergy? You have an allergy when your immune system abnormally reacts to foreign substances. Wait, but isn’t it your immune system’s job to react to foreign substances as it is your first line of defense against viruses and bacteria that make you sick? True.
But the keyword in our allergy definition is “abnormal.” When your immune system reacts to harmless things – such as pollen, mold, or dust – it is abnormal. Why? because these things do not bother most people. It bothers you because you are allergic.
And, unfortunately, this can exacerbate for some of you when you are pregnant. While your allergies – and the symptoms associated with them – do not affect your baby, they can have an impact on your physical and mental well-being. And your immunity is not at its best.
All of this being said, allergies improve for about one-third of pregnant women (we wish you were one of them), while for the other one-third, they remain the same. Whether your allergies stay the same or worsen, you need to be proactive about managing them to avoid, as we mentioned before, having to take antibiotics or steroids. Here comes the importance of natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy
Related Reading: 9 Common Infections During Pregnancy You Should Be Aware Of
9 Natural Remedies for Allergies During Pregnancy
If you are allergic, the best way to manage it during your pregnancy is to be proactive. This means that you need to prepare beforehand. Talk to your doctors about your allergies and share with them how you plan to manage them. We recommend you nine natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy that are perfectly safe to include in your plan to fight allergies during pregnancy.
1. Make some dietary changes
This is one of the best natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy. Both western medicine and Ayurveda agree that eating a healthy diet, which includes a lot of fresh vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and protein, is crucial for good gut health, which in turn is crucial to keeping allergies at bay.
Eat light, homecooked, warm food with ghee or butter. This will help your body absorb the nutrients from the food better. A healthy, nutritious diet, in any case, is important for a healthy pregnancy, so this is two birds with one stone.
Avoid cold, heavy foods, especially ones that contain processed items and sugar. Also, add citrus fruits to your diet. Citrus foods, like lemon and orange, are storehouses for vitamin C, which plays a major role in boosting your immune system’s response.
2. Taking probiotics
Probiotics, or more simply, good bacteria and yeast, are another great remedy for allergies. Research has found that the right probiotics can improve your gut health and, consequently, reduce the growth of bad bacteria, improve the body’s immunity, and hence prevent allergies1.
In addition, the same research also showed that when expecting mothers consumed probiotics during pregnancy, it reduced the occurrence of allergies in the newborns!!!
3. Spices help combat allergies
A lot of the spices that we use in Indian cooking are not only a blessing for our tastebuds but also our immune system. When it comes to natural remedies for allergies during pregnancy include the following spices in your daily cooking: cinnamon, turmeric, cumin seeds, black pepper, ginger, and garlic. They aid in digestion and stop the buildup of toxins.
Related Reading: 6 Spices To Eat And 6 Spices To Avoid During Pregnancy
4. Herbal remedy for allergies during pregnancy
Using herbs as medicine is an age-old practice in India2. Some of the herbs that are safe to consume during pregnancy and fight allergies are tulsi (holy basil), neem, eucalyptus, chamomile, and peppermint. Tulsi can be consumed directly, and neem can be consumed in powder form with honey.
Both these herbs, along with eucalyptus, can also be put in water that you use to inhale. Chamomile and peppermint make great green tea, and this can be a soothing and medicinal treatment to fight remedies.
Honey has been used since historical times as a cure for sore throats and other respiratory-related problems. Honey is full of phytonutrients and is both antiseptic and antimicrobial3.
While there is no scientific evidence to support this, it is believed that having local honey is the best way to fight allergies because it will help your body adapt to the local environment, including the allergens in that environment. Applying honey over the affected area is one of the natural remedies for skin allergies during pregnancy.
6. Drink plenty of water
If we had a penny for every time we talk about the importance of staying hydrated during pregnancy, we would be incredibly rich. When you drink water, it keeps your mouth, throat, and nose hydrated, and this can reduce the symptoms of your allergies. We recommend sipping warm water throughout the day.
Related Reading: 10 Benefits Of Drinking Water In Copper Vessel During Pregnancy
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is another age-old remedy for allergy relief and is considered an immunity booster4. Apple cider vinegar, or ACV for short, can reduce mucus, clean the lymphatic system, and also help in digestion.
You can mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and consume it daily. Try to use organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (the one tagged with ‘mother’).
8. Warm salt water
Gargling with salt water is the best, cheapest, and safest way to ease a sore throat, which is common when you have an allergy attack. In addition to reducing inflammation, the salt in salt water forms a barrier that keeps allergens from getting into the throat. It will also reduce the chances of mouth infections5.
9. Nasal cleaning
This might sound quite scary, but if you think about it, keeping your nasal canal and sinuses clean is a no-brainer remedy to avoid allergies. A neti pot can flush irritants and allergens from your sinuses and aid in congestion relief6.
Make sure you use warm, sterile water. You can do this up to two times in a day (it takes some getting used to though) and follow it up with some deep breathing exercises. This may help to combat sneezing during pregnancy.
Related Reading: 11 Indian Home Remedies For Cold During Pregnancy
What Are Natural Remedies For Skin Allergies During Pregnancy?
Having skin that is red, bumpy, and itchy can be extremely uncomfortable during pregnancy. Several different factors can trigger a skin allergy during pregnancy. Because the body is growing, hormone levels are always changing, and blood flow is going up, there will always be side effects, like itching. The wrong cosmetics, fabrics, or perfumes can also cause skin allergies during pregnancy.
Here are some safe and effective natural remedies for skin allergies while you’re pregnant:
- Coconut oil: Lauric acid in coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, coconut oil’s natural moisturizing properties make it a powerful treatment for dry skin and eczema
- Oatmeal: With its natural anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties, oatmeal helps treat skin inflammation and itching
- Aloe Vera: It has been known for a long time that Aloe Vera can help with a variety of skin infections and irritations. Aloe vera gel’s anti-inflammatory, soothing, and cooling properties reduce itching and dry skin
Other remedies include changing perfumes and cosmetics, wearing loose clothing, and applying calamine lotions.
Related Reading: 11 Easy Tips Glowing Skin During Pregnancy
Do Allergies Impact Pregnancy?
The short answer is no. Although it can be extremely frustrating for the expecting mothers, thankfully, allergies are not known to have any impact on the pregnancy or the growing baby.
There is no evidence that if you have an allergic reaction during your pregnancy, you will pass on the allergies to your child. However, remember that allergies are genetic. So, if you are allergic, the chances of your child being allergic is higher.
Another factor to consider is how severe your symptoms are. Mild symptoms like cold, watery eyes, and sneezing during pregnancy will not affect your physical health much. But more severe symptoms, such as asthma and high fever, can result in medications, some of which may have an impact on the pregnancy. If your symptoms worsen, please see the doctor immediately and discuss treatment options.
Is it Safe to Take Anti-Allergic Medicines During Pregnancy?
Many women who are pregnant stop taking their allergy medicines to make sure they don’t hurt the baby. But this has the opposite impact. If you stop your allergy medications, then your allergies can worsen, which can lead to more intensive treatment. Thankfully, allergy shots and medications are safe to take during your pregnancy, but there are some conditions:
- You can continue to take the allergy medications if you were already taking them before the pregnancy
- If you never took allergy medications before, generally, doctors do not start allergy medications during your pregnancy as they do not want to risk a negative reaction to the medicine
- You cannot increase the dose of your allergy medications during pregnancy. You can only maintain the previously followed course
To conclude, there are two ways to fight allergies naturally.
- Avoid exposure to allergens. Or, more practically, reduce the exposure
- Strengthen your immune system with a nutritious diet and the natural remedies mentioned in this article
While both are effective ways to prevent allergies or reduce their effects, it might be a tad difficult to avoid exposure to pollen and dust unless you stay indoors throughout your pregnancy, which, as you can imagine, is not practical. So the best course of action is to understand your body better and test the natural remedies to see which one is most beneficial for you.
Related Reading: 8 Common Pregnancy Skin Problems
Allergies are more common than you think. According to a survey conducted by a vacuum cleaner company, 69% of Indian households have at least one person who suffers from a dust allergy7.
Furthermore, pollen energy affects 10% to 40% of the Indian population. So, you are not alone in this experience. If you follow the safe natural remedies discussed in this article, it will help you keep the allergies at bay during your pregnancy and contribute to your physical and mental well-being.