Monday, November 2, 2009

Ahhh, spring...

I had my first allergy attack when I was about 13. Until that point, I'd been pretty carefree, cheerfully roaming the hills around our house and going on nature walks. But that spring, something changed. I don't know what triggered it - we'd lived in a rural area for years, so I'd been routinely exposed to plenty of plant spores and pollens, but that year I started having dramatic hayfever. I couldn't mow or even be in the vicinity of fresh cut grass (to this day, I can't understand why people like the way it smells - all it means to me is that my throat will start to close up), or be around blooming lilac, poplar trees, or any number of other plants. If I was exposed for longer than a couple minutes, I would spend the next several days gasping for air. When I moved to Australia it got even worse, presumably because of all of the unfamiliar plants sending out spores every year.

I struggled for years to find a good medication for my allergies, since most of them - even the ones that are marketed as "non-drowsy" - would send me into a drugged stupor. Eventually I found a medication that worked, and have spent the last few years blissfully frolicking outside in the spring...until now. Because when you're pregnant, you can't take allergy medication. There is one drug in Australia that is occasionally prescribed in severe allergy cases for low-risk pregnancies, but with the higher-risk cases such as myself (since I'm carrying twins), doctors are understandably reluctant to prescribe it, and I wouldn't be comfortable taking it even if it was on offer.

This season, I've been treating myself by taking paracetamol (which doesn't help with the allergies but does ease the tension headaches I get from fatigue and struggling to breathe), breathing steam from bowl of hot water, using a saline spray to help clear my nasal passages, and simply staying inside as much as I can. This was working fairly well until last night, when I had no choice but to spend several hours outside, and today I'm feeling the consequences. I could barely breathe last night and hardly slept (lying down exacerbates my breathing issues), and today it's an effort just to keep moving - it doesn't help that it's a dry, hot, windy spring day, perfect for torturing allergy sufferers.

So I'm putting it out there: does anyone have any safe, baby-friendly allergy remedies? I've had a few friends recommend buying a neti pot (which I'm going to look for this weekend), and I've tried the local honey method in the past (it simply doesn't work for me). Anyone have any other hints?


  1. Try Chloraseptic Allergen Block
    It is available at all drugstores in the US, but you can also find it online at and others. You apply it to the outside of your nose and it creates a small electric charge that protects the allergens from entering your nose. It works for me. The only downside is you have to reapply every 4-6 hours.

  2. I'm sorry, I have no good remedies for you because I don't suffer from allergies... hope you can find some relief soon though.

    FYI - did you know that babies that are breast fed for at least 6 months tend to have fewer respiratory problems like allergies and asthma? DH truly believes that is why he has more problems than his sister does.

  3. I am fighting seasonal (Fall) allergies too...blech! My neti pot is my saving grace these days.

    Oh and when do we get to see some bump pics? I am dying already!

    As for mat clothes...I hear ya! I am a pre-preg 18/20 and 5'9" which leaves little to be sought "off-the-rack." I have done well with consignment and eBay (Duo and Motherhood lines fit me well in the 2x size) and also just buying "normal" clothes the next size up. Actually some of my regular clothes still fit (especially tops) although I suspect that the further into the third tri I get the less flattering they'll be because the front hemline will be higher than the back.