What to do with allergies when pregnant
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Take care with allergy shots, pseudoephedrine and herbal remedies
“If you own received allergy shots before pregnancy and thought they helped your symptoms, it’s safe to continue them,” says Dr.
Zanotti. “But we don’t recommend initiating allergy shots during pregnancy, because you don’t know what reaction you will have.”
She says numerous expectant mothers enquire about taking pseudoephedrine (a decongestant in such products as Sudafed®).
She recommends that you avoid it in your first trimester. But you may take it in the second and third trimesters, as endless as you don’t own high blood pressure, she says.
As for herbal remedies and aromatherapy, Dr. Zanotti says their effects on pregnant women haven’t been studied sufficiently.
So it’s best to steer clear of them.
Attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray
If your allergies are severe and you aren’t getting relief from OTC allergy drugs, attempt an intra-nasal steroid spray, such as Nasonex® or Flonase®.
These sprays are safe to use throughout pregnancy and regular dosing is appropriate, Dr. Zanotti says.
Avoid allergy triggers as much as possible
Environmental allergens such as mold, pollen and animal dander are most often to blame for allergy symptoms.
And they are also the most hard allergens to avoid.
Zanotti’s advice? When pollen or pollution levels are high, limit your time exterior. Hold your windows closed and turn on your air conditioning or a fan to assist limit your exposure.
Treat mild symptoms with home remedies
Nasal congestion is common during pregnancy, Dr. Zanotti says.
Using a humidifier in your home can sometimes assist solve that problem. It won’t remove allergens from the environment, but it will moisten the air. And that can assist soothe irritated nasal passages.
You can also attempt a saline or salt water nasal spray to assist ease congestion, she says.
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Next review due: 24 July
If youve lived with seasonal allergies, you know what generally eases your symptoms.
But if your allergies flare up while youre pregnant, your choices narrow. Its more work to understand what wont pose a risk to your baby.
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As with most aspects of pregnancy, it’s hard to tell ahead of time how allergies might affect you. The excellent news is that whether your seasonal allergy symptoms are mild or severe, the symptoms themselves likely wont affect your baby, says OB/Gyn Salena Zanotti, MD.
But will you notice a change in your allergy symptoms while you’re pregnant?
It could go either way, she says.
- Another one-third of women discover that their allergy symptoms worsen.
- One-third of fortunate women discover that their allergy symptoms clear up.
- The remaining one-third discover that their allergy symptoms are about the same as before pregnancy.
“It’s amusing, with pregnancy we see allergies go every three ways,” says Dr. Zanotti. “And we see that with asthma as well.”
So however it goes for you, Dr. Zanotti suggests five tips that will assist you safely manage your symptoms while youre expecting.
Be picky about over-the-counter allergy medications
Many allergy medications aren’t safe to take during pregnancy.
But loratadine (found in Claratin®) and cetirizine (found in Zyrtec® and Alleroff®) are two over-the-counter antihistamine medications that doctors consider safe to use during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, Dr.
Antihistamine medications work by blocking the effects of histamine, which is a trigger for allergy symptoms.
“These medications are really the first-line medications for treating allergies in pregnant women,” she says.
Hang in there
If you own tried Dr. Zanotti’s treatment options but aren’t getting much relief, remind yourself that the problem is only temporary.
“It’s significant to hold in mind that neither pregnancy nor seasonal allergy symptoms final forever,” she says. “There is light at the finish of the tunnel.”
Nov. 3, — Sitting below to a meal can be daunting for an expectant mom weighing conflicting recommendations about which foods are excellent for her unborn kid — and which might subject that kid to long-term ills love allergies to peanuts and other foods.
«We own a tendency to beat pregnant women over the head with ‘do this, don’t do this,'» said obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Laura Riley, medical director of labor and delivery at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. «We always desire people to own a balanced diet that includes protein, fat and carbohydrates. We don’t ponder pregnant women should take any one thing out of their diet.»
But just as dietary advice for weight loss changes as new scientific information becomes available, so, too, does dietary advice for moms-to-be about how their eating shapes their future sons’ and daughters’ health.
The advice has been particularly tricky with honor to peanut allergy, a potentially fatal condition that affects an estimated 1 percent to 2 percent of children. The incidence has gone up in the final decade, although scientists can’t tell why.
From to , the American Academy of Pediatrics and the British Committee on Toxicology recommended that in families where parents or siblings own allergies, women avoid peanuts during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
But the data for these recommendations was scant and scientific studies yielded conflicting findings: Some said early exposure might be protective, others, harmful.
In , the AAP reversed its position. Similarly, the European panel reversed its recommendation to stay away from peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It now appears that in families with lots of allergies, it makes some sense for mothers-to-be to go simple on the peanuts, because of new research suggesting heavy consumption, particularly tardy in pregnancy, might set the stage for peanut allergies.
But for most families, doctors tell there’s no evidence that pregnant moms’ peanut eating will produce an allergic baby — or that avoiding peanuts will guarantee a healthier one.
To assist clarify the issues, the Consortium of Food Allergy Research studied the relationship between maternal diet and childhood allergies. The researchers, led by Dr. Scott H. Sicherer of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, followed infants with food allergies to see if they became allergic to peanuts over time.
The investigators from Mount Sinai, Duke University in Durham, N.C., Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, National Jewish Health in Denver and Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, also asked the mothers about their prenatal eating.
In results published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, which will appear in the December print issue, they reported that the more that a mom consumed peanuts in the third trimester of her pregnancy, the greater the chances her baby would test positive for sensitivity to peanuts.
However, sensitivity doesn’t equate to peanut allergy, «just an increased risk,» Sicherer said.
At enrollment, the children were ages 3 months to 15 months, too young for food challenges typically used to establish allergies. The study authors said the youngsters would own to be monitored over time to determine if they developed peanut allergies later.
Sicherer also qualified the findings by saying the study involved only families with allergy histories, so the findings might not apply to the general population.
Also, he said the study is observational, which means it doesn’t prove cause and effect.
Nevertheless, several experts called the results significant, but not practice-changing.
«This is an area that deserves more investigation and more studies,» said Dr. Neeta Ogden, an adult and pediatric allergist in private practice in Closter, N.J. «I’ve suspected in my own clinical practice, based on anecdotal evidence, that there has been some association. A study love this puts it on our radar for pregnant women that perhaps they should be consuming peanuts with caution, especially when they’re in their third trimester.»
Step Away From These Foods
Doctors are of one mind when it comes to pregnant women avoiding unpasteurized milk products, deli meats, raw fish and raw meats, which can lead to infections that could permanently affect the development of the unborn baby «and in some cases can be life-threatening,» said Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, and co-author of «Baby »
Beyond that, doctors tend to be more selective. Leo, for example, asks pregnant mothers who own a kid with a documented food allergy «to avoid peanuts and tree nuts during the final trimester of pregnancy and during nursing if it’s feasible.
The data is still variable on this, but I feel this is a reasonable precaution for now in light of current studies.»
Charting the Reasonable Course — Avoiding Advice Whiplash
Bielory said there are well-done studies coming below on both sides of whether early exposure to peanuts protects against allergies or makes children more vulnerable. He cited a recent study that showed in Israel, where «there’s a lot of peanut-based products introduced early in childhood, they own a lower prevalence of peanut allergy, where as in the U.K., where they did adopt a ban on ingestion of peanut-based products in infants and children, there was interestingly a higher prevalence of peanut-associated allergic responses.»
«It is hard to know what is correct or if there is any definitive influence,» Sicherer said.
He added he’s had mothers tell they ate lots of peanuts and thought it caused their child’s allergies, while other mothers who avoided peanuts are stumped as to why their kid is allergic to peanuts.
«I ponder that we, unfortunately, own to tell we do not yet know a certain answer,» he said
Most of every, Sicherer said he doesn’t desire his study to make mothers feel guilty about their past eating decisions.
«Our study says we need to glance more carefully,» he said, «but we are not prepared to change public health recommendations.»
Advice to pregnant women to avoid eating nuts may own been not only misleading but at odds with the potential benefits for offspring of doing so, according to research that has found children could be less likely to develop nut allergies if their mothers eat nuts during pregnancy.
The study of more than 8, children in the US found that those with non-allergic mothers who ate nuts five times a week or more during pregnancy turned out to own the lowest risk of peanut or tree nut (P/TN) allergies.
A British expert said that while the results of the study were exciting, they contradicted other studies that own shown either no effect of nut consumption during pregnancy or suggested a possible risk from increased consumption.
«To make things even more complicated, there is also strong evidence to propose that nut allergy doesn’t develop until after birth and that it is exposure of the infant’s skin to nut protein that is most significant in the development of allergy,» said Dr Adam Fox, consultant children’s allergist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust.
«With such differing results from diverse studies, it is currently impossible to offer advice about exactly what mothers should do regarding nut consumption during pregnancy, but current international guidance is that there is no need to either avoid nuts, nor to actively eat them.»
The results of the research, Prospective Study of Peripregnancy Consumption of Peanuts or Tree Nuts by Mothers and the Risk of Peanut or Tree Nut Allergy in Their Offspring, appeared in JAMA Pediatrics, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association.
A entire of children who had nut allergies were included in the sample.
«Our study showed that increased peanut consumption by pregnant mothers who weren’t nut-allergic was associated with lower risk of peanut allergy in their offspring,» said the lead researcher, Dr Michael Young, from Boston children’s hospital.
«Assuming she isn’t allergic to peanuts, there’s no reason for a lady to avoid peanuts during pregnancy.»
At the finish of the s, it had been widely assumed that eating nuts risked sensitising children, making them more susceptible to nut allergies. Women in the US were advised to avoid every nuts if pregnant or breastfeeding, and to hold their children away from peanuts until they were three years of age.
However, the guidance was rescinded in because of lack of evidence.
In the same year, experts from the UK’s Food Standards Agency also said that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding do not own to avoid peanuts, even if there is a family history of allergy.
Young added: «No one can tell for certain if the avoidance recommendation for peanuts was related to the rising number of peanut allergies seen in the tardy s and early s, but one thing is certain: it did not stop the increase.
«It was clear that a new approach was needed, opening the door for new research.»
He stressed that the findings only showed an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship, adding: «We can’t tell with certainty that eating more peanuts during pregnancy will prevent peanut allergy in children, but we can tell that peanut consumption during pregnancy doesn’t cause peanut allergy in children.»
«By linking maternal peanut consumption to reduced allergy risk, we are providing new data to support the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases tolerance and reduces risk of childhood food allergy.»
Online guidance from the NHS currently advises that pregnant women can eat peanuts or food containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) unless they are allergic to them or a health professional advises them not to.
It adds that previous UK government advice for pregnant women to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergy or other types of allergy) in their child’s immediate family has been changed on the basis of the latest research.
You Are What Your Mom Eats
While it’s clear that a mother’s diet influences the health of her unborn kid, there’s a lack of evidence that eating specific foods can prevent certain illnesses and conditions in her kid.
Said Dr. Stephen Wasserman, an asthma and allergy specialist at UC San Diego, «There is not going to be one diet or one set of behaviors for every people.
People bring their genetics to the table and one person’s excellent is another person’s bad.»
Doctors consent that pregnant women should purpose for a well-balanced diet and make certain they get sufficient protein, which is the basis for a growing fetus’ cells and tissues. But some go beyond that:
Some obstetricians and others urge mothers to eat fish wealthy in the omega-3 fatty acids thought to promote development of a healthy nervous system in the fetus.
Most include the caveat that they need to avoid going overboard, because fatty fish also tend to own higher levels of mercury, which is toxic to immature brains.
A limited number of studies propose a diet wealthy in vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, may protect against allergies. Still, said Dr. Christian Pettker, medical director of labor and birth at Yale-New Haven Hospital, «we are actually learning that more and more women own vitamin D deficiency than we previously suspected For these reasons, more obstetricians are advocating a diet that accounts for a healthy quantity of vitamin D, and if vitamin D deficiency is suspected, this should be looked into.» However, said Dr.
Harvey Leo, a pediatric allergist at the University of Michigan’s Middle for Managing Chronic Disease, because vitamin D is predominantly made by sun exposure, «a mother’s diet may not make a difference at every. It may be the mother’s sun exposure.»
Both Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D decrease inflammation, and asthma and allergies are inflammatory disorders, so Dr. Katherine Sherif, Director of the Middle for Women’s Health and associate professor of internal medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, recommended pregnant women take Omega-3 supplements and vitamin D supplements daily.
Some studies propose a Mediterranean diet wealthy in unused fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean protein could protect against allergies. However, physicians who are sticklers for evidence, rather than anecdotes, tell the benefits to the unborn kid aren’t proven. «The Mediterranean diet is sort of love vitamin C: It’s probably not bad, but probably as numerous studies tell it’s beneficial as tell it’s not,» said Dr. Dana Wallace, an allergist in Fort Lauderdale and the incoming president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Probiotics, which urge excellent bacteria to take up residence in the digestive system, may discourage the development of allergies, said Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergist and immunologist now at the Middle for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Bielory was the primary investigator in a meta-analysis that suggested children may not be as allergic «if they own probiotics introduced into the diet or the mother’s diet while pregnant.»
Introducing foods that could trigger allergy
When you start introducing solid foods to your baby from around 6 months ancient, introduce the foods that can trigger allergic reactions one at a time and in extremely little amounts so that you can spot any reaction.
These foods are:
- shellfish (don’t serve raw or lightly cooked)
- eggs (eggs without a red lion stamp should not be eaten raw or lightly cooked)
- foods that contain gluten, including wheat, barley and rye
- nuts and peanuts (serve them crushed or ground)
- seeds (serve them crushed or ground)
- cows’ milk
See more about foods to avoid giving babies and young children.
These foods can be introduced from around 6 months as part of your baby’s diet, just love any other foods.
Once introduced and if tolerated, these foods should become part of your baby’s usual diet to minimise the risk of allergy.
Evidence has shown that delaying the introduction of peanut and hen’s eggs beyond 6 to 12 months may increase the risk of developing an allergy to these foods.
Lots of children outgrow their allergies to milk or eggs, but a peanut allergy is generally lifelong.
If your kid has a food allergy, read food labels carefully.
Avoid foods if you are not certain whether they contain the food your kid is allergic to.
How will I know if my kid has a food allergy?
An allergic reaction can consist of 1 or more of the following:
- runny or blocked nose
- swollen lips and throat
- a cough
- wheezing and shortness of breath
- itchy throat and tongue
- itchy skin or rash
- diarrhoea or vomiting
- sore, red and itchy eyes
In a few cases, foods can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) that can be life-threatening.
Get medical advice if you ponder your kid is having an allergic reaction to a specific food.
Don’t be tempted to experiment by cutting out a major food, such as milk, because this could lead to your kid not getting the nutrients they need.
Talk to your health visitor or GP, who may refer you to a registered dietitian.