Itchiness during pregnancy is one of those annoying symptoms which can get worse towards the third trimester. This is because as the skin expands and blood supply increases, your skin gets a little inflamed and itchy as a result.
The good news is, this is a fairly common condition and most pregnant women experience some form of itchiness, especially around the breasts, stomach, upper arms and thighs.
What can I do to stop itching?
Moms from the #MomLife Facebook Group share their tried-and-tested remedies that might work for you too:
- Try adding some baby oil to your bath water. I tried every cream and lotion, but the only thing that worked for me was baby oil.
- Keep your skin moisturised all the time and try not to wear tight clothes. I found that wearing tight clothes made the itching worse.
- The only thing that helped for me was to rub my whole body with Milking Balm (Melksalf) twice a day. It is litterally what they put on cows’ udders but it’s the best moisturiser you can get. Dis-chem sells it. It worked wonders for me. Nothing else helped. And it’s rich in Vit E so it also prevents stretch marks. So its a win win…
Other tips that may help:
- You can also take calendula tablets and the tissue salt Nat Mur, three times daily, as this has been found to provide some relief. Calendula cream is also a great option. Just always check with your doctor before taking any new medicaiton, even if it’s homeopathic remedies.
- A great natural remedy is to add a potful of rooibos tea or a handful of bicarbonate of soda to your bathwater and powder yourself with a light layer of cornflour on the itchy areas.
- Sometimes, itching can be caused by a change in the products you usually use or the type of washing powder you use to wash your clothes. Use a process of elimination to see if your symptoms get worse or improve. Remember to only eliminate one product at a time otherwise you won’t know which one is causing the problem.
Should I worry about the itching?
If you feel ill, nauseous, or you experience bad swelling, you must see your doctor for immediate treatment. Experts warn that itchiness during pregnancy could also be linked to a rare liver condition known as obstetric cholestasis (OC). This occurs when the natural flow of bile in the body is disrupted. This can cause a build up of bile in the body which could cause severe itching – from the inside out.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should watch out for the following symptoms:
- Severe itching – particularly on the hands and feet
- Jaundice (yellow skin)
- Dark urine
- Greyish bowel movements
If you suspect you have this condition, it’s important to see your healthcare provider immediately as this can cause complications such as pre-term labour and stillbirth.
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