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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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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.

-- Rebecca Kolp, MD, ob-gyn and medical director at Massachusetts General Hospital West

 

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