Managing Allergies in Pregnancy
Allergies affect 18-30% of women in the childbearing age groups. Allergic diseases that complicate pregnancy include conjunctivitis, acute urticaria (hives, rash), anaphylaxis, food and drug allergy. These disorders represent the most common group of medical conditions that complicate pregnancy. The diagnosis of an allergy in pregnancy is often found through a detail medical history and assessing the symptoms experienced. Once the diagnosis is made there are many things that can be done to treat the condition.
Avoid triggers. Limit your exposure to anything that triggers your allergy symptoms.
Try saline nasal spray. Over-the-counter saline nasal spray can help ease nasal dryness, bleeding and congestion. Use the spray as often as needed.
Rinse your nasal cavity with a neti pot. Neti pots are available in most pharmacies. Once or twice a day, fill the neti pot with an over-the-counter saline nasal solution. Then tilt your head over the sink, place the spout of the neti pot in your upper nostril and gently pour in the saline solution. As you pour, the saline solution will flow through your nasal cavity and out your lower nostril. Repeat on the other side. If you’d rather make your own irrigation solution, use water that’s distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller. Also be sure to rinse the neti pot after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water. Leave the rinsed neti pot open to air-dry.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Exercise helps reduce nasal inflammation.
· Use nasal strips at night. Over-the-counter adhesive nasal strips — such as Breathe Right and Breathe.
If none of these work, allergy medications are often given safely to women and include Claritin, Alavert and Benadryl. Before you take any medication always discuss alternatives with your obstetrician or healthcare provider.
Epigenetics is a term scientists use to describe their point of view that genes are controlled beyond what is encoded in DNA. As a mother, you have a powerful impact on the future health of your child. You can’t change your genes, but you can control your diet.
What does this mean? Eating meals that are balanced, full of nutrients and whole real foods.
- Are you getting a good source of protein for breakfast – eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese with some fruit?
- Are you planning healthy snacks such as nuts and fruit, natural peanut/almond/cashew butter with an apple, European or hard cheese with some fruit, hummus with carrots?
- Does your dinner include a good source of protein with some fruit or vegetable or a salad and some non man-made carb like squash, quinoa or yam? Your diet does not need to be perfect but balanced and healthy most of the time.
- If you want a treat include 2 squares of good quality over 70% dark chocolate.
In addition, getting daily exercise such as a walk/pre-natal yoga is helpful for improved mood, sleep and hormones in general.
Programming your baby for good health starts with you so if you feel discouraged think of the reward your child will receive when you are long gone….
Once again we should always know what is in our products! Phthalates, a chemical that may alter hormone levels and are banned in toys and children’s products are still in many baby washes and lotions! Your skin is your biggest organ so obviously this is not a good thing for babies or adults!
Miles and I did our morning stretches this morning… He started to follow my lead. Ian of course ran for the camera and started setting up the shot! HA… Such a director he is! I can hear the future dialogue now… “Dad, please put down that camera! ”
I wish I could say the breastfeeding is getting easier but it isn’t. I thought by 7 weeks my breasts would be healed and I would be loving it.. but the sad truth is neither have happen. I feel horrible about it. Most of my friends have had great experiences with no problems or gradually it got better for them, some stopped for various reasons. I love my baby and I will do whatever it takes to provide for him even it that means suffering through the pain but it ain’t easy! I am waiting for that magically moment to happen!
Why does acne increase during pregnancy and how can I safely treat it?
Acne in pregnancy is extremely common and it is often more difficult to treat. “Pregnancy acne” is not a special form of acne. Pregnancy acne occurs due to the overproduction of sebum oil which happens from all the hormonal changes. Unfortunately, some women are more susceptible than others. Some studies show that as many as a third of cases actually improve in pregnancy but most women will report some worsening. The various forms of treatment include the following:
1. Wash your face twice a day. You can use a mild cleanser with warm water and gently wash your entire face.
2. If you have oily hair, shampoo daily. Be careful to keep your hair off your face.
3. Avoid picking, scratching, popping or squeezing acne sores. These types of habits can spread infection and potentially cause scarring.
4. If you use cosmetics, stick to oil-free products. Descriptions such as water-based, noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic.
5. Avoid resting your face in your hands. This can trap skin oils and sweat, which can irritate acne.
Medication is the second line of treatment for pregnancy acne. Erthromycin (Erygel) or clindamycin (Clindagel) is often the drug of choice of pregnancy acne. Azelaic acid (Azelex, Finacea) is another option. Both of these medications are applied to the skin as a lotion or gel and are available by prescription.
Other more controversial and less studied products include benzoyl peroxide and other over-the-counter or prescription strength benzoyl peroxide during pregnancy.
Medications to avoid during pregnancy include isotretinoin and other retinoids, minocycline, doxycycline and other tetracyclines.
Initially you should consult with your obstetrician or health care provider for first line treatments. If those prove to be unsuccessful consult with your dermatologist. Together you can weigh the benefits and risks of various treatment options.
Miles has finally awoken! He is now focusing on his parents, objects and the moving ceiling fan. He loves looking at that fan! He smiled at the fan before me…. ARG! haha…
It’s crazy how you can function on such little sleep. I am receiving about 3 hours a day. It’s pretty hard for me to nap and there is so much to do when he is sleeping. I am still trying to figure out how to do everything and get at least 5 hours! One day I will… But for now I am enjoying every waking moment with my man and my son!
I just attended a fascinating conference the last 2 days on the genetics of what happens in the womb. It turns out Mom’s to be have much more of an influence on the health of their future child than once realized.
A baby is programmed in the womb with a certain set of genes or DNA, but how she or he responds to that DNA can be influenced by your diet and level of self care – a daunting and huge responsibility!
What do you do with this information? All the decision you make with food and lifestyle (good or bad) can add up to the health of your child. We do know there are many things that can happen that have nothing to do with you, but why not control what you are able to with a healthy diet full of nutritious food?
Eating regular meals that are balanced with respect to healthy sources of protein, natural sources of carbohydrates and healthy fats will give your baby the vitamins/minerals and nutrients he or she needs. Future blogs will discuss your options. I highly recommend getting at least one consult with a Registered Dietitian in your area to ensure you are meeting your individual needs. The ADA has a national website – eatright.org that has RD’s in your area.
For those of you who have challenges with blood sugars during pregnancy my new book got launched this week: Healthy YOU, Healthy Baby: A Mother’s Guide to Gestational Diabetes – it is available on my site and will be in ebook form very soon!
Miles is now over 8 pounds. He gulps milk down like it’s a scarce resource, so it doesn’t seem like gaining weight is a problem any more.
Ian and I have different ways of soothing Miles. I hold him in my arms and swing back and forth. Ian uses a exercise ball to bounce Miles and the little one loves it.. Unfortunately, we had a little scare the other day. Ian was bouncing Miles on the ball and it blew up! Thank God the baby was okay because Ian held him tight when they hit the floor. Poor Ian hurt his back. He popped a couple of my pain killers that I received for the C-section to relieve his pain. Thank goodness I didn’t see it happen, just the sound scared the *!*! out of me! ARG…. Ian is now okay..
My girlfriend Wendy, who is my friend and the God mother of Miles took Ian, Miles and I out for my birthday. We decided to go to Shutters on the Beach for a late lunch. After 10 months I finally had a glass of yummy wine with my delicious meal. Miles was a dream, he slept through most of the lunch.
Later in the evening, Ian prepared an amazing candle light dinner. Miles was sleeping in the bassinet next to me while we were gazing at the city lights. Ian said he had another present for me for my birthday and to look in the bassinet. I was completely surprised to pull out a small box with a rose emerald ring in it. I jumped into his arms and he asked me to marry him! Super romantic! Of course I said YES!
Randall says he sounds like me when I snore. I can’t verify that because I don’t hear myself when I’m snoring. I’ll bet Miles sounds cuter than I do though.
It’s a well know fact: many women who normally love veggies can’t stomach a salad or the look of a vegetable once they become pregnant. Food aversions are very normal, especially during the first trimester but can continue during the second and third.
What should you do if you are in this category?
I like to tell my women: disguise your veggies. Hide them in soups, in smoothies or whatever sounds good to you. Pureed vegetable soups are soothing and usually more accepted than eating veggies.
If you have a Vita-Mix, Blendtec or other high speed blender sticking a few stalks of broccoli or some spinach will go unnoticed in a smoothie of fruit.
Don’t beat yourself up for not liking what you normally eat – just nurture yourself through the process and eat what you are able. The day will come when vegetables or a good salad will be appealing again.
Fascinating article about how the brain changes shortly after motherhood. Funny, I don’t feel any smarter! In fact I’m often more scattered and absent-minded. Sleep deprivation probably plays a part in that.
I heard the phrase ‘talkin smack’, so doing some of my own. I think I’m pretty good at it.
Miles has no problems putting it down.
Because Miles was born on the smaller side and had trouble latching while breast feeding, doctors were concerned about his weight. He’s been eating great now and bulking up. Arms, legs and belly have a nice amount of chubby to them, and he’s close to outgrowing the newborn diapers. He’s even sporting a double chin now.
Ian and I were just hanging out with Miles in the house when all of a sudden Izzy brought in a furry little animal! At first we thought it was a mouse but Ian took a good look and saw that it was a chip monk! So cute! NO!!!!!!!!!!!! I said… Ian put Izzy in the garage and then we tried to catch the stunned little guy. After about 5 or so minutes trying to catch him he ran out of the house! One saved little creature from the terror of Izzy!
Got this from auntie Linda. Bet you wish you had one!
Ian can’t stop taking pictures and videos of Miles and he has caught some of his funniest expressions. Sometimes the camera exaggerates his little face but I just had to post this one because it made me laugh so hard!
A lot of people gave me advise throughout my pregnancy and there were certain things that people consistently told me. One being, a swing and a Soothie Pacifier, will be my best friend.
Well, today Miles experienced his first binkie and boy does he love it!
We just had to take a picture of his expression!
Miles gets congested sometimes and I have to use a nasal aspirator to get the junk out. He’s not a big fan of having something shoved in his nose and suctioned (who is?), so we generally do it after a warm bath. In this case I brought him into the bathroom while Randall was showering when it was nice and steamy. The warm humid air relaxes him and then it’s much easier to get the snot out of his nose.
Many of my clients are those on their second and third pregnancies trying not to repeat the weight gain of the first time.
- “I thought I would use this as an excuse to finally eat whatever I wanted”
- “ I went crazy and ate lots of desserts”
- “I gained 60 pounds and it was nightmare to get off”
- “I looked at pregnancy as a break from my perpetual diet”
It boils down to this: during the first trimester you only need 100 calories per day more – that’s a glass of milk or a banana – not much.
For the remaining trimester it’s approximately 300 calories additional calories per day, which means an extra snack – an apple with 2 tbsp. of natural peanut butter.
This does not equate to a hot fudge sundae every night, or an extra serving of food at lunch or dinner.
Save yourself the pain of having to lose so much weight afterward. Respond to your hunger and satiation and be mindful of the nutrients you need during pregnancy – think of what you want your body to feel like after the baby.
Recently, Miles has been focusing and making eye contact. Here he is with his Blankie Bear and a fun little toy that the Dr. gave to us a Reversible Infant-Stim Crib Bumper Panel & Book in One.
Let the fun begin!