Ah, Spring and Summer are so wonderful with greenery and flowers everywhere… except if you suffer from hayfever. Even worse if you suffer from hayfever and you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. What is safe to take for hayfever in pregnancy? This article will signpost you in the right direction for safe hayfever treatments during pregnancy and breastfeeding, although it isn’t intended to replace medical advice.
What Hayfever Symptoms are the worst?
If you are suffering more from itchy and runny nose, then a nasal spray and topical application may be better for you. If you have itchy, red eyes, then eye drops are going to work or perhaps a combination of the two.
Corticosteroid nasal sprays are often prescribed for hayfever and work the best. Take them at the beginning of the day before symptoms occur to give them the best chance of working. Your GP or pharmacist will be able to advise you. The steroid sprays are often more effective than antihistamine tablets. Use them within the recommended dosage and there should not be a problem using them in pregnancy. The nasal sprays with antihistamine like Pirinase should not be used in pregnancy, or used with permission from the GP.
Eye drops with an antihistamine in them are to be used with caution during pregnancy. There is a drug called sodium cromoglicate that the GP may recommend. It comes in the form of eye drops or a nasal spray or drops. They have to be used several times a day to be effective. These products do not contain steroids and are thought to be safe in pregnancy. However, as with all drugs in pregnancy, they should be used with caution.
If your only option is antihistamine tablets, your GP may suggest you take Loratidine (e.g. Claritin) or Cetirizine, both of which are non-drowsy. You get precious little sleep so you don’t need extra drowsiness! Piriton is considered safe in pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it can make you feel drowsy, and must not be taken near your due date, as it can make the baby drowsy and have tremors at birth.
These are not advised, whether you have hayfever or a cold, as they are untested in pregnancy, particularly the first trimester.
Natural Remedies for Hayfever
If you want to avoid all medications, you could try some natural remedies. These include:
- Get some local honey and eat a spoonful a day before hayfever season starts
- Rub vaseline over your nostrils and eyes to block pollen from entering
- Saline drops for the nose to reduce inflammation (Tip: if you get the children’s version you can use them for your baby too)
- Take homeopathic hayfever tablets
- Increase your intake of ginger, turmeric and garlic
As always, check with your Midwife and GP before trying anything new, it may be that you can carry on with your previous treatment. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it’s always about weighing up the risks versus the benefits you will receive.