Parents to be: How to manage hay fever during pregnancy

July 23, 2021
3 minute read

Hay fever is as unpleasant as it is common: rates of hay fever have been steadily on the rise, with 25% of the adult population in the UK suffering from hay fever.  

If the usual symptoms like itchy eyes, runny/blocked nose and sneezing weren’t bad enough already, you may find that during your pregnancy, hormonal changes may make your hay fever symptoms worse.

In this blog, we discuss safe approaches towards managing hay fever during pregnancy, covering recommended preventative measures, and discussing which types of medications are safe to take and which aren’t.

Managing hay fever during pregnancy

The official advice from the UK Teratology Information Service is to try to limit and avoid exposure to pollen as a first step towards managing hay fever during pregnancy.  

Luckily, there are many quick lifestyle changes that you can implement, such as:

  • Washing your hands and face regularly  
  • Wearing wraparound glasses to protect your eyes from pollen  
  • Staying indoors on high pollen count days  
  • Keeping windows closed as much as possible, especially during the night and early morning  
  • Showering and changing your clothes after you’ve been outside  
  • Using nasal blockers to prevent pollen from going into your airways

Implementing just a few of these lifestyle changes can help ease the symptoms of hay fever.

Which treatments are appropriate for hay fever when pregnant?

If you find that lifestyle changes are insufficient in managing your hay fever, there are several medication options that you can try.  

Before you start taking any medication, we strongly recommended that you speak to your GP or Pharmacist first, as some medication is not safe to take during  pregnancy.  

If you have any questions about managing hay fever whilst pregnant, please get in touch with our Pharmacy team. Our friendly Pharmacists are here to provide free, professional advice for everyone.

Nasal sprays and eye drops

These are usually the first port of call when treating hay fever during pregnancy. Nasal sprays and eye drops that contain antihistamines, corticosteroids or cromoglicate enter the blood stream in very small amounts which help tackle the symptoms of hay fever.


If you find that nasal sprays and/or eye drops aren’t strong enough to manage your hay fever, your GP might recommend antihistamine tablets.  

The preferred tablets for use during pregnancy are loratadine and cetirizine. These antihistamines do not cause drowsiness and the safety of these medications when pregnant is backed by significant and comprehensive medical research.


Decongestants are not recommended during pregnancy in any form, as they can reduce the blood supply to the placenta and the baby.  These include all medicines contain pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed or Galpseud.  

Nasal sprays and eye drops containing decongestants should be avoided during pregnancy. Your GP or Pharmacist will be able to offer you advice if you are unsure.

For more information on managing hay fever during a pregnancy, please read BUMPS – Treatment of allergic rhinitis and the official NHS article on Chlorphenamine.  

When becoming a new parent, there’s so much to think about. Let us take one thing off your mind. Switch to Phlo Digital Pharmacy today, and we’ll provide free, reliable medication advice and delivery to your doorstep, when and where you need it.

Content last reviewed on:
July 23, 2023
Next review date:
July 23, 2025
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