Developing Allergies While Pregnant
As if all the changes which occur in your body while pregnant weren't enough, many women find they are suddenly experiencing allergies to substances they have never been allergic to before. Those who have never experienced a food allergy suddenly find themselves unable to eat favorite foods, and those who have never sneezed once during a high pollen count find themselves suddenly among the miserable.
Blame it on Hormones
A woman's hormones have a profound influence on her immune system, and allergies are directly tied to the immune system as well. Pregnancy hormones have a steroidal effect as their primary job is to prevent rejection of the baby growing inside, which is, technically speaking, a foreign organism. Once the body goes into this hyper-vigilant state to protect the fetus, it can be less than vigilant in areas it once was-such as pollen or certain foods. Many women who had mild to moderate asthma prior to becoming pregnant may suddenly find their asthma much worse, with more frequent attacks. Conversely, some women find their asthma symptoms subside somewhat during pregnancy, becoming easier to control. If you have asthma, it is crucial you maintain good control over it during your pregnancy-with the help of your physician-as your growing baby is dependent upon you to provide a good oxygen supply and maintain its health. Most asthma drugs can safely be used during pregnancy, although the lowest dose possible to control your symptoms is always the best.
Nasal Allergies During Pregnancy
Many expectant moms find their nose is either completely stopped up or in a constant drip state during their pregnancy. This can be extremely annoying, and is generally triggered by the hormones of pregnancy. Women who have never experienced a nasal allergy may suddenly find they are never without a Kleenex box. Sinusitis is actually over six times more common in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant. A full one third of pregnant women reported they either developed nasal allergies during pregnancy which they had never experienced before, or that their "regular" nasal allergies increased in severity. Although you shouldn't go overboard, most allergy medications are considered safe for your baby. Ask your doctor which medications are the safest to use, then use them judiciously.