Mild and severe allergies
Mild allergies may respond well to lifestyle measures. If you need some extra help, the following OTC oral antihistamines are generally considered safe:
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl; category B)
- chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton; category B)
- loratadine (Claritin, Alavert; category B)
- cetirizine (Zyrtec; category B)
If your allergies are more severe, your doctor may suggest taking an OTC corticosteroid spray at a low dose along with an oral antihistamine. Options include:
- budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy; category C)
- fluticasone (Flonase; category C)
- mometasone (Nasonex; category C)
You may also try the following lifestyle changes:
- Avoid going outdoors or opening windows on high pollen days.
- Take off clothing you’ve been wearing outdoors. Rinse off pollen from skin and hair with a quick shower.
- Wear a mask while completing outdoor chores or enlist the help of someone else for tasks like mowing.
- Rinse nasal passages with saline spray or a neti pot.
Stool softeners are generally considered safe during pregnancy. Options include Colace or Surfak.
Laxatives, like Senokot, Dulcolax, or Milk of Magnesia, may also help, but speak with your doctor before trying any of these medications.
Other treatment options for constipation include the following:
- Drink more water and fluids. Prune juice is another good choice.
- Add more exercise to each day.
- Eat more fiber. You can find fiber in fruits and vegetables (with skins, if possible), beans, and whole grains.
- Ask your doctor about fiber supplements, like Metamucil.
Nausea and vomiting
Morning sickness is common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Treatment isn’t always needed. Try home remedies, like eating small meals throughout the day or sipping ginger ale, before reaching for medications.
You might try:
- vitamin B-6, 25 milligrams by mouth three times a day
- doxylamine succinate (Unisom; category B)
- dimenhydrinate (Dramamine; category B)
There are medications your doctor may prescribe if you’re experiencing severe nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum):
- doxylamine succinate-pyridoxine hydrochloride (Diclegis; category A)
- ondansetron (Zofran; category B)
Hemorrhoids may develop during pregnancy due to swollen blood vessels or constipation.
Safe treatment options include:
- Tucks pads or other witch hazel pads
- Preparation H
You may want to try other methods first:
- Soak the hemorrhoids by filling a tub with warm water. Don’t add soap or bubble bath.
- Stand or lie on your side when possible.
- Try a ring cushion or hemorrhoid pillow for when you must sit.
- Treat constipation by taking stool softeners, drinking more fluids, getting more exercise, and eating more fiber.