During pregnancy, controlling your allergies requires taking precautions that you normally do not have to. Some allergy medications can have an impact on your unborn child, so it is important that you safely control your symptoms. If you are pregnant and suffering from allergies, here is what you need to know.

Can You Take Medications?

There are some over-the-counter and prescription-strength medications that are safe to use during pregnancy. For instance, category B oral antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, are considered safe for pregnant women. By contrast, oral decongestants should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy. These drugs can lead to birth defects in the child. 

Prescription-strength nasal sprays, such as cromolyn sodium, can also be used. Your OB/GYN can determine whether or not it is safe for you to use during certain trimesters or throughout the entire pregnancy. 

If you currently use allergy shots to help control your symptoms, you can most likely continue to take those. Talk to your doctor to ensure that they are right for you. 

Are There Alternative Ways to Control Allergies?

Limiting the amount of drugs that you take during your pregnancy is ideal, so you should also focus on more natural ways of controlling your allergies. For instance, you can use a saline nasal spray or neti pot to clear your nasal cavity and ease the symptoms you are experiencing. If you use the neti pot, it is important that you leave it open to air dry once finished to discourage the growth of bacteria. 

You also should incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Exercise works to alleviate nasal inflammation. Before exercising, talk to your doctor to ensure that it is safe to do so. 

Another way to limit your symptoms is to avoid triggers. For instance, if you suffer from allergies that are related to pollen, keep your windows closed. You should also limit your time outdoors, particularly in the mornings. 

At nighttime, you can sleep with nasal strips applied to your nose to help keep your nasal passages open. Try elevating your head while wearing the strips to get the most benefit from wearing them. 

Controlling your allergies during pregnancy is possible, but it might require trying new methods. Consult with your OB/GYN and an allergy specialist to learn what other methods you can use to control your symptoms. You might have to try different methods or combinations before finding relief.