There’s nothing I hate worse than sneezing. (Ok, I’ll be honest, that annoying noise that Jim Carey makes in Dumb and Dumber is worse than sneezing…sorry–but it’s the only thing!) And, for whatever reason, every change of the season, I get all sniffly, snuffly and sneezy. It’s horrible. Except when I’m preggers–then it’s horrible to the 10th degree! That’s why this year, I’m prepared (because, yes, I’m preggers again, as you may have heard) and I’ve come up with 10 Allergy Hacks During Pregnancy!
Not only am I sore from just being pregnant, but add to that being sore from days of sneezing and coughing! No way! I’d do just about anything to reduce my allergies and keep those horrid sneezy-days away! Here’s what works for me:
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. This is especially crucial when your eye-allergy sensitive like me. I can have bad allergy-days without even sneezing once! My eyes will water all day, my lids get all puffy and scratchy–and then I can’t wear my contacts. So, I can look kinda silly for the 10 minutes I’m outside, or I can look silly constantly with puffy-eyes…
- If you can, take a shower after you’ve been outside for any substantial length of time, and definitely change your shirt, even if you can’t shower. This is critical to me on high pollen-count days. No matter if you’ve been outside for just a second, wash your face every time you come inside. Again–super-critical.
- Don’t wear makeup. I KNOW! How horrible of me to say something so crass! But really, if allergies are as huge of a deal to you as they are to me, you’ll try this hack. Mascara never bothered me until I was pregnant. Now, any time I even put the lightest coat on my lashes, I’m itchy and scratchy all day. Easy-peasy, I cut it out of my regimen.
- Clean the air filter every month and keep your ceiling fans off. By using new filters, you’re reducing the amount of dust particles circulating–simple, right? Then, let that dust be still that is hanging around, don’t stir it up with a fan! If you’re hot, put on a tank-top–this helps budget-wise, too.
- Use essential oils–they really work! So, I was totally skeptical about this, but when I got pregnant and couldn’t take my daily allergy med, I was kinda worried and my friend Jamie loaned me a little peppermint oil to dab on the back of my neck before I go to bed at night. I’m hooked! Plus, it makes me smell great!
- Limit your time outdoors doing chores–or at all. Right, so because my pregnancy is kinda high-risk (ok, it’s not kinda, it just is high-risk) I’m not supposed to be doing any major chores anyway, so this is like a double-whammy for me. Normally during the fall, I’d be helping my husband rake leaves or doing the final trim of the hedges for the holidays (and I’d be sneezing for days). Not this year, though!
- Have someone else vacuum–when you’re not there. No, this is not a conspiracy I’m starting to get husbands everywhere to do the chores while the preggers sits and eats bon-bons (what are those anyway?). Vacuuming stirs-up dust and gets those allergens hopping. So, I ask my hubby to do the vacuuming while I’m at the grocery store or at the very least, while I’m hanging in another room.
- Avoid smokers, perfumes, chemicals, etc. I know this is hard, but if a friend or family-member smokes or wears crazy perfume, politely explain your allergy problem (you can even tell them that your allergies are like a million times worse during pregnancy) and ask them (nicely) to not wear the perfume or smoke around you. As far as chemicals go, there are a lot that have perfumes in them–so just avoid them and you won’t be exposed. If you have to use something (just can’t ask the hubby to clean the bathroom for you!), then use something gentle and natural like vinegar.
- Avoid cats, dogs, and other unusual animals. So, I’m cool with my dogs, right, because I see them every day pretty much all day. But when I go to my friend’s house with her big labs, I’m sniffly. So, during the pregnancy, I’ve been asking her to meet me for lunch out instead of at her house or mine…That way we’re on neutral, allergy-friendly ground and I bet she doesn’t even realize I’m doing it on purpose!
- Stay away from foods you might be allergic to. This was a tough one for me. My brother is horribly allergic to dairy and I’m mildly allergic, meaning I don’t have a major reaction, just a minor little nothing. But, I found, during the first month of my pregnancy that if I stayed away from dairy, I wasn’t as sniffly. This all happened by accident when I was going on an allergen-free diet (per my brother’s advice), but the results were the same. I guess triggering the food-allergen reaction was triggering the sniffles! Who knew?!
Oh, and apparently, it’s ok to take benedryl every once in a while, but I try to avoid it. Now, just to make it through the next 6 months and one more season change!