While many women report that their allergies improve or disappear during pregnancy, some still experience symptoms. If you're among them, you should know that there plenty of ways to relieve symptoms both with and without medication.
Your best defense against allergy symptoms is to avoid the triggers that cause them. Of course, you can't control what happens outside, but you can reduce your exposure in your home by wearing a mask when you dust or vacuum, keeping pets out of your bedroom, and protecting your mattress and pillows with special covers to keep out dust mites. Using a dehumidifier to keep the air in your home under 50 percent humidity can also help fend off mites and mold.
It’s always best to avoid taking any type of medication during pregnancy, if possible. That said, if allergies or nasal congestion due to upper-respiratory infection are keeping you from sleeping, eating, or participating fully in your life, your doctor is likely to consider Claritin to help you cope with your symptoms. Rest assured that after years of research on animals and humans, Claritin has been classified as safe to use during pregnancy. Antihistamines like Chlor-Trimeton and Benadryl are also deemed safe for pregnant women to take.
Over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays, like Afrin, can also be used while you're pregnant (although these can actually make symptoms worse if you take them for too long, so following the dosing instructions is important). Women with more severe symptoms may also consider taking a prescription nasal spray, like Rhinocort. As always, you shouldn't take any medications during pregnancy without your doctor's approval.