Pregnancy is wonderful, but it also comes with a lot of downsides. One of the major ones is being unable to take most medications out there. Or rather, being unable to do so without potential risk to your baby. I recall only being allowed to take minimal doses of acetaminophen whenever I had a headache or fever, though I often did my best to tough it out. It’s summer, and that means some folks are dealing with allergies while we’re also getting ready to dive into the fall cold season. It’s got moms wondering: Can you take Benadryl during pregnancy?

Why Use Benadryl?

Can you take Benadryl during pregnancy?

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Benadryl (otherwise known as diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine generally used for allergies, hay fever, and cold symptoms (like stuffy nose and head congestion). It can also be used topically to treat itches and pain from burns, insect bites, poison ivy, and other similar issues. Pregnant women who deal with allergies might find it especially useful.

{Also read: 10 Products That Helped Me Survive Hyperemesis Gravidarum}

Can You Take Benadryl During Pregnancy?

According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Benadryl and similar antihistamines are safe to take during pregnancy. They recommend taking 1 to 2 tablets (25mg to 50mg) every 6 hours as needed for allergies, hay fever, head congestion, and stuffy nose. They do warn that pregnant women should proceed with caution as Benadryl can cause drowsiness, which could put you straight to sleep especially in those early pregnancy months.

In their recommendations for head congestion and stuffy nose, UPMC actually recommends other remedies prior to resorting to Benadryl. Using a saline solution for your nose every 6 hours is often just enough for a stuffy nose. They also recommend trying a pseudoephedrine like Sudafed first. Especially if you are over 3 months pregnant, or consulting a doctor first if you are in your first trimester.

Basically, asking your OB/GYN prior to taking any medication while pregnant is often the best course of action.

(Image: iStock / fizkes)