Itching During Pregnancy? Reasons, Treatments & Tips

Itching During Pregnancy

Itching during pregnancy? You’re not alone.Itching During Pregnancy

Itching during pregnancy and vaginal itching during pregnancy are just two of all kinds of symptoms pregnant people experience.

Pregnancy comes with all kinds of common discomforts including; acne, back pain and sciatica, belly pain, pelvic pain, sore breasts, congestion, nosebleeds, constipation, sleep problems and fatigue – to name just a few.

Itching, though, can be one of the most frustrating and relentless symptoms.

If you’re experiencing itching during pregnancy, including vaginal itching during pregnancy, we’ve got plenty of information, tips and pointers to help you.

Let’s take a closer look at this annoying pregnancy symptom and what to do about it:


What Causes Itching During Pregnancy?

There are multiple reasons that you can feel itching during pregnancy, some of which are more serious than others:


Eczema affects about 31.6 million people in the USA and if you have it when you get pregnant it can get worse or better. If it gets worse, you’ll find yourself itching a lot in the areas you get eczema and this is called atopic eruption of pregnancy. Other symptoms that come under this umbrella include prurigo of pregnancy (papule rashes) and pruritic folliculitis of pregnancy, which causes pimples like acne pimples.


Your skin stretches naturally during pregnancy as your breast and belly expand to accommodate milk and your baby. You may also find other areas like your ankles swell because of fluid retention. Any area that increases in weight quickly could become itchy. When this stretching occurs, you may also get something called a PUPPP rash which happens in about 1 in every 160 pregnancies. It is where the tissues under the skin are damaged as it stretches,


Hormones can contribute to dry skin, which can be itchy. This could be all over, or in certain areas of your body.

Heat Rashes

Heat rashes during pregnancy can be itchy and they can occur because you’re more sweaty, or because you’re more sensitive to the temperature around you.


Hives can occur during pregnancy because of stress, skin pressure or heat. They can be treated easily with a cold compress or something similar, but if they are extreme and seem to be part of an allergic reaction, you need to get medical help quickly.


The hormones during your pregnancy can cause you to get acne, which can be itchy or sore.


Itching during pregnancy can be caused by something called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) and it happens to about 1-2 in 1,000 women when they are pregnant. It is a liver disorder that occurs because bile acids that usually travel from your liver to your gut to help with food digestion, stop flowing as they should.

Common risks for this condition include:

  • ICP running in your family
  • Being of South Asian origin
  • Having experienced it in previous pregnancies

The key symptoms for this condition compared to less serious itching are:

  • Constant itching all over
  • Sometimes itching so bad it feels unbearable
  • Itching worse on the soles of your feet and palms of your hands
  • Itching that tends to get worse in the evening

Of course, everybody is different and the symptoms are not the same for everybody. For that reason it makes sense to mention itching to your midwife or doctor at your next checkup just to make sure you don’t need further investigations.


How To Prevent And Deal With Itchy Skin During Pregnancy

You may not be able to prevent itching during pregnancy, which is bad news, but it’s always better to be prepared that it could happen. If it does happen, there’s plenty you can do to alleviate your symptoms.

Here are some actions you can take to minimise and deal with the chance of some types of pregnancy itching, and including:

  • Avoid hot water – You’re meant to avoid very hot baths and showers during pregnancy for the health of the baby, but doing this also helps you avoid drying the skin out. Keeping the water temperature lukewarm ensures you can maintain your hygiene but without causing itching to get worse.
  • Avoid perfumed products – Products that are heavily fragranced can irritate your skin during pregnancy. This is especially true for vaginal itching during pregnancy. Your vagina is self cleaning and so it won’t take much to change the PH within it. Something as simple as cutting out heavily perfumed bath bombs, shower gels and wipes can stop vaginal itching during pregnancy and it can help when you’re not pregnant too.
  • Cool down – Stay as cool as you can, especially during heatwaves.
  • Relax – Try to stay as relaxed and stress-free as you can because those feelings can make itching worse. This Youtube meditation is a great example of resources you can use to take a moment to reduce the stress in your life. If you think you are one of the 12-15% of women suffering anxiety, or 20% suffering depression during pregnancy, it’s a good idea to speak to your healthcare provider.
  • Wear loose clothes – You can continue to look beautiful during pregnancy with loose clothing like maxi dresses, pregnancy leggings and loose T-shirt’s. This loose clothing can help you avoid any chafing or rubbing that makes itching worse.


Experiencing Itching During Pregnancy? Speak To Your Doctor

The golden rule if you are experiencing itching during pregnancy is to speak to your doctor just to make sure there isn’t a wider medical issue that needs addressing.

In addition, the tips above are just some of the ways to prevent or alleviate your symptoms during this challenging time.

What you’re going through is common, but nonetheless really difficult so it’s important to seek advice and help so you don’t suffer in silence.

Losing Weight While Pregnant: Is It Safe?

Losing Weight While Pregnant

Are you considering losing weight while pregnant?Losing Weight While Pregnant

If so, there’s a lot to consider before you take that step.

The first thing you should do is speak to your OB-GYN, doctor or midwife, but in the meantime, we have collected lots of handy information for you so that you feel a little bit more in the know about this tricky topic:


Why Are Women Losing Weight While Pregnant?

Around 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and that unhappiness does not go away just because pregnancy occurs, leading some women to start to, or continue to lose weight regardless of their condition.

In fact, if your relationship with food and exercise goes beyond body image and you have an eating disorder, pregnancy may well be a huge trigger because your body is naturally changing throughout.

If you are in recovery, it may well bring back some of those familiar struggles because of your growing size.

Many women may also want to be healthier for their baby, and hope to start losing weight while pregnant to shed excess pounds in order to be in better shape for their growing baby.


Is Losing Weight While Pregnant Healthy?

There isn’t a yes or a no on this topic, unfortunately. For this reason your first port of call if you’re thinking of losing weight while pregnant should be your doctor.

However, it does help to know that there are two lines of thinking on the topic, which we are going to take a closer look at below:

First Line Of Thinking – Losing Weight While Pregnant Is Not Healthy

The NHS in the UK takes the position that you should start losing weight while pregnant, even if you are obese as defined by your BMI (find a BMI calculator here).

This is because despite your increased risk of conditions or problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clots and miscarriage whilst you are pregnant and obese, trying to lose weight during this time will not reduce your chance of complications.

In addition, weight loss could cause even more risks.

Instead, the NHS suggests that you should attend all of your antenatal appointments and stay in contact with your doctor. So in the US, your OB-GYN should be offering you a gestational diabetes test, and they should discuss the kind of risks that come with being overweight and pregnant.

For example; if you are obese you are more likely to need the help of forceps or a caesarean when you give birth. Your doctor will need to discuss this with you as part of your birth plan.

The key is to ensure that you are monitored and under the best possible medical care during this time, and the NHS believes that by doing that, you’re doing the best for yourself and your baby and that does not involve weight loss during this time.

Second Line Of Thinking – Losing Weight While Pregnant Can Be Done Safely

Healthline suggests (with backing from scientific studies and medical insight) losing weight while pregnant can be healthy. This is not applicable if you are a healthy weight when you get pregnant because losing weight would then cause your BMI to drop to an unhealthy weight.

The trusted site suggests that it could be possible to experience weight loss during pregnancy in a healthy way,  and it could even be beneficial to lose weight if you carry excess weight when you get pregnant.

The line of thinking relates to the risks we mentioned above, that overweight and obese pregnant women have and so, the idea is that gradual, guided weight loss recommended by your doctor is safe and potentially quite a good idea.


How Much Weight Should You Gain Whilst You Are Pregnant?

If you are considering weight loss during pregnancy or you want to make sure you’re not gaining too much, there are guideline amounts you can follow so you know the baby is healthy, and you’re not piling on too many pounds. The CDC offers these guideline amounts of weight gain for pregnant women:

  • BMI under 18.5 (underweight) – a gain of between 28-40 pounds (50-62 pounds with twins)
  • BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 (average weight) – a gain of between 25 and 25 pounds (37-54 pounds with twins)
  • BMI between 25 and 29.9 (overweight) – a gain of between 15 and 25 pounds (31-50 pounds with twins)
  • BMI of 30 or more (obese) – a gain of between 11 and 20 pounds  (25-42 pounds with twins)

The CDC also states that around half of pregnant women gain more weight than they need to whilst they are pregnant. So even if losing weight while pregnant is not on the cards, it is good to know that you’re putting on a healthy amount during this time.


Losing Weight Before Pregnancy & Fertility

Losing weight before pregnancy is a much better path than weight loss in pregnancy, and it could boost your chances of getting pregnant in the first place. According to The American Society For Reproductive Medicine a BMI of below 18.5 could cause you to stop ovulating altogether, or at least experience irregular periods.

They also say that when you have a BMI over 30, which indicates that you are obese, your chances of getting pregnant are less than a person who is of a healthy weight.

This is also affected by the fertility of an obese partner. Diabetes, insulin resistance, thyroid issues and more can affect fertility and those issues are all more likely if you are obese.

If you are obese and trying for a baby, one of the best things you can do for your health and fertility is to gradually lose weight in a healthy way.


Pregnancy Weight Loss & Eating Disorders

If you are considering losing weight while pregnant and you have an eating disorder or have previously suffered from an eating disorder it is very important to discuss this with your doctor.

According to Tommy’s, a pregnancy and baby loss charity, there are multiple risks associated with eating disorders and pregnancy, including preterm birth miscarriage and postnatal depression.

By speaking to your doctor about your eating disorder when you are pregnant, you can get the support you need so that you and your baby have the best possible chance of optimum health.


Considering Weight Loss During Pregnancy? Speak To Your Doctor

Hopefully the information above has helped you feel a little more in the know about the subject of weight loss during pregnancy.

Your primary concern if you are thinking of losing weight while pregnant should be speaking to your doctor.

They will be able to monitor you and baby, making sure that you’re as healthy as possible during this important time.

What To Do About Dehydration During Pregnancy

Dehydration during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but also a challenging time for your body.Dehydration during pregnancy

Many health struggles can arise, such as dehydration during pregnancy, which can be very dangerous.

To help you understand how to prevent dehydration during pregnancy, spot the symptoms and what to do if there are signs of dehydration in pregnancy, here’s some handy info we have put together just for you:


How Much Water Should You Drink During Pregnancy?

According to pregnancy and baby loss charity Tommy’s you should be consuming about 8-12 glasses of at least 200ml of water a day.

That includes decaffeinated drinks, pregnancy suitable herbal teas, sugar-free squash and plant based/ semi-skimmed/ 1% milks.

Eating water-heavy fruits and veggies like cucumber and watermelon can also boost your hydration levels.

There are lots of ways to include more fluid in your diet including:

  • Eating lots of fresh fruit and veg
  • Keeping a measured water bottle with you so you know how much you’ve consumed
  • Getting a sugar-free cordial you enjoy to encourage more water consumption
  • Setting drinking reminders on your smartphone or a fitness device
  • Drinking more if you notice that your urine is in the ‘drink more’ zone as indicated by the chart in this NHS article
  • Drinking more if it is very hot or you move around more than usual


Why Is Dehydration During Pregnancy Dangerous?

When you are pregnant you need lots of liquid so that your body is able to make amniotic fluid, make more blood, take nutrients to your baby, boost your digestive tract function and to help flush out extra bodily waste and build new tissues and cells.

Some serious complications of dehydration during pregnancy are:

  • UTI’s
  • Kidney stones
  • Swelling
  • Problems with foetal development
  • Amniotic fluid is lower

The complications above can lead to additional complications such as UTI’s potentially causing preterm labour.


What Can Cause Dehydration During Pregnancy?

Dehydration occurs when we lose more water/ fluids than we take in at the time. So if you do a workout, for example, and you sweat a lot and then you don’t drink water afterwards, you could become dehydrated.

What happens when this occurs is that standard bodily functions struggle to happen. You might get constipated, you could feel sluggish, you might get a headache. According to Healthline, you can get mild or severe dehydration and severe dehydration can be really dangerous regardless of whether you are pregnant or not.

When it comes to dehydration during pregnancy, the risks of being dehydrated grow because there are more ways for you to get dehydrated.

On top of all the usual risk factors like not drinking enough water or, being in hot weather pregnant people are more at risk of pregnancy because they can be more at risk of:

  • The body having to work harder during normal activities because of the extra weight being carried, causing more sweating
  • Excessive sweating caused by numerous pregnancy conditions
  • General hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy
  • Diarrhea
  • Morning sickness/ pregnancy sickness
  • Higher temperature caused by hormonal flushes
  • Maternal overheating which means your body is struggling to regulate heat because you haven’t taken enough water in

Sometimes the combination of pregnancy symptoms and not acting quickly enough to replace lost fluid can quickly cause dehydration during pregnancy to become severe.


The Signs Of Dehydration During Pregnancy

There are some general signs of dehydration during pregnancy that you can look out for that are a warning sign you need to drink more water including:

  • Chapped lips
  • A dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Constipation
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling slippy
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Braxton-Hicks (common in the 2nd or 3rd trimester)

If you have these symptoms you can act quickly and prevent your dehydration getting any worse. Speak to your doctor, rest and drink plenty of fluids.

It may be that you are experiencing severe dehydration which usually occurs because you haven’t responded to the signs of mild dehydration.

However, it is important to remember that severe dehydration can occur in a way that is out of your control.

Here are some common symptoms of overhydration:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Smelly and dark urine
  • Feeling faint
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Feeling like you have dryness everywhere including your skin, eyes, nose, mouth and genitals
  • No urine or very small amounts of urine when you do go to pee
  • Feeling irritable and grumpy
  • Feeling a little foggy in your thinking
  • Feeling clumsy
  • Shrivelled skin on the finger pads
  • Skin that stays pinched if you pinch it

If these symptoms are present you need to get yourself to emergency medical care. You may need IV hydration and further medical help.


Signs You Should Speak To Your Doctor About Pregnancy Dehydration

There are some signs that you may be at particular risk of dehydration during pregnancy beyond the risks of a standard person, and the risks of being a pregnant person.

For example; a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum can occur which is where you get excessive morning sickness.

Morning sickness occurs in about 8 out of 10 pregnant women, and in around 1-3 in every 100 pregnant women hyperemesis gravidarum occurs. If you have morning sickness you are at risk of dehydration, but with HG you can be incredibly unwell and it could even put your baby at risk

Some of the symptoms of HG include:

  • Dehydration (see symptoms above)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Severe vomiting/ nausea
  • Losing weight

You can suffer with HG for much longer than standard morning sickness, far beyond 20 weeks and possibly up until the end of your pregnancy.

For this reason it is so important to let your doctor know about any tricky symptoms you are having with your pregnancy as soon as you can.

Whether you have HG or other signs you might struggle with dehydration during pregnancy, you need medical advice and support to make sure you and your baby stay safe.


Seeing Signs Of Dehydration In Pregnancy? Speak To Your Doctor

If you are at all concerned about dehydration during pregnancy it is important to speak to your OB-GYN for more advice sooner rather than later.

Dehydration might seem like an easy problem to solve, but it can so quickly cause real issues.

It’s so important to be aware of it and work on preventing it/ treating it so you can keep yourself and your baby as healthy as possible during this challenging time.