You should aim to keep your allergies as well managed as possible at all times, but it is especially important to do so during pregnancy. Staying healthy whilst your body changes and adapts during this time is absolutely essential.

Regardless of whether or not you have an existing medical condition, it is advisable for all women to visit their doctor when they find out that they are pregnant.

Hormonal changes

Pregnancy triggers the release of hormones that can alter how your body reacts to certain stimuli. There is a chance that your allergies might change during your pregnancy.

For some women, allergy symptoms may improve during pregnancy, whereas others might notice worsened symptoms. In rare cases women can develop an allergy for the first time during pregnancy.

If your allergy symptoms change or worsen then you should speak to your doctor who can reassess your condition. They may make some changes to the strength of your medicine or change the course completely.

Medication

Many people with allergies take regular treatment in order to keep their symptoms at a manageable level. For example asthmatics take inhalers often as a preventative measure. This is so they can continue with their life as normally as possible.

You should not make any changes to your medication without speaking to your doctor or allergy specialist. This means continuing with treatment unless you are told otherwise.

If you are pregnant and you suddenly stop adhering to your allergy treatment plan then there is a chance that your symptoms could become severe. This may put your health, and that of your unborn baby, in danger.

Don’t forget to check with your doctor or pharmacist before continuing to take any over-the-counter or complementary medicines.

Being pregnant should not stop you from receiving treatment for your allergies. There are medications that are safe to take throughout your pregnancy.

If you have been prescribed an adrenaline auto-injector device then you should check with your doctor about the correct use of such a device during your pregnancy.

Details of your allergies should be written in your pregnancy notes so that every member of the clinical team is aware of your situation.

Food

If you have a food allergy or you avoid certain foods due to an intolerance then you may wish to speak to your doctor about your diet.

During pregnancy you will need to ensure that you are receiving a good range of nutrients and that nothing essential is missing from your diet.

Hospital stay

Throughout the course of your pregnancy you are likely to come into contact with a range of healthcare professionals. They all need to be made aware of your allergy so that they can provide the best and safest treatment for you.

If you have a severe allergy and there is a risk of you being admitted to hospital as an emergency then you might want to think about purchasing a piece of medical alert jewellery. The piece of jewellery will warn medical staff of your allergy so that they can make appropriate arrangements before they start treating you.

Preparation is key when it comes to your stay in hospital to give birth. Your pregnancy notes should already have the details of your allergy included. However, as delivery units can be very busy places you may want to give a polite reminder to those who are treating you at each stage of the process.

If you have a drug allergy you should check with a doctor or midwife if the drug appears in any commonly administered medicines during the birthing process.

Don’t forget to take your usual medications with you to the hospital. Make sure that the staff are aware what you are using as they don’t want to cause any dangerous drug interactions.

Will my child inherit my allergy?

Unfortunately there’s no way of knowing whether or not your child will develop an allergy. It is estimated that if one parent has an allergy then there is a 30 percent increased risk of the baby inheriting an allergy. If both parents have an allergy then the chances increase to between 60 and 80 percent.

There is no conclusive clinical evidence to suggest that you can prevent certain allergies during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should concentrate on staying well during their pregnancy by eating a full and balanced diet, remaining active when possible and not smoking.

There is an ongoing debate about whether or not breastfeeding can help to protect your child from certain allergies.

In the UK new mums are encouraged to breastfeed exclusively until their child is six months old. However, the NHS does not list allergy protection as one of the health benefits of breastfeeding.

Stay healthy

You should take good care of yourself throughout your pregnancy in order to stay as healthy as possible.

  • Attend an appointment with your doctor so that they can assess your allergy condition and adjust any medications if required.
  • Take your allergy medications as directed by your doctor.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Only avoid foods if you have an allergy or intolerance or the food item is on the foods to avoid in pregnancy list.
  • Remain active and take part in regular exercise.
  • Throughout each stage of your pregnancy make sure that all healthcare professionals are informed of your allergy.