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Pregnant with Allergies

What can I do for allergies while pregnant?

A. It is common for women with allergies to have changes in their symptoms during their pregnancy. Allergies can temporarily be treated with nasal saline, salt water, which is safe to use during pregnancy since it is not actually a drug. Generally it is recommended to spray 3 to 6 sprays in each nostril, leaving the saline in the nose for up to 30 seconds, and then blowing the nose. If needed, Antihistamines are safe to be used during pregnancy; many of them are ranked as Category B medications. By taking one you may be able to control your allergies. If you are an allergy sufferer who has been on allergy shots prior to becoming pregnant, you do have the option to continue allergy shots throughout your pregnancy. Typically the dose will not be increased and many Allergists may consider slightly decreasing the dose during pregnancy. It is necessary to speak to your Allergist and/or Obstetrics/Gynecologist prior to starting any new medications during pregnancy.

Nana Mireku, MD FACAAI, FAAAAI | Chief of Allergy | Asthma and Immunology | USMD/MCNT

I’ve had a fairly uneventful pregnancy so far, but now in my third trimester, my feet are all swollen. Why is that?

A. It’s pretty common for your feet to swell when you’re pregnant. In the heat of the summer, it’s even more common. Not only are you retaining more water right now, your growing uterus is putting pressure on your pelvic veins. This pressure slows the return of blood from your legs to your heart and forces fluid from your veins into the tissues of your feet. To relieve the pressure, put your feet up whenever possible and drink plenty of water. After the baby is born, everything should go back to normal.

How long should my baby sleep on his back?

A. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep on their backs until they are one year of age. You should also make sure everyone who cares for your baby (including grandparents, babysitters and childcare providers, older siblings, and others) knows how to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related dangers. They may think one time won’t matter, but it can. When a baby who usually sleeps on his back is suddenly laid on his stomach to sleep, the risk of SIDS is very high.

Q. What is special education inclusion? I heardover-talk at a school event.

A. Inclusion means giving all students access to regular classrooms, instruction and learning opportunities. Although the term “inclusive classrooms” is relatively new, it complies with the original intention of laws passed by Congress, beginning with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1975.

Mary Ellen |  Editor and Registered Dietitian  |  editor@suburbanparent.com