Hayfever and pregnancy

We share information on the symptoms you're likely to be suffering with and the cures that are safe to treat hayfever in pregnancy.
It's that time of year again, the trees are green, the beautiful spring flowers are in bloom and the sneezing, wheezing and sniffling that plagues many over the summer months begins.

It's estimated that around 20% of the UK population suffer with hayfever to some extent and putting up with itchy eyes, a blocked or runny nose, headaches and sneezing while you're coping with the changes that come with being pregnant is difficult to say the least, especially as many of the remedies you'd usually turn to as relief from hayfever symptoms simply aren't suitable while you're expecting.

Medicinal remedies for hayfever

It's generally recommended that you avoid taking medication whenever possible during pregnancy just to be on the safe side. However, if you suffer badly with hayfever the symptoms can be so intrusive that they make carrying on with everyday life almost unbearable. A stressed Mum makes a stressed baby so if you're having trouble enduring hayfever symptoms med-free it's definitely worth visiting your GP to get some relief!

Many of the hayfever remedies that are available over the counter aren't recommended for use in pregnancy, however your doctor will be able to suggest a treatment that's both Mum and baby friendly. You get prescriptions for free while you are pregnant so it's a good idea to make your GP your first port of call not least because they will know both your medical and pregnancy history better than anyone (including your local pharmacist although they will be able to help too) and will be able to recommend a treatment that is going to be safe for you.

Common medicinal hayfever treatments include:

Anti-histamines

These are a popular over the counter remedy and work by suppressing your body's ability to produce the chemicals that cause allergic reactions. While most anti-histamines aren't recommended for pregnancy that's largely because not enough research has been carried out to establish their safety for a developing foetus; this is certainly the case with the newer, non-sedative varieties. Although, if you are suffering badly you may find that your Doctor prescribes you an older, more established anti-histamine such as Piriton. You will need to be careful when taking this though as it does have sedative properties so is not a remedy that 's compatible with driving.

Corticosteroid nasal sprays

These help to reduce inflamed nasal passages and as very little of the spray is actually absorbed by the body they are generally accepted to be safe for use in pregnancy as long as you stick to the recommended dose.

Decongestants

It's generally recommended that pregnant women avoid using the decongestant drugs available on the market as their safety for pregnancy has not yet been established.

Sodium Cromoglycate

These are generally available as eye drops or nasal sprays and regular use can actually work to prevent the allergic reactions that make hayfever so uncomfortable. As cromoglycates are non-steroid based they are often safe for use in pregnancy and when used properly can help to provide relief.

Alternative hayfever remedies

If you suffer from mild hayfever or really aren't keen on taking a medical based treatment you could try the following to provide you with some relief:
  • Keep an eye on the pollen count during the summer months and try and plan your days accordingly. The count tends to be highest during late afternoon and early evening so getting out and about earlier on in the day is a good idea.

  • Wash your hands and face after you've been outside, take regular showers and try to wash your hair before bed to keep your skin as pollen free as possible.

  • Avoid airing your laundry and bedding outside on days when the pollen count is high.

  • Wear large, wrap around sunglasses while you're outside to protect your eyes from pollen particles.

  • Hard as it may be, keep your car window's up and air conditioning on when you're on the road to keep the air as pollen free as possible.

  • Wipe pets down with a damp cloth after they've been outside as this will help to remove excess pollen from their fur.

  • Try wiping a little Vaseline around the edges of your nostrils to catch as many stray pollen particles as possible.

  • Keep your house as dust free as possible and hoover floors and sofa's regularly to remove excess allergens.
Do you have any tried and tested hayfever remedies that you can share with other AskBaby members? Whether you have a question, need advice or just fancy a chat, why not visit the AskBaby forums and meet other Mums and Dads to be who'll really understand what you're going through.

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I have been suffering so badly this year! None of the eye drops or anything worked... then I eventually discovered that fruit pastilles, for the time that I would be eating them, made my symptoms fade to a manageable level!! Too bad they aren't a healthy solution... but when I'm out with people I find them a good temporary solution!
by AlishaB 25th Jun 2009, 9:24am
Im really suffering...but my Gp and local pharmacist have both refused to give me anything!!
Its only June, i just know its going to get worse :(
by fiestykax 5th Jun 2009, 9:10am

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