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Should I Get Allergy Shots When I’m Pregnant?

Should I Get Allergy Shots When I'm Pregnant?Pregnancy has special demands in terms of diet, exercise and medication. Pregnant mothers are often advised to avoid certain drugs and treatments because of the potential effects on the unborn child. However, there are certain things that cannot be avoided during pregnancy, such as allergies. Every day, no matter how careful you may be, you will be exposed to micro-particles such as dust, pollen, animal dander, molds, fungi and other allergens. When you need several allergy shots, pregnancy may not be a condition you want to find yourself in. Are shots safe when administered while you are carrying a baby or are there special precautions you need to know?

Do You Have Allergies?

Women who already suffer from health issues such as asthma and allergic rhinitis are not exempted from the symptoms during pregnancy. Interestingly, women who do not have allergies may find that they are more susceptible to the sniffles and sneezing. When a woman is pregnant, her hormones work above normally to help her body adapt to her new condition. In many cases, part of what a woman experiences during pregnancy is the result of hormone-induced symptoms, one of which may result in swollen nasal passages. It may not be an actual allergy but the symptoms are similar to those that come with a cold or flu. If you happen to have an allergy, the swelling within your nose could make the symptoms more uncomfortable.

Why You Need Allergy Shots

Allergy shots make it more comfortable for you to manage your symptoms. They also minimize the severity of your symptoms and any associated complications. Allergy shots will also help prevent dangerous reactions if or when you become exposed to allergens. Generally, allergy shots are safe to administer to pregnant women, only if they have been receiving these shots prior to their pregnancy. Many specialists do not recommend starting a series of allergy shots when you are pregnant. The introduction of allergens to your system, however mild and harmless, could trigger some changes and reactions in your body, especially in your immune system.

Furthermore, allergy medications may contain certain ingredients that are not recommended for  pregnant women because they could affect the health of the mother or fetus. However, certain allergy medications are considered safe to use after the first trimester, when the baby is at his most vulnerable. If you are worried about the possible effects that allergy shots may have on your baby, you might consider a study presented by the ACAAI (American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology). In the study, researchers found that mothers who received allergy shots during their pregnancy may have helped minimize their child’s chances of developing certain allergies. A member of the ACAAI and allergist Dr. Jay Lieberman says that the research suggests there may be a protective factor involved that could possibly pass from an immunized mother to her child while the baby is still in her womb.

What to Expect

When it comes to allergy shots, pregnancy and other conditions wherein the body undergoes a number of changes, caution needs to be taken. If you have been receiving shots prior to your pregnancy, talk to your doctor about having the shots done while you are pregnant. Typically, an allergist will either administer the same dose to you or decrease it, depending on your needs, your general health, potential risks and possible complications. If you are unsure about what to do or is worried about possible side effects, talk to your allergy doctor. Allergies remain incurable for most Americans but receiving preventive therapy can help prevent and minimize the progression of the disease.

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