Itching in Pregnancy

What causes itching?

  • Increase in the blood circulating to the skin
  • Rapid growth and stretching of the skin, especially of the belly
  • Dehydration
  • Deficiency of essential oils in diet
  • Allergies, which can be worsened by pregnancy
  • Skin sensitivity to new creams (e.g. those used to prevent stretch marks)
  • In rare cases, liver problems resulting in a build-up of bile salts [Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy]
  • Infection (e.g. candida)
  • Any kind of stress (physically, emotionally, mentally) can worsen existing symptoms
  • Can occur anytime, but more likely in the 2nd & 3rd trimesters, especially if related to skin stretching and growth
  • If it is pregnancy related, it will go away soon after birth (usually within 48 hours)
  • Sometimes symptoms can be minimized or eliminated with diet/lifestyle changes
  • Minimize stress
  • Hydration ––2-3L per day
  • Olive/almond/apricot oil (2-3 tablespoons in bath)
  • Flax seed oil (internally)
  • Omega 3-6-9 oil (e.g. Udo’s oil)
  • Homeopathic Apis
  • Milk thistle tincture
  • Dandelion root tincture
  • Light therapy (time in the sun)
  • Cold compresses, cool baths
  • Baking soda – in bath or applied as paste
  • Calamine lotion
  • Aloe vera gel (externally)
  • Oatmeal baths
  • Antihistamine
  • Cut nails really short to prevent damage from scratching
  • Hydrocortisone cream (needs prescription)
  • Oral steroid (needs prescription)
  • If you develop a rash
  • If your itching is on the souls of your feet and palms of your hands
  • If you have upper-right quadrant pain (i.e. pain in your liver area, under the right ribs)
  • If the itching is interfering with your life. Even if the cause is benign, you made need prescription topical or oral steroids to help cope

When does it happen? How long does it last?

What can I do?

To eliminate the cause:
To help cope with symptoms:

When should I contact my midwife?

 

 

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