Pregnancy and ItchingI do recall having an itchy belly when my skin felt very stretched toward the end of my pregnancy. I think my itchiness may have been related not only to the stretching, but also some very uncomfortable maternity clothing.
From the article:
Some pregnant women find that their palms and the soles of their feet get red and sometimes itchy. This common condition may be caused by an increase in estrogen. It usually disappears right after delivery.
You may also find that things that normally make you itchy — dry skin, eczema, food allergies — make you even itchier when you're pregnant. Finally, there are certain conditions that occur during pregnancy that may cause you to feel itchy (see below).
How can I get relief from the itching?
Avoid hot showers and baths, which can dry out your skin and make the itching worse. Use mild soap and be sure to rinse it off well and towel off lightly. Then slather on an unscented moisturizer — some scents can cause irritation.
Try an occasional warm oatmeal bath. (You can buy oatmeal bath preparations in drugstores.) Wear loose cotton clothing and avoid going out in the heat of the day, since heat can intensify the itching.
Is it common to get itchy bumps on your abdomen?
Up to 1 percent of pregnant women develop a condition characterized by itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies. This is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy.
PUPPP usually begins in the third trimester and is more common among women carrying twins and those having their first baby. The eruptions usually show up first on the abdomen around or in stretch marks (if you have any) and may spread to your thighs, buttocks, and arms. PUPPP is harmless for you and your baby, but it can itch like crazy!
Your doctor or midwife will want to see you for a diagnosis and will probably prescribe a topical ointment to give you some relief. She may also recommend an antihistamine. In severe cases, you may need a course of oral steroids.
PUPPP usually disappears within a few days after delivery, although it sometimes persists for several weeks. (In rare cases, it may even begin after you give birth.) Fortunately, it seldom appears again in subsequent pregnancies.
Even more rare than PUPPP is a skin condition called prurigo of pregnancy (or papular eruptions of pregnancy), which is characterized by many tiny bumps that may look like bug bites. These eruptions can occur anywhere on your body, but you're most likely to get them on your hands, feet, arms, and legs.