Allergies During Pregnancy
Whether it's a food allergy or hay fever, you're probably dying to know how you're going to deal with it during pregnancy. What medicine can you take? What risks are there to baby? Say no more.
What are allergies during pregnancy?
It’s completely normal (and helpful!) for your body to notice when you’ve got something harmful in there, but when it declares all-out war on an invader that really isn’t so bad -- like pollen or pet dander --that overreaction is considered an allergy.
What are the signs of allergy during pregnancy?
Nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes and itching are all signs of allergy, usually hay fever. Other types of allergies can cause hives -- raised bumps that itch -- facial swelling or itchy and red skin.
Are there any tests for allergies during pregnancy?
Sometimes allergies are diagnosed on symptoms and medical history alone. (Like, if you get a case of hives after taking a couple doses of a particular antibiotic, you’re probably allergic to that antibiotic.)
But sometimes it’s less clear-cut, so allergy testing might be ordered. Skin testing is the most common form of allergy testing. Basically, your skin is pricked with very small amounts of potential allergens. If your skin reacts by developing redness or itching in the area of a certain allergen, you’re considered allergic to that substance.
How common are allergies during pregnancy?
Pretty common. About 20 percent of Americans, or one in five, suffer from allergies.
How did I get allergies?
Who knows? Some people seem to be genetically predisposed to allergies. Others are thought to develop allergies based on early, repeated exposure to potential allergens.
How will my allergies affect my baby?
Unless you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) that interrupts your airflow during pregnancy, your baby probably won’t be affected at all.
See next page for pregnancy-safe allergy treatment tips.