Spring is in the air, and you know what that means -- so are allergies. Congestion, post-nasal drip, itchy eyes, sneezing... Seasonal allergies are annoying and can be unbearable, especially when you are expecting. Indeed, during pregnancy your immune system is working for two, and your allergies can end up being worse than usual. Plus, there are only a few over-the-counter and topical remedies that you can use to feel better. So what can you do to bring relief? Here are 7 natural ways to treat allergies during pregnancy.
1. Get a humidifier. Breathing air with more humidity can help relieve the discomfort and symptoms of allergies. When your allergies kick in, you often get a stuffy nose, water eyes and a scratchy throat, and your otherwise moist nasal passages get inflamed and dry. A humidifier can help reduce inflammation, which then allows your nasal tissues to blow out any allergic irritants and provide quick relief. That said, don't overuse your humidifier and measure your home's humidity levels -- some allergens, like dust mites and mold thrive in moist environments. Finally, make sure to clean your humidifier regularly, change the filters as noted in the manufacturer's guidelines, and use distilled water.
2. Inhale eucalyptus vapor. Eucalyptus is known to provide natural relief for nasal and chest congestion. Paired with steaming water, which also help loosen mucus, it becomes an especially effective remedy for congestion and upper respiratory discomfort. So add a drop or two in a bowl of hot water, place a towel over your head and do a steam inhalation. Other essential oils or oil blends, like lavender and peppermint, can also be helpful before bedtime. Mixed with a carrier oil, rub some on your temples to relief pressure headaches or on your chest to help you breathe easier. Just make sure to check what essential oils are safe to use during pregnancy.
3. Irrigate your nasal passages. A simple over-the-counter saline spray or the neti pot can not only soothe and hydrate irritated nasal passages, it can also flush out your sinuses of irritants and allergens, clear out dry, crusty cavities and relieve congestion. Not everyone like the experience of spraying stuff up their noses, so to make the experience a little more comfortable, use warm water. Make sure also that you use sterile water and that you use this method temporarily. Finally, you can make your own saline solution by adding 1/4 of salt to 8 ounces of warm water.
4. Drink water. Here we are again, telling you to drink more and more water. Staying hydrating during the season but it will help keep your mouth, throat and nose hydrated, which can help alleviate the discomforts you are experiencing because of your allergies.
5. Spice your meals up with turmeric. It’s a hot spice these days! This superfood contains curcumin, which can aid in reducing congestion and allergy symptoms. What's more, it's an antioxidant that can help you boost your overall immunity -- something you definitely need a little bit more of when expecting.
6. Wear a nasal strip at night. A lot of people experience more congestion at night, which can disturb sleep. When you are pregnant, you already have a lot of discomforts that make you toss and turn, so you really don't need yet another thing to keep you up at night. Nasal strips have an adhesive that pulls your nasal passages open so that you are able to breathe better even when you are congested and your nasal passages are inflamed.
7. Have one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar a day to keep the allergies away. This natural remedy only works in the long run and if you use it consistently. Since apple cider vinegar is alkaline, it is thought to reduce mucous production, cleanse the lymphatic system and restore the PH balance of the body, which can help with allergies as well. There's no research corroborating this theory, but apple cider vinegar is also great to fight off heartburn -- a common symptom during pregnancy -- so it's worth a try.
If you’re feeling under the weather from allergies or sinus pain/pressure, consult your doctor or an ENT to get the scoop on what is best for you. While we’re excited to break out of the winter season, the transition can throw the most glowing pregnant woman out of the loop. What are some of the natural remedies you tried to treat allergy symptoms during pregnancy?