Pregnancy is much like a roller coaster ride – full of ups and downs. One moment you’re on cloud nine, celebrating mommy hood, and the next moment, you could come crashing down when a pregnancy-related problem plagues you. Just when you’re getting used to battling with food aversions, midnight hunger pangs, acidity, bloating, morning sickness – a new problem pops up. And this time around it could be something that you were totally unprepared for – itchy skin!
Itchy skin during pregnancy is completely normal and nothing to be alarmed of. So if you’re experiencing it, welcome aboard, you’ve got plenty of company.
What causes itchy skin?
As your belly expands, the skin around it stretches. Though the skin is remarkably elastic, it is not able to keep pace with your fast growing belly. So the skin tightens up and becomes dry causing itchiness. You may also notice this happening around the breasts for the same reason.
This problem normally starts around 22-23 weeks when your belly begins to show. Clothes rubbing against your skin can aggravate the irritation and result in rashes and angry red patches.
Eczema could be another reason that your skin is itching. Eczema that happens first time during pregnancy is called Atopic Eruption of Pregnancy (AEP).Women with prior eczema problems may also experience AEP. You may notice flare up in the crick of the elbow, behind the knees and in the wrists. This condition is harmless to the baby and mostly disappears after pregnancy.
Remedy for Itchy Skin
Keep the area moisturized: Use a gentle, unscented moisturizer to soothe the irritated skin. Apply generously and frequently.
If you’re having eczema, it is better to take a prescription from your doctor for creams and lotions. Many of them are not recommended for pregnant women.
Wear loose clothes: Tight or snug fitting clothes will rub against the skin and aggravate the irritation. So stick to loose comfortable clothing that will allow your skin to breathe.
Natural fibres are best: Clothing made of natural fibres allow the skin to breathe than synthetic materials
Vitamin- E Oil: This has great healing properties and can relieve itchy skin. Apply over the affected areas
Avoid hot baths: Hot water will dry out the skin and make the itching worse. So stick to tepid or warm water showers.
When to go to the doctor?
If itching becomes severe, especially in the palms and soles, or is accompanied by symptoms like nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, discolouration of urine – you need to talk to your doctor. These are signs of cholestasis, a condition that affects the liver and your baby, and needs medical attention.
Tips & Tricks
If you water bag breaks, stay calm and call your gynaec. Wear a sanitary pad to protect your clothes and on the way to the hospital, use a plastic sheet to prevent the car seat from getting soiled.
Before buying a home pregnancy test kit, be sure to check the expiry date. For accurate results, take the test after one week after the missed period; testing very early, can give you negative results.
Dry fruits are a rich source of iron and contain high dietary fibre. They also meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy