Week 17 of Pregnancy: Dealing with Seasonal Allergies During Pregnancy

Sneeze in White HankyMy allergies are driving me absolutely batty today during week 17 of pregnancy. I have had to borrow a box of Kleenex to keep with me at the Circulation Desk just so I can stop getting up every five minutes to blow my nose. Frankly, dealing with seasonal allergies during pregnancy feels like I am fighting a losing battle. Most seasonal allergy treatments are not safe for a developing baby. Moreover, even the safest medications leave me feeling a little wary. To be honest, I would rather suffer from seasonal allergies during pregnancy than risk the possibility of my baby being the one developing fetus that reacts badly to an allergy medication such as Flonase. And, so, I am therefore mostly putting up with the drippy, stuffy nose that I get every year because of my allergies.

In general, Benadryl and other antihistamines are considered safe seasonal allergy treatments during pregnancy. Although I wish to avoid as many medications as possible while pregnant, I have found myself taking a Benadryl almost every night before to temper my seasonal allergies during pregnancy. As soon as I go from a vertical to a horizontal position, my sinuses fill with mucus and I can no longer breathe well. And, even though I would rather not take any medications while pregnant, not breathing is really the bigger risk in this case. I just have to remind myself that oxygen deprivation is definitely bad for the baby but that Benadryl is most likely safe.

I am also dealing with my seasonal allergies during pregnancy this summer by keeping the air conditioning on in my house most of the time. Even though I love a fresh summer breeze, I do not like the airborne allergens that usually accompany said breeze. So, in addition to the horrendous heat that makes me want to never be pregnant during the summer again (tongue in cheek, I am super happy to be pregnant with Poppy right now), I am keeping my house closed up this summer to help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies during pregnancy.

And, although I complain sometimes about the lack of safe seasonal allergy treatments, I honestly am more than happy to suffer a little for the sake of my baby-to-be. Being a little stuffy and drippy now is well worth holding my baby in my arms come January. After all, I am completely used to not being able to breathe through my nose well. I honestly cannot remember a time in my life when I was not plagued by allergies. And, so, I will continue to put up with my seasonal allergies during pregnancy. What other choice do I have? The answer is none but oh so worth the slight annoyance.

Originally written on July 24, 2011

Image Credits

Sneeze in White Hanky: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sneeze_in_white_hankie.jpg

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson is a mother, wife, writer, librarian, and linguist. She earned a BA in English studies with a minor in creative writing from Illinois State University in May 2007, an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2009, and an MS in English studies with an emphasis in linguistics at Illinois State University in December 2011.

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