Allergies After Childbirth: What No One Is Talking About

I’ll admit that there were many things I didn’t know before having kids. The idea that I would suddenly become allergic to everyday items after giving birth was nowhere near the list of things that I’d be surprised by after bringing home my kids from the hospital.

NO PREVIOUS HISTORY OF SERIES ALLERGIES

Other than the occasional bought of hayfever, I wasn’t a person who considered herself an allergy prone person.

Medications and foods that I avoided were minimal and when I did get a reaction to something it was so mild that I probably didn’t even realize it was an allergic reaction.

FOR THE LOVE OF HIVES!

For the last 10 years, since the birth of my oldest, any time I seem to come up against anything new I immediately break out into hives!  It’s a very common reaction to topical and ingested items and seems to come on strong within moments of contact.

What are hives?

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.

WebMD

For me itch is the worst part of the reaction for me.  My skin turns red and itches like no other thing on the planet! It’s the most uncomfortable reaction ever!

Sidenote:  I take daily allergy pills for hayfever due to living in a very agricultural region of the country, so remember when I talk about hives this is reactions that have come up while being on sometimes double doses of over the counter allergy pills.

TESTING

There seems to be two common types of testing done for allergies.

Skin pricks which I’ve seen done take known allergines and put them onto your skin in a pattern so that their reactions can be read later by a specialist.

The second type is a blood draw which can look for traces of known allergies through markers in the blood.

While testing is my first suggestion when realizing you might have allergies, sadly none of my allergy blood draw tests revealed any kind of real allergic tracers or whatever you call them.

The doctor during my consultation did give me a list of ingredients to avoid so I started to try to keep an eye on these from then on.

Even though it didn’t work for me, I recommend getting tested though because I’m sure that there are a million things you can find out this way.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

It’s taken some time to make a list of all the items that have caused reactions for me but here is a list of things that suddenly I’ve become allergic to.

Regular Body Wash

My number one suggestion with any item you’re going to put on your skin that is new is don’t count on a bottle that says sensitive or allergy sensitive formula to be safe for you to use.  A few years ago Dove sensitive skin soap changed its formula.

The change in formula made the previously great formula into something different. I fell victim to this change: One bottle I was loving this stuff and the next I was covered in hives. It was a horrible mess and I’m sure the company got loads of complaints.

It was such a big disaster that I think it even made the news! 

Shampoo

Have you ever been allergic to your own shampoo? I have!

Trying to relieve an itch under ten pounds of hair on your head is almost impossible.

The only other experience like this that I couldn’t bear was an allergic reaction that I had happen underneath a cast I had on my foot.

Face Soap

Don’t make the mistake I did. One time I was in a rush and used Cetaphil face soap as body wash.

Bad idea.

Turns out I’m totally allergic to it if it’s not on my face and if it’s not totally washed off within moments!

OTHER THINGS THAT CAUSE A REACTION

Shellfish

I’ve proudly been a fan of shrimp since I was little.

The scariest reaction I had was one to a shrimp dish that I had. Not sure if it was the shrimp or the sauce but it was the worst reaction I’d ever had.

Imagine eating something and a half hour later having a set of hives start by covering your bikini bottom area and then work it’s way up your chest making you feel like you can’t breathe.

My initial reaction was to flood myself with allergy medicine but I was about 15 minutes away from an ER visit in the middle of the night. I probably should have gone but luckily the allergy medicine worked.

Iodine

This reaction actually happened before I had kids.  I had surgery on my foot and was casted from below my knee to my toes with Iodine from above my knee to my toes.

It was such a bad reaction that the lady in the cast room said she’d never seen anything like the reaction I had.

This turns out wasn’t a one time thing and has continued after so it’s on my “items to avoid” list.

TESTING

Sadly none of my allergy blood draw tests revealed any kind of real allergic tracers or whatever you call them.

The doctor gave me a list of ingredients to avoid so I started to try to keep an eye on these from then on.

I recommend getting tested though because I’m sure that there are a million things you can find out this way.

THE SOLUTION

Sadly the only solution was trial and error and with some suggestions from a Facebook mommy group I have changed every product that touches my skin.

From shampoo to face wash to lotion I now use an odd mix of fancy and not so fancy items to wash and moisturize.


I’ll admit that there were many things I didn’t know before having kids. New allergies weren’t something I thought I’d need help with. Read more about this at https://365momme.com/


PRODUCTS I USE NOW

Seventh Generation Body Wash, Mandarin and Yuzu scent 23.5 oz, 2 pack
by Seventh Generation

This stuff smells citrusy which is one of my favorites. It looks like conditioner coming out of the bottle and gives you a low to medium amount of suds. I’ve heard that some allergies can come from the stuff that makes soap bubble up.

I haven’t tried this with a body puff or sponge but I’m sure it’d work well with both.


Love Beauty And Planet Blooming Color Shampoo Bar for Color Treated Hair Murumuru Butter & Rose Color Vibrancy 4.0 oz
by Unilever

Changing to a shampoo bar is not only for my allergies but also better for the environment. With past shoulder length hair I was going through shampoo pretty fast. Using shampoo bars I’ve gone through three bars since before thanksgiving.

This bar is great with both shampoo and conditioner in it. It suds up nicely and rinses great. I do have to be more careful with brushing my hair out versus normal conditioner but it’s worth it!

One tip: don’t let these sit in water. They melt quickly. I bought soap dishes and that has made them last longer.


WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Exfoliating Face Wash W/Brush – Soft, Silicones Bristles – Foaming Cleanser For All Skin Type – Hydrate For Smooth Skin, Helps Remove Blackheads & Reduce Acne Breakout – 100ml
by WOW Skin Science

Apple cider vinegar is amazing stuff and this face wash is my go to. The addition of the scrubby brush on the bottle is great too. It’s made of soft rubber and helps get dirt and grime off your face great.


Babo Botanicals Miracle Baby Moisturizing Face & Body Cream with Colloidal Oatmeal and Organic Calendula, Hypoallergenic – 2 oz.
by Babo Botanicals

This is a little on the thick side but being in my forties I feel like I need the extra coverage to get it to soak in. I notice that I get a little sweaty with it on if I use it during the day so I tend to use this at night.

My husband says this smells like an old lady but I think it just smells like moisturizer.


Spa Naturals Coconut Oil Moisturizing Cream

This is my every day lotion replacement.

It was a suggestion I got off of Facebook and it’s been an amazing addition to my arsenal of products!

It looks like conditioner in the jar and smooths on great. It has a strong coconut smell at first but doesn’t seem to have a lingering smell longer than a few moments for me at least. I use this on my legs and arms and elbows the most. I haven’t really tried it all over but I’m sure it’ll work fine.


Conclusion:

Have you experienced allergies after childbirth? I’d love to hear what products you’re using now to combat this change in your life.


Allergies After Childbirth  What No One Is Talking About

Published by Patty Gordon

I’m Patty Gordon, a 40+ year old school lunch lady married to a crane mechanic. Our days are anything but normal as he works “construction worker hours” and I take care of our two elementary school aged kids, Chihuahua Mr Biggs, Pitbull Cali, and French Bulldog MooMoo. I blogged a few years ago under different names but have landed with the 365MomMe name this time around. The term 365MomMe comes from the idea that I’m a mom and I’m me 365 days a year. Kids call me Mommy but I see myself as MomMe.

3 thoughts on “Allergies After Childbirth: What No One Is Talking About

  1. I’ve heard of people’s hair quality changing after giving birth – going from straight to curly, etc. Changing hormones probably play a role. But I have not heard of allergies increasing. It’s good you’ve found some replacement products you can use. Coconut oil is the greatest!

    Like

  2. Interesting read. I did not get any new allergies after having children, but I did become allergic to coffee after being in a bad car accident. Strange right? I do love natural beauty products too. Much better than those loaded with chemicals.

    Like

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