• Midwife Bethany

Allergies got you in a fog? Here are your natural and pharmaceutical options

Updated: Sep 13, 2018


Seasonal allergies, also called hay fever, cause symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, congestion, post-nasal drip, coughing, headaches, sinus pressure, and/or fatigue. Seasonal allergies are caused by an allergic reaction to mold, tree, grass and weed pollen. There are natural and pharmaceutical options to help you find relief. In addition to the options listed below, some people find that drinking plenty of water and reducing the intake of gluten and dairy greatly minimizes seasonal allergy symptoms.


Natural Options:

  • Allermax by Country Life

    • Safe in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Non-drowsy formula recommended to be taken consistenly for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. It is recommended to take 2 capsules, 2 times a day when experiencing symptoms.

    • “Country Life’s Aller-Max™ is a unique complex based on the key ingredients of Quercetin, Bromelain, and Vitamin C. Quercetin is a naturally occurring non-citrus bioflavonoid derived from flower buds. Bromelain is an enzyme derived from pineapple stem. Aller-Max™ also provides Vitamin C as well, alongside herbs like Stinging Nettle and Cayenne.”


  • HistaBlock by Nature’s Sunshine

    • Safe in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Take as recommended on the bottle.

    • “HistaBlock provides nutrients that support healthy respiratory function as the body battles irritants, pollutants and toxins. Stinging nettle provides well-known support against seasonal airborne substances. This formula provides antioxidant strength to help stabilize mast cells. The antioxidant quercetin has been used for its reputed effects in supporting the respiratory system. Quercetin may help stabilize cells that release compounds when exposed to irritants. Bromelain is an enzyme that works to help reduce the swelling of mucous membranes during times of respiratory stress. Bitter orange contains synephrine, which helps the body support open airways.”


  • Hyland’s Homeopathic Allergy Relief

    • Safe in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The non-drowsy formula encourages the body to maintain homeostasis and resolve symptoms.

    • Quick acting, take as recommended on box.


  • Essential Oils:

    • Diffuse lavender, R.C., and eucalyptus radiata for 20-30 minutes twice per day or as needed.

    • Topically apply lavender, lemon, and peppermint behind the ears, around the neck and back, and on the bottom of the feet. This can be put in a roll on or simply diluted in a carrier oil each application.

    • Idaho Balsam Fir and Frankincense can also be extremely effective in helping allergy symptoms. They can be diffused or applied topically as mentioned above.


Pharmaceuticals:

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, an allergy medicine may be what you need to find relief. Allergy medicines taken by mouth are generally considered safe during pregnancy. Claritin/Loratidine is probably the more popular non-sedative antihistamine. Decongestants (sudafed, afrin, sinex, etc.) are not recommended during pregnancy. Check the label of what you buy to see if the antihistamine is combined with a decongestant.

  • Allegra (Fexofenadine hydrochloride) is a non-sedating antihistamine used to treat hay fever/seasonal allergies.

    • “There have been no adequate and well-controlled studies regarding the use of fexofenadine in human pregnancy. Results of animal studies have revealed an absence of mutagenicity or infertility. Teratogenicity was not observed in rats given approximately 15 times the maximum daily oral dose in humans based on an AUC comparison. Decreased pup weight gain and survival occurred in rats given 3 times the maximum daily oral dose in humans. Fexofenadine should be used during pregnancy only when the benefits of therapy outweigh the risks. Self-medication with non-prescription products is not recommended; pregnant patients should see their health care professional for a proper diagnosis and for treatment recommendations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology consider loratadine an acceptable alternative in pregnancy, preferably after the first trimester, when first generation antihistamines are not tolerated.” -Physician’s Desk Reference/ Prescriber’s Digital Reference

  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is a sedating antihistamine that may be used to treat seasonal allergies. It is a Category B drug that is generally considered safe during pregnancy. Because benadryl can sedate the mother, and in-turn the newborn, it is not recommended in the last two weeks of pregnancy when birth may occur.

    • “Non-pharmacologic methods (e.g., fluids and rest) are recommended to be tried first for symptomatic relief of colds or allergies during pregnancy. Pregnant patients should see their health care professional for a proper diagnosis and for treatment recommendations before taking medications. Diphenhydramine should be administered during pregnancy only when the benefits of therapy outweigh the potential risks to the fetus, and use should be limited to short-term, 'as needed' administration under the prescription of a qualified health-care professional.”- Physician’s Desk Reference/ Prescriber’s Digital Reference

  • Claritin (Loratadine) is a non-sedating antihistamine used to treat hay fever/seasonal allergy symptoms.

    • “Loratadine is available over-the-counter without a prescription. Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus but there are no adequate studies in pregnant women. Use during pregnancy only when the benefits of therapy outweigh the risks. Self-medication with loratadine during pregnancy is not recommended. Pregnant patients should see their health care professional for a proper diagnosis and for treatment recommendations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology consider loratadine an acceptable alternative in pregnancy, preferably after the first trimester, when first generation antihistamines are not tolerated.” -Physician’s Desk Reference/ Prescriber’s Digital Reference

  • Zyrtec (Cetirizine) used to treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis) with symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, etc. It is a second generation anti-histamine and should not cause drowsiness.

    • “There are no adequate or well-controlled studies with use of cetirizine during human pregnancy. Animal studies do not reveal a risk for teratogenesis, even at doses greatly exceeding the maximum recommended daily human dose on mg/m2 basis; however animal studies are not always predictive of human response. Use cetirizine during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Self-medication with cetirizine (OTC formulations) during pregnancy is not recommended. Pregnant patients should see their health care professional for a proper diagnosis and for treatment recommendations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology consider cetirizine an acceptable alternative in pregnancy, preferably after the first trimester, when first generation antihistamines are not tolerated.”- Physician’s Desk Reference/ Prescriber’s Digital Reference

For More Information:

Gentle Babies: Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infants and Young Children by Debra Raybern

Allegra: http://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Allegra-Allergy-Tablets-fexofenadine-hydrochloride-1459.4401

Benadryl: http://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Diphenhydramine-Hydrochloride--diphenhydramine-hydrochloride-1140.941

Claritin: http://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Claritin-loratadine-1039.234

Zyrtec: http://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Zyrtec-Tablets-cetirizine-hydrochloride-3492.3500

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