Are Insect Stings Bad For Pregnant Women?

During the summer months, stings from insects like bees and wasps are very common. In most cases, those stings are completely harmless to pregnant women, but there are a few instances in which a sting can cause an allergic reaction. Those allergic reactions can range from minor to sever reactions, which could potentially put the pregnant woman and the baby at risk.

Allergies to Stings

Some people know exactly what they are allergic to, while others do not discover what they are allergic to until they experience the reaction first. Pregnant women are usually safe from developing a reaction to a sting from insects like bees or wasps if they know they are not allergic, and receiving a sting from these insects pose no threat to the unborn child. However, pregnant women who know they are allergic to bee or wasp stings, or those who do no know whether they are allergic or not could experience life threatening allergic reactions that may require hospitalization if they are treated immediately. Allergic reactions that are not treated immediately can lead to anaphylactic shock that could cause a pregnant woman to go into a coma, and eventually, cause the woman and the child to die. Women who are pregnant should avoid being stung by an insects if they know they have had allergic reactions in the past. Should a pregnant woman receive a sting from an insect that she knows she had an allergy to, she should seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment for Stings

When a woman is receives an insect sting, they can usually treat the sting with a Hydrocortisone cream and some calamine lotion to relieve the itching sensation. Additionally, antihistamines can be used to relieve the itching as well as reduce the swelling they experience. While using these treatments are generally safe without worries, pregnant women should consult their physician first before using the these medications. Even if a pregnant woman has used these treatments successfully in the past, the unborn baby may have an unknown allergy to the substances, and using the products could be fatal to the fetus and threaten termination of the pregnancy. Pregnant women should inquire about tests that could be administered to determine the risk that the medication may pose to the unborn child. Women who know they are sensitive to insect stings and medications used for treatments, should seek immediate medical attention and avoid using the medications. Doctors can prescribe medications that are not available over the counter for pregnant women with sensitivities.

3 Tips for Avoiding Stings

First, while there is no guaranteed way to avoid a insect sting, especially in the summer time, except staying in doors, there are precautionary measures that pregnant women can take to minimize their risk of getting an insect sting. The first thing that a pregnant woman can do is to wear protective clothing. Hats, long sleeved shirts and pants can cover the legs and arms and prevent bodily exposure. By having their skin covered as much as possible, pregnant may minimize their chances of having a wasp or bee land on their body and sting them.

Second, pregnant woman must be aware of their surroundings and avoid getting near a beehive or insect nest. Since the hives and nests are the homes of the insects, wasps and bees will swarm heavily around them, which significantly increases the chances of a pregnant women getting stung.

Third, insects live among us naturally, and they exist within our own backyards, so pregnant women should undertake precautionary pest control measures to protect their home and prevent insects from entering their home. Homes can be protected with screens that can be placed over windows and doors, as well as nets that fit over the doors to keep insects from easily getting inside when the front of back doors are opened. Additionally, cracks and crevices near the foundation or the roof of the house can be sealed with a caulk to prevent insects from finding alternative ways to get into the house.

All in all, pregnant women do not need to be concerned about insect stings causing difficulties during their pregnancy, with the exception of the concern of allergic reactions. In most cases, an insect stings can be treated with an simple application of an antiseptic, but if a pregnant woman experiences sever allergic reactions such as fever, vomiting or extreme rashes as a result of the insect sting, then she should seek immediate medical attention.

Image Credit:  Some rights reserved by Frank de Kleine

About the author

Chris is Marketing Manager for Excel Pest Control, a NJ based pest control company protecting thousands of homes from creepy crawlies.