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7 Natural Ways To Treat Allergies During Pregnancy

Outsmart seasonal allergies with these natural, pregnancy-safe remedies.

7 Natural Ways To Treat Allergies During Pregnancy

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?

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

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May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

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Life

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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