Pregnant and itchy? It could be something serious too.

Are you pregnant and itching all the time? Most pregnant mothers complain of stomach, chest or feet itching all the time. Where are you itchy? I remember feeling like there was a dust particle lodged around my nose somewhere and scratched it until it was tomato red, most of the time!

Truth is pregnancy is a time where the hormone levels in a woman’s body are constantly changing and that is usually reason enough for the heightened sensitivity in skin. As your belly expands to make room for the new life growing in it, skin also stretches and that often causes the itching.

Beware

However, sometimes this all-too-common pregnancy side-effect could potentially be a sign of something serious too.

When?

1. When the itching is usually in hands or feet

2. Urine is darker and smellier

3. Fatigue/ exhaustion

Why?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you should consult a doctor because it could be Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP).

What?

ICP is a group of liver disorders specific to pregnancy which interfere with the flow of bile. Elevated bile acids in the blood are associated with increased risk to the unborn baby.

Note:

It is important to note that Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy is not a single disorder, but a heterogeneous group of many different disorders which all lead to elevated bile acids. This means that the disorder may present itself very differently in affected women. 80% of cases are diagnosed in the third trimester, about 10% in the second trimester, and about 10% in the first trimester.

What you can do?

Luckily not all the itchiness is cause for you to head to the doctor. Here are some tried and tested formulas to rid you of the constant rash inducing itchiness.

1. Moisturize

Take a warm water bath everyday and make sure you moisturize thoroughly. If you live in warmer climes, it is perfectly all right to bathe twice. In which case you must moisturize right after every bath.

2. Do not scratch

This is a golden rule mothers talk about since we were kids. Scratching hard only worseness the skin that is already quite distressed because of the hormonal changes. Using nails could form a rupture. Try keeping a small hand towel and rub gently at the areas that are regularly itchy.  

3. Use Vitamin E oils

If using vitamin e enriches lotions are not helping, try buying vitamin e tablets that are freely available in the market. Buy a few capsules and puncture them into a small cup.  Mix a teaspoonful of olive oil to make it more pliable when you apply.

4. Use humidifier in the room

Since dryness is the real source of most of the redness in your skin, you can reduce this. A humidifier is a gadget that increases the water (humid) content in the air around you and can relieve you of some of the dryness you feel.

5. Use sunscreen

Strong sun can definitely do damage to your skin. It is important for you to apply a sun screen lotion with an SPF of at least 30+ to protect your sensitive skin.  

6. Drink plenty of water

Make it a point to up water intake when the dryness is at its peak. Drinking atleast 8-10 glasses of water can help in flushing out toxin buildup, and keep you well hydrated.

7. Do mild exercises

Do not give exercises a skip. Do mild yoga/walking/exercises as prescribed by your doctor to maintain good blood circulation.

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