Allergies. Food Sensitivities. Sometimes they just come out of nowhere. Here you’re going along in your life, never having a reaction to eating eggs or pineapple and suddenly your tongue is swelling or you notice a new rash appear.
And what’s more puzzling is that these sudden allergies can sometimes pop up during pregnancy. What should you do? Is this normal?
Let me first give a word of advice. If you’re suspicious of any possible food sensitivities and thinking about getting pregnant in the near future, now is the time to go for testing to see if in fact you have any food sensitivities, so you can do something about it.
You’ll be in better health if you’re able to find and remove any food triggers and as you’re looking for answers, if anything else shows up (say, a yeast overgrowth) you’ll be in a better place to actually detox and cleanse; if you’re pregnant you can be limited to how much you can actually detox.
I suggest getting your blood tested for food allergies (we can help with this!) and run whatever other panels are necessary. It’s worth doing now!
Now, maybe you’re already pregnant and new allergies that you never dealt with are popping up and you’re wondering, is this normal?
First, it’s important to know that hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause a swelling of the nasal passages that can cause sneezing and a runny nose. So it may not be a serious allergy, but actually a result of hormonal changes 1.
Secondly you’re not alone, other women have experienced sudden trouble with foods, usually milk, cheese, chocolate, eggs, and even certain fruits, causing itchy skin or their throat to itch. These symptoms usually diminish after the first trimester, and most completely go away after birth 2.
Is there anything you can do if you are experiencing symptoms?
Therapeutic-grade Lavender from Young Living is approved as a natural health product (NHP) by Health Canada to reduce cough and cold symptoms, so you may dilute some with coconut oil and rub near your nostrils.
If you’re worried about your baby developing allergies, Dr. Sears gives some excellent recommendations, here.
It’s most noteworthy that he suggests reducing your exposure to allergens while pregnant in order to possibly decrease the chance of your baby developing future allergies. And specifically that breastfeeding exclusively for at least the first six months can also reduce the risk.
Dr. Joel Furhman adds that, “Without exposure to colorful plant compounds, particularly greens, during pregnancy and in the mother’s diet during breastfeeding, as well as in early life, decreased digestive track immunity and integrity is likely. […] Introducing a variety of foods, including nuts and seeds, while still being fed breast milk with the mother consuming the same foods offers the best protection against allergies.”
Some studies from Linköping University in Sweden also show that taking a fish oil supplement from week 25 of pregnancy and onward may prevent allergies in children3.
If you experience any allergic reactions it is important to still contact your Dr. or midwife as soon as possible, along with avoiding those trigger foods in the future.
Here’s to hoping you have a pregnancy free of allergies!