It’s that time of year again….allergy season. While most people around you may be jumping for joy that it is spring, you are not so happy about it! If this is your first time breastfeeding you may be surprised to learn that many of your go to allergy medications are off the table. Fear not. We will go over ways to help manage your allergies naturally (this is possible).
To start here is a link to Motherisk, via Sick Kids Hospital which reviews which medications can be safely used during breast feeding. Unfortunately, it is primarily the first generation antihistamines, which are the ones that cause drowsiness, probably not the best side effect for chasing after a little one when you are already tired, but it is good to know your options
Top 7 Tips to Manage Allergies Naturally
- Change your Pillow Case Every Night: Sorry! You probably don’t need more laundry to do, but changing your pillow case can be a game changer. All day your hair is collecting pollen when you are outside and then you lay down and it can get onto your pillowcase and irritate your eyes and nose as you sleep
- Shower Before Bed: As above, washing that pollen/allergen out of your hair before bed leaves less of it around to irritate
- Netti Pot: Based on the same principle as changing your pillow case frequently, “washing” the nasal cavity out twice a day helps reduce irritation
- Reduce Dairy Consumption: Dairy is a mucous forming food. If you are having problems with either congestion or runny nose it is a good one to cut down on or fully eliminate during allergy season
- Nettle Infusion: Take 1 cup Nettle leaves and pour 1 little boing water over. Steep overnight. In the morning, strain with cheesecloth. The liquid can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Drink 500 ml/day to help reduce inflammation and allergy symptoms. Nettle is safe to drink during breastfeeding.
- Vitamin C: Helps to reduce histamine levels (anti-histamine effect) which reduces allergy symptoms. Take 1000 mg in the morning and 1000 mg at night. Safe for use at this dose during breastfeeding.
- Avoid Cross Reactive Foods: Avoiding cross reactive foods can help reduce allergy symptoms. Here is a list of the cross reactive foods for the common allergens
- Ragweed- cantaloupe, melon, cucumber, sunflower
- Birch Pollen- apple, carrot, celery, pear, tomato, cherry
- Grass- apple, tomato, celery, corn, bell peppers, paprika
It is best to start tackling allergies before the allergy season starts, as it can take time to lower histamine levels naturally. For next year, consider going to see your naturopathic doctor 4-6 weeks before your symptoms typically start.
Dr Alexis practices via telemedicine and is currently accepting patients who live in Ontario. Click here to schedule your appointment