A woman’s body changes drastically with pregnancy and childbirth. One of these is allergy. Some mothers develop allergic reactions towards certain metals (like jewelry). Others have bad reactions to cosmetic products that they have been using for a long time, and some suddenly get a case of rhinitis.
Therefore, we will look at the factors causing postpartum allergy and symptoms that are likely to occur.
Two factors that are thought to cause postpartum allergy
The mechanism by which postpartum allergy develops is not clearly elucidated. However, it seems that women are thought to change their constitution mainly as a result of pregnancy and/or childbirth.
Changes in the body which seems to be related to the onset of allergy are mainly the following two.
Disorder of hormonal balance
Two female hormones, “estrogen” and “progesterone” are greatly involved in pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy, it is actively secreted with the development of the baby in the tummy and preparation of breast milk, and decreases upon childbirth. Such hormonal balance fluctuations have various effects on the mind and body.
Estrogen is a hormone related to skin water retention and firmness, so when it decreases, the skin becomes delicate and will react sensitively to slight irritation.
During pregnancy, immunity is suppressed so as not to recognize the baby in the tummy as a foreign body and cause allergic reactions to occur. Normally it returns to normal after giving birth, but if the disorder of hormonal balance and fatigue of childcare influence and immunity remains low, the cell which distinguishes substances harmful to the body does not work normally. And although some substances are harmless, they may still cause an allergic reaction.
Also, even if the immune system recovers steadily, the allergic reaction continues due to the reactions that were suppressed during pregnancy, and your body may exhibit an excessive reaction to the substances that caused the allergy. As a result, symptoms will appear even if it is asymptomatic before pregnancy.
*asymptomatic (of a condition or a person) producing or showing no symptoms (from the web).
There are some women whose bodies seem to completely recover after 6 to 12 months from birth but there are cases in which allergic symptoms are alleviated for a lifetime. Conversely, for some people allergies that had been severe before pregnancy improved with pregnancy and childbirth. The individual differences seem to be large for postpartum allergy.
Easy postpartum allergy and ways how you can cope
Allergy is a general term for various cases. Symptoms that are said to be common in postpartum allergy include the following:
Parts touched by metal get a rash or feel itchy
Eating certain kinds of food causes the mouth to swell and urticaria to occurs. It can also occur on the hands that touched the food.
Urticaria, also known as hives, is an outbreak of swollen, pale red bumps or plaques (wheals) on the skin that appear suddenly — either as a result of the body’s reaction to certain allergens, or for unknown reasons. Hives usually cause itching, but may also burn or sting (from the web).
Runny nose, sneezing, swelling around the eyes, etc. occur. In addition to pollen, there may also be a reaction to house dust, tobacco smoke, etc.
The ingredients contained in cosmetics cause redness,swelling, and itching. Facial cleanser, basic cosmetics, sunscreen, etc. – anything is possible as long as it touches the skin.
Ultraviolet rays cause swelling and itching. It also develops into something like a burn. Sometimes it occurs due to the reaction with sunscreen ingredients and internal medicine.
Besides these, a variety of other allergies are possible. So if you start experiencing symptoms similar to allergies such as urticaria and itching, cough, and runny nose, please consult a family doctor or specialist as soon as possible to receive an allergy test.
Also, do not forget to be careful with using cosmetic products and conduct a patch test. If allergens are found, please try to keep away from these products as much as possible.
Things to watch out for to reduce postpartum allergies
There is no absolute coping method because the detailed causes of postpartum allergy occurrence is still unknown, but recovery of the physical condition of mother after childbirth should also alleviate the onset of allergy.
After giving birth, breastfeeding every few hours tends to result in sleep deprivation, so that it is easy to accumulate fatigue and stress due to the responsibilities of childcare. Try to recover your body first, with the help of your partner and relatives.
As mothers breastfeed, most of the body’s nutrition goes to the breast milk and the mother tends to fall short of nutrition. So please keep balanced meals in mind not only during pregnancy, but most especially for your postpartum diet.
Even if your body doesn’t feel any different from how it was before childbirth, still it is a postpartum body that has undergone various changes. If you feel something unusual, deal with it as early as possible. Recovery of the mother’s body is just as important as parenting. It is a must in order to have a healthy and happy child rearing life.