Itchy Breasts During Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on March 14, 2012

When a woman gets pregnant her body goes through various changes. Her uterus will start to grow larger to accommodate the growing fetus, she will start to gain weight, her skin will start to show changes and also her breasts will begin to change. The changes to a woman's breast during pregnancy are probably the most intriguing of them all. During the early months of pregnancy a woman's breast may feel sore. This is mainly concentrated in the area around the nipples. Itchy breasts during pregnancy is another common experience.

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Pregnancy itchy breasts are an indication that the woman's breasts are getting ready to provide milk to the newborn baby post delivery.

Itchy Breasts During Pregnancy Treatment

Are itchy breasts a sign of pregnancy is a question a lot of pregnant women tend to ask their doctors. Normally to help in reducing this itchiness the woman can use a moisturizing lotion or cream which is beneficial in reducing this itchiness. Some of the best creams, lotions or oils to use to help prevent stretching and itching of one's skin during pregnancy include cocoa butter, olive oil or almond oil. One should use these creams or oils on the skin concentrating on the areas around the breasts, the lower abdomen of the woman, the thighs and the buttocks. These creams need to be massaged in well as this increases the circulation of blood to these areas. Preferably apply the oils on the breasts and other parts of the body right after coming out of the bath. This way the oil or cream gets absorbed into the skin well. Are itchy breasts sign of pregnancy is another often asked question. This is not always the case as one's breasts can itch for a variety of reasons. Some woman's breasts start to itch when they are menstruating. Other women may be suffering from excessive dryness of skin which can lead to itchy breasts. One way to combat itchy breasts due to dry skin is to have a bath with an oatmeal soak. Oatmeal has properties that are beneficial in reducing the itching of one's skin. One can even try using some coconut oil as a lubricant to be massaged into the breast skin. Itchy breasts early pregnancy can be a very uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience for a woman. Some doctors may prescribe a topical treatment to deal with this condition of itching skin if normal moisturizing does not help.

Although itchy breasts are not a serious problem even during pregnancy, they can lead to a lot of discomfort. Hence it is only natural for women to look for a solution that can help reduce itchy breasts during pregnancy. The first thing to do is to stop applying any powder on the skin, as that could lead to further dryness and aggravate the problem. Hot showers also dry the skin out, making the itchiness worse. Hence, it is best to take a bath with lukewarm water and use a mild soap, which cannot irritate the skin. Tubing the skin vigorously should also worsen the problem of itchiness. Therefore, it is best to pat the skin dry gently, using a towel.

Some women reduce the discomfort caused by itchy breasts, by using moisturizers, creams and lotions that help keep the skin hydrated. The most effective creams generally include almond oil, cocoa butter or olive oil, as they help to prevent the skin on the breasts from feeling itchy due to stretching. In fact, since women have itchy skin all over the body, these creams can be applied on the waist, thighs and the buttocks too.

If a woman just rubs the cream over the skin, the results may not be the best. Instead, the cream should be massaged on to the itchy area for a couple of minutes. Doing so will not just help hydrate the skin, but it will also increase the circulation of blood and oxygen to those areas. Moreover, the cream needs to be left on to the skin for a while, so that it can be absorbed by the skin properly. The best time to apply the creams or oils is immediately after taking a bath.

There are also certain home remedies that can be used for reducing Itchy breasts during pregnancy. Oatmeal is one of the best known remedies for reducing breast itchiness during pregnancy all over the body, caused by various factors. Hence pregnant women could check with their doctors and take an oatmeal bath, by soaking in a tub filled with oatmeal paste. Other women have also experienced relief from the problem, but applying coconut oil on the skin.

Pregnant women can reduce the itching problem, by dressing in the right manner. It is best to wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing, which will not irritate the skin. Most pregnant women are advised to wear cotton clothing, especially if they need to go out during the day. Synthetic material should be avoided by them.

Is itching a sign of pregnancy?

"Is itching a sign of pregnancy" is a question that several women ask themselves and their doctors, when they suspect that they may be pregnant or even during the initial stages of pregnancy. There are some women who may ask a question that is slightly different, i.e., "are itchy nipples a sign of pregnancy?". This is because some women may feel a severe itching sensation all over the body, which includes the arms, waist, torso, thighs, buttocks and the legs. However, some women may only face the problem of itchy breasts, at least when they first get pregnant. Most doctors, health experts and other resources assure all pregnant women that, itchy breasts during pregnancy are absolutely normal. In fact, when a woman goes for her first antenatal checkup to confirm her pregnancy, the doctor may even ask her if she has seen any changes in her breasts, since itchy breasts are an early pregnancy symptom.

Itchy Breasts Causes

It is a well known fact that sore breasts and itchy nipples are pregnancy symptoms. In fact itchy skin in early pregnancy affects several areas apart from the breasts. There could be several factors that lead to itchy breasts during pregnancy in a woman. First of all, it is important to realize that a woman's body undergoes numerous changes throughout the nine months of pregnancy, even before the baby grows large enough for the pregnancy to become evident. Hence itchy breasts during early pregnancy could be due to hormonal changes. Thereafter, as the pregnancy progresses, the woman's uterus begins to expand to accommodate the growing baby. Most women gain weight not just on the waist but also on the breast and other parts of the body. Hence, due to the gain in weight the skin on the breast expands, leading to severe dryness and itching. As the pregnancy progresses, the problem of itchy breast may continue or even worsen. This is not a cause for concern either, as it only indicates that the woman's breasts are getting prepared for breastfeeding, once the baby is born.

Itchy Breasts After Breastfeeding

It is not normal for a woman to experience itchy breasts, when she tries to wean her baby off. If she does have the problem of itchy breasts after breastfeeding, then it is best to consult a doctor immediately. There is a possibility that the itchiness is in reaction to an ice compress, laundry detergent or even certain foods that were consumed. Other conditions that could lead to breast itchiness are infections such as thrush and mastitis. Hence it is essential to consult a doctor in case of severe itchy breasts after breastfeeding.

Are itchy breasts always a pregnancy symptom?

While several cases of itchy breasts are a pregnancy symptom, it is not necessary that this problem is always caused by pregnancy. There have been several instances of women facing a problem of itchy breasts, even when they are not pregnant. At times, a woman's breasts could feel very itchy during her menstrual cycle. Of course, the weather could also play a role in this, as the skin tends to get drier during the winter season and therefore, could it itch a lot more. Some women may feel severe itchiness in their breasts and nipples, if their laundry detergent is too harsh. Home remedies and lotions used by women who are pregnant can actually help reduce itchiness caused by other factors too.

However, if the itching sensation is accompanied by redness, swelling or a rash, it is best to consult a doctor, as these are symptoms of more serious skin conditions.

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