Is Benadryl Safe During Pregnancy?


While you struggle to sleep, you may wonder whether or not benadryl is safe during pregnancy.

This common antihistamine is easily accessible as it’s an over the counter medication, and you may have heard of people using it to help them sleep, or maybe you used it yourself prior to expecting.

But with a child growing inside of you, everything you put into your body needs to be put under the microscope. Is benadryl safe during pregnancy?

We’ll cover all this and more, but first, we need to explain what benadryl actually is, and why it may help you sleep.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl is the brand name for a common antihistamine drug known as diphenhydramine. It is commonly used to treat any allergy related symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, itching of the nose/throat, any many others.

Your knowledge of Benadryl may be limited to it as an allergy medication, but it actually has plenty more uses. In fact, Benadryl or other drugs containing diphenhydramine are widely used to treat motion sickness and sleep disorders.

Because of these last two points, many women wonder if Benadryl is safe during pregnancy. After all, there are two really annoying and uncomfortable issues those expecting deal with throughout their 9 months: nausea and insomnia. And if there is one drug that can treat both, it is a no brainer, right?

But, can Benadryl harm pregnant women, or the developing fetus inside them? Let’s dig into some of the science behind this topic.

Keep you and your baby safe, while getting a better night sleep, with this Benadryl alternative.


Can you take benadryl to sleep while pregnant?

When you do a quick google search to find out if Benadryl is safe during pregnancy, you might be frustrated to find most of the results say “probably” or “maybe”. 

That’s because there simply haven’t been many great, reliable studies conducted on how diphenhydramine affects growing fetuses.

Let’s take a look at some research gathered from the CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention). Researchers reviewed 50 scientific resources searching for a relationship between antihistamines in general and birth defects. While the results were mostly reassuring, there is cause for concern. 

Of these 50 studies, 9 of them showed potential links between antihistamines like Benadryl and birth defects. This is just under 20% of the studies, which to us, is an alarming number. From what these researchers gathered, antihistamines like Benadryl are most dangerous to pregnant women during the first trimester.

So, is Benadryl safe during pregnancy? 

We cannot recommend you take benadryl while pregnant to sleep. And, there are more reasons than just because it could harm your baby.

Benadryl isn’t a good sleep aid for pregnant women anyway

The reason pregnant women want to sleep better isn’t necessarily for the sake of falling asleep. Sure, it’s frustrating laying in bed, tossing and turning while your partner snores peacefully next to you. But, the real reason you want better sleep is so you feel good the next day.

Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean your responsibilities get put on pause. You have a lot to do the next day, and you still want to take time for yourself, so you need to wake up each morning refreshed and ready to take on the day. With this in mind, here is why Benadryl is a bad sleep aid for pregnant women, even without the harmful potential on your baby.

It’s a short term solution

In general, Benadryl is not a long term solution for anything but allergies. It’s sleep aid affects are just because it induces drowsiness as a side effect. It isn’t really meant to be taken for insomnia, or as a long term solution. You are better off taking alternatives, or making lifestyle changes that can help you sleep.

It doesn’t result in high quality sleep

Just because Benadryl makes you feel sleepy and may knock you out temporarily, doesn’t mean you are getting any quality sleep. You don’t achieve the deep, restful sleep that pregnant women truly need when taking antihistamines.

In fact, many women report waking up from Benadryl-induced sleep and feeling worse than normal, with lower energy reserves than they would normally have after a sleepless night. This is because the drowsiness effects of Benadryl linger for quite some time, making it really hard to get out of bed and go about your day.

So, even if Benadryl was safe during pregnancy, we still wouldn’t recommend it. In summary:

  1. Benadryl may cause birth defects
  2. Benadryl is not a long term sleep loss solution
  3. Benadryl has side effects that leave you feeling worse than before

But, there are plenty of alternatives to Benadryl that actually are safe for pregnant women, and do help you get high quality sleep.

Keep you and your baby safe, while getting a better night sleep, with this Benadryl alternative.


Alternatives to Benadryl for insomnia during pregnancy

If you haven’t tried already, there are all kind of lifestyle changes you can make to improve your sleep and prevent insomnia.

We recommend starting by figuring out the root cause of your insomnia - are you stressed? Are you dealing with nausea, or frequent urination? Are you simply uncomfortable due to your growing belly, or did you drink caffeine earlier that day?

There are lots of things that can cause you insomnia while pregnant, and these are some of the most common. By addressing why you aren’t getting good sleep, you can focus on specific regimens for that cause.

In general, though you can improve your sleep by:

  • Getting daily exercise
  • Avoiding long naps during the day (occasional 30 minute naps are fine)
  • Avoiding caffeine consumption
  • Taking warm baths before bed
  • Avoiding screens before bed
  • Stretching before bed

If you are looking to take a more active approach to your sleep loss, however, you should check out 8 Sheep Organics Sleepy Body Lotion.

8 Sheep Organics Sleepy Body Lotion

Inspired by one woman’s insomnia during pregnancy, the 8 Sheep Organics Sleepy Body Lotion has helped thousands of women around the world take back their sleep, and wake up every day full of energy.

This magnesium based lotion is completely organic, and contains only a few, natural ingredients so you know it is completely safe for pregnancy. It also helps with many other ailments pregnant women experience, including painful leg cramps and restless leg syndrome, along with hip, back, neck, and ligament pain.

Unlike other sleep aids, the Sleepy Body Lotion actually helps you get the deep restful sleep that you need during these 9 months (and after birth!). It calms both your body and mind, leaving you in a state of total relaxation and with silky smooth skin.

And, you can give this lotion a try today with a 60 day guarantee. If it doesn’t help you sleep and feel better, you can send it back, no questions asked.

Keep you and your baby safe, while getting a better night sleep, with this Benadryl alternative.