40 answers

Allergy Help PLEASE!!!!

I am new to the allergy world, they came on right after I gave birth to Madelyn. My nose is runny, it just won't stop, my throat is scratchy and dry, my head hurts, my face hurts, my eyes are watery, and I can't stop coughing. I took a Claratin a couple of hours ago and the package says not to take more then one in a 24 hour period. I am nursing still so I am nervous to take anything else. WTH am I supposed to do? I can't sleep, I am miserable. HELP!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I went to the doctor and he said I have a sinus infection that was probably brought on by allergies. He gave me antibiotics and told me to come back if I was still feeling pain after my antibiotics were gone and we'd do a CT scan of my sinuses just to make sure there isn't any fluids in there. I am on my 3rd day of antibiotics and I am still having some pain. I hope it goes away by day 6. He also gave me Nesonex (sp) for my allergies and suggested I consider getting an allergy test if things don't improve.

Featured Answers

Sinus infections can be really tricky to get rid of. You may have to keep trying different antibiotics until you find one that finally knocks it out.

I have seasonal allergies. This April I took a tsp. a day of honey made from local bees. I had maybe two days of mild allergies in the spring. But now the fall allergies have begun. Maybe I should have taken the honey in June or July also. I haven't done any research but maybe google: local honey and allergies.
Take care sweetie.

M. -

I scanned through the responses and I didn't see anyone say Alfalfa. My husband has itchy eyes and runny nose, and he takes LOTS of Alfalfa and it helps him - especially the runny nose. I have also taken alfalfa when I have a runny nose, it dries it up pretty quick.

More Answers

I too am nursing and have always had bad allergies. I take an allegra and have a nasal spray. The combination works great. Claritin is pretty weak, it never did anything for me. But I would call your doctor and see what else they can give you.

Allergies aren't fun and this year has been a bad year for them. With the symptoms you have described, you may want to check and make sure you don't have a sinus infection. Also you should check to make sure that your baby isn't getting any of the meds through the milk.

This year seems to be especially hard on allergy sufferers. I would recommend talking to your OB/GYN before taking any medications. I've had allergies for years and was put on Zyrtec when I was 19. When I got pregnant, my OB/GYN told me I could not take it and not to take it while I was breastfeeding either. My daughter just turned 2 so this wasn't very long ago. Maybe it is okay to take it while breastfeeding but I would check with your doctor first as they know you. If it is okay, Zyrtec is a great medication. My husband and myself both suffer from allergies to pollen, dogs, cats, horses, mold etc. . . and it works wonders for us. Good luck finding relief. I know how you feel!

I have seasonal allergies. This April I took a tsp. a day of honey made from local bees. I had maybe two days of mild allergies in the spring. But now the fall allergies have begun. Maybe I should have taken the honey in June or July also. I haven't done any research but maybe google: local honey and allergies.
Take care sweetie.

Sinus infections can be really tricky to get rid of. You may have to keep trying different antibiotics until you find one that finally knocks it out.

Please know that Clariten is a build up drug and can take up to a week to work.

I would suggest Tylenol Allergy, I believe that is on the safe list when nursing. I have also taken Benedryl.

Good luck!


OPC-3!! I have had allergies my entire life - so bad that I could not eat fresh fruits and vegetables. My sinus cavities would hurt so bad and my eyes would itch terribly. I started on OPC-3, which is a natural product of pine bark extract, grape seed extract and red wine extract. After a week, ALL my allergy symptoms were gone. I now eat what I want - I can sleep with my windows open - the night air does not bother me any longer.

The best part is, you can take this while nursing. My son started on this product himself when he was 2 years old for his eczema. It has built up our immune systems so well that we very rarely get sick. And, when we do, it lasts a much shorter time than normal.

You can get more information off my website at www.graichen.unfranchise.com. Type OPC-3 into the search - you can get label information and much, much more. Of course, check with your doctor - take the label and ask if there is anything in the product that you or your baby should not have.

Good luck!

ask your dr, but you may need something more than claritin. I've tried a few different meds & I'm now on zyrtec for my allergies, which is available OTC now. it should be safe, but call your OB since you're still nursing.
good luck & I feel your pain! :)

now that I see the responses, I'd forgotten about a netti pot! I've heard they work wonders!

Number 1, check with your doctor, but I have had allergies for years and my doctor has prescribed Albuterol. When I am out of that, I use Sudafed. With Sudafed I, at least, get a good night's sleep. Good luck.

I have had allergies all my life, my Dr. suggested i buy an igloo or live in the ocean because i am allergic to so much. I understand your concern about taking medication while nursing. I have talked a lot with my Dr. and pharmicist and the only allergy medication they would recommend for me is to take Benedryl. (Since i am trying to conceive)Their reasoning was that there haven't been any studies with the newer drugs and there hasn't been any reports of problems with Benedryl, it is a relief to know it has been around for a long time and can be trusted. I also like it because you can vary the dose 1-2 pills every 6 hours. Right now i am only taking one pill in the am and one in the pm.

Go to the dr. I got allergies ( first time) last fall and tried claritan, it did nothing. My dr put me on Zyrtec and its awesome. I get the generic through the pharmacy because its still cheaper than ovet-the-counter zyrtec. I"m not sure about breastfeeding though. I think benedryl is ok, i actually had to take that WHILE pregnant with baby 1.

Benadryl, tyenol allergy, they work and are ok for nursing. I have super bad allergies, I take two prescriptions and sometimes need the tylenol on top of it. For future reference, if you can't take it when you're pregnant, you can't take it when nursing. Good luck.

Hi M.,

I have had allergies my whole life. All allergy meds do not work the same way, Claratin did not work for me, but Zytec does and is now available over the counter. My ob said it was safe to take when I was pregnant and nursing. Try staying inside for a few days with the air running until the meds get control. Also check you house for mold especially if your basement has flooded this year like so many of us. I also use Naturale Tears eye drops on bad days.
Good Luck, I hope you get reflief soon!

SAHM of Jenna, 2 yrs old.

Some people take bee propolis to get rid of allergies. Sounds a bit counterintuitive, but I'm guessing it works a bit like homeopathy (giving your body similar symptoms to it can become immune). I learned this from a beekeeper at a farmers market. Propolis is one of the by-products of honey, I believe. I think it looks like a golden powder. You can probably even find it at Vitamin World. Also, reallyrawhoney.com has honey where the propolis is left in the honey, plus they sell propolis. I'm sure you can find it for sale just about anywhere on the web. Best part is that it's all natural! Of course, don't let your infant have honey until she's over a year old, but you already knew that. :)

sometimes it takes a while for that to kick in (i.e. a couple of doses). i've been taking claritin and i am nursing. i did it with my 2 yr. old as well with okay from my dr. and his doctor. sometimes that saline spray can help too. i have called my ob/gyn and her nurse to double check what you can and can't take. they might help to make sure you don't have a sinus infection.

I have had late summer/fall allergies since before I can remember (used to have to skip recess!!). Anyways, I read the other posts and I would also recomend a saline nose spray every day (talk to any family med doctor or your ob/gyn - all who will prescibe a Rx one). Also, I highly recommend Patanol eye drops (also Rx) which (imo)the best thing ever invented for allergy sufferers!!! I don't think either the nose spray or eye drops would affect your bfding - but check with the doctor... hope you feel better soon. We all need to pray for an early freeze this year, as that is the only true relief from the misery.

M. -

I scanned through the responses and I didn't see anyone say Alfalfa. My husband has itchy eyes and runny nose, and he takes LOTS of Alfalfa and it helps him - especially the runny nose. I have also taken alfalfa when I have a runny nose, it dries it up pretty quick.

Hi M.
After my first child was born 12 1/2 years ago I started having seasonal allergies that seemed to last 9 months out of the year. I would switch between Allegra and Claritin and also use the nose spray and that did work most of the time. However,the allergies seemed to get worse with each passing year. I found a healthier way to go. I have been using Reliv for 2 years now and I have been allergy free after 3 months using Reliv. The nice thing is that I am getting a whole lot of other benefits from it too. I was nursing at the time I started and today my 2 1/2 year old (who also uses Reliv daily) has never had a sick visit to the Doctor.
Reliv is a patented food product and completely healthy and safe for everyone to use. If you have any interest, you can contact me ###-###-####.

Claritin won't hurt your baby necessarily, but it can dry up breastmilk. As others have suggested, I would also recommend the nasal rinse pot. It takes a little getting used to, but it is completely natural and works wonders for virtually any sinus problem. Good luck!


Hi M.,
I know how you feel. My allergies came on in my 20's. I used Claritin for a few years but eventually it wasn't working anymore. I was put on Singulair and zyrtec. Singulair made a huge difference for me. Unfortunately there isn't a generic yet. Zyrtec is now OTC and i just use the walmart generic now. I nursed while on both of them. My doctor said they are both safe. Be sure to wash your hands and face before you eat and go to sleep. and wipe out the window ledges. Pollen collects on them. If you can...sleep with the windows closed. Pollen is supposed to be worse around dawn. Good Luck:)

Although it could be the birthing, it is probably something simpler than this. Are you using any of the following:

scented plastic diapers
baby wipes
baby powder
baby lotion
a different laundry soap
a diaper service
diaper pail deoderizer
dryer sheets to soften clothes

Any of these products will trigger an allergic reaction as they all contain artificial fragrance, colors and chemical compounds that your body is not used to.

Switching to cloth wash cloths instead of baby wipes, and your own cloth diapers washed in the laundry soap you are accustomed to will be a good start.

Letting go of the "smell" of the baby so that you are not trying to cover it up will be your best defense against these allergic reactions.

If you are in the minority M. and are using all natural, non-toxic cleaners and baby products, you are definitely in for a ride - however a short one. Allergies set on by birth can be managed with a good 'green' product: spirulina, chlorella or blue-green algea. Look for them in your local natural food store and take them liberally daily for an allergy-free you.

I have had allergies all my life and this year has to be one of the worst years Ican remember. I get allergy shots but I have had to supplement with saline nasal spray, not pleasant ut really helps, and Claritin. I do know that Claritin takes some time to work so using the spray helps me until it kicks in. Also, if you can get away for 10 minutes, take a hot steamy shower. I let the water run right on my face and that seems to help too. The shower is the same priciple as the netty pot. The hot moisture will help break up what is up there. If you can't do the shower, put a pot of water on the stove, bring it to a boil and stand over or as near it as you can, a towel over you head to hold the steam there helps too.
Good luck! I really know how miserable you feel.

M. - don't know if anyone has mentioned it but you could try the nasal rinse. My husband and 5 yr.old son have been doing it for about 3 months and I've seen so much relieve for them with allergies and asthma! My husband did not suffer like all the others this allergy season. And the snoring is so much better, too!!! You can find the pot or bottle (we have 2 bottles) in many stores and pharmacies. Best of luck! - X.

Honey, if you are that miserable, you need to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor and run their recommendation by your OBGYN. I have had allergies for years, and they will help you find something safe. Over the counter is not going to cut it if your allergies are this bad. Dairy & wheat are very bad allergy triggers. Even if your allergies are seasonal, foods can make them worse. Since your prego, you shouldn't eliminate any food groups right now, but you could ease up on them a little to test the waters. One thing I really liked that you can use anytime is a neti pot. You can buy one at the health food store or maybe walgreens- the best ones are porcelain. It's a little pot you pour lukewarm water and a little salt into. You can buy little salt packages or use table salt. Don't over do it, because the salt may sting a little until you find out how much you need. It help to wash the allergens out of your nose that are triggering the allergies. It feels weird at first, just stay calm and don't swallow while you're doing it. You will learn to love it because you feel so much better. It's a very cheap safe idea. Also, be sure to boost your immune system with a Probiotic. The best ones are the ones in the refrigerator that you get at the health food store. They are safe to take during pregnancy and will help your overall immune system too. Good luck honey.

Call the Wal-mart pharmacy (listed in the phone book for the direct line in) and ask for the pharmacist. Explain that you are breastfeeding and need allergy medication advice. The pharmacists in my local Wal-mart have always been incredibly knowledgable and helpful.

Otherwise, call the hospital or doctor's office - ask for the doctor on call if it is after hours, and ask their advice.

I don't know the info on Claritin for breastfeeding, but I know I did not react favorably to it when I tried it years ago. Make sure you read the packaging carefully- and ask the pharmacist's opinion on Claritin while breastfeeding too. Most meds just say "ask a doctor" now anyways.

Hi M.,

I was wondering if you have tried changing the things that you use in your home to more natural things? I have a business that I do that may help your family out. If you would like to know more please contact me at ____@____.com and I would love to help you out.


You want to be very careful when you are nursing about allergy/cold meds. Don't take any antihistamines. They will dry up your breasts in addition to you nose. With your allergies that bad I suggest seeing a doctor a getting a perscription. I use Asthelin which is the only nasal spray thought to be safe while breastfeeding. Because there really isn't any research on this I only use it when I need to.

Your symptoms sound like it could be a sinus infection.

See a doctor.

My son has severe allergies. His allergist has us wash his bed linens weekly in hot water. We purchased a hypoallergenic mattress cover that zips over the entire mattress and a pillow cover that the pillow fits into. Right now his only meds are to use Flonase. We vacuum his room regularly and have removed most of his stuffed animals. It has made an amazing difference!

Call your ped or ob and tell them the situation. They'll let you know what you can take while nursing. They should be able to call a prescription in for you.
I couldn't make it through the day without Allegra D. It's the best med on the market for allergies.

I have severe allergies and a 3 month old little girl. I take benedryl but the only issue is it makes me very drowsy. It is different with every person. I usually take half of a pill just so I feel better.

Hi M.,
I have allergies as well, and I am nursing, so medications are a concern. I recently started using a Netti Pot after a string of sinus infections that required antibiotics off and on for more than a month. I cannot stress enough how much the netti pot has helped. It takes some getting used to, but the results are fabulous! Also, vacuum your mattress, wash your bedding frequently and you could try an non-allergen pillow cover. Congrats on your babies and nursing!!
Hope you find some relief soon,

M. -

I have been an allergy suffer for YEARS! I find that taking Claratin works more as a preventive measure - once I get the way you are it doesn't help much! I too am nursing and find this to be a huge area of concern.

I talked to my OB, Ped, and Pharm. they all said that I could take Sudafed if I took it right after I nursed and that it will be completely out of my milk by the time I would have to nurse again.

One of the gals I work with told me to drink a Coke and that would help clear you out. I tried this when I was pregnant and was so amazed by the results I keep Coke on hand for just when my husband and I get stuffed up!

Best of luck to you!

M., first check with your doctor or an allergist (Athsma & Allergy Specialists has several offices) about which is better. I can't recall which right now, but there are some allergy meds that are better for nursing (ex. zyrtec vs. clariten). I took one both times I was nursing and it was a godsend. It may take a couple of days for the allergy meds to kick in fully - so be patient. You may want to also check out a Neti Pot. These first got major publicity on Oprah from Dr. Oz. They sell them at Whole Foods (and some other places) in the pharmacy section. Kind of weird to get used to, but my husband really likes it. It is a non-medical way to quickly get the allergens out of your sinuses. I would highly recommend giving it a try. If you search online, you may find the info. on even you-tube. Try searching Oprah or Dr. Oz and Neti Pot. Good luck!

Allergies are an immunse function issue. Build up your immune system and your allergies will cease. I have seen this many times over and you can do it naturally with good solid supplementation. You are right for not wanting to take chemicals during nursing or pregnancy.

Build your immune system and you will be able to sleep! Also, you will be amazed at how fast this works!

My husband has horrible allergies, so I've had a crash course since we've been married. A few things we do is shower before bed (which washes pollen, etc off) and he uses a NeilMed Saline rinse, which we can find at Walgreens, Walmart and Shopko. I've used the rinse before and while a bit strange feeling it helped me tremendously.

Hi M.,
Grape seed estract may help. Also a Rainbow Vac. Drink lots of water.
homeschool mom and home business owner

Hi M.
I am a wellness coach.
We have natural products that help with allergies- although the effect isn't an immediate "coverall" that treat symptoms.
They work over time to help your body's immune system to work against the allergan.
I'm also a med. professional- so I know both sides.
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B. J

My neice had the same thing. Instead of covering up the symptom with a drug she found out what she was alergic too and stopped eating it until she found a doctor that eliminated the alergy. She no longer has that alergy!

You could try a homeopathic treatment for allergies. A good one is made by the company Heel and I think is just called Allergy. You can find it at the Pioneer Co-op in Coralville. It works well for my family. I also had a friend for whom Claratin did not work, she had to take prescription Zyrtec. She replaced the Zyrtec with the homeopathic treatment by Heel, and it was just as effective for much less $$. I also always recommend seeing a chiropractor. They have been known to help with allergies.

I have always had allergies and while pregnant and nursing the doctor prescribed a nasal allergy medication instead of an oral one. You should check with your doctor on getting either Flonase or Nasonex. They helped me a lot and were much safer than taking Allegra (which has always worked better for me than Claritin). Good luck!

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