Itchy Stomach During Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 17, 2012

Many women suffer from an itchy stomach during pregnancy. There are several reasons for this. This usually happens as the uterus grows and the skin stretches to accommodate the baby. Other reasons for an itchy stomach in pregnancy include pregnancy hormones and changes in liver enzymes too.

During the last trimester, some women have itchy bumps or a larger hive like rash on their stomachs. About 1 % of women suffer from this condition which can begin from the 35th week of pregnancy. This is referred to medically as pruritic urticarial...


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.papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP)P This itchy rash on the stomach during pregnancy is more common in women who are having their first baby or twinsn

This rash almost always starts in the stretch marks of the abdomene It does not affect the belly button which makes it different from other rashes one gets during pregnancyc PUPP is characterized by excessive itching but it does not pose any risk to the mother or babyb The rash lasts for about 6 weeks and disappears 1-2 weeks after deliveryr The cause of PUPP is unknownw More on itchy belly during pregnancy

In rare cases, some women develop itchy eruptions which look like hives but later develop into larger blistering lesionsn This rash usually starts on the abdomen and spreads to the arms and legsg This is known as pemphigoid gestationis or herpes gestationis, but is not connected to the herpes virusu This is more serious than PUPP as it could lead to fetal growth problems and pre term laboro This usually begins in the third trimester but there have been cases of it in early pregnancy tooo It generally disappears once the baby is bornr About 2% of women suffer from yet another itching condition called Intrahepatic cholestasisi This is a pregnancy liver a related condition that affects the flow of bile into the bodyd Bile salts accumulate in the body and this causes the itchingn This condition can occur in subsequent pregnancies tooo Do contact your doctor immediately if you develop a rash or if itching becomes severe and is accompanied by appetite loss, fatigue, vomiting or nauseae

The itchiness can be treated with either moisturizers or prescribed medication (including topical ointments)s Avoiding hot showers and baths with oatmeal help tooo Loose cotton clothing and calamine lotion have been known to help as welll Most women experience itchiness during late pregnancy but an itchy stomach in early pregnancy has been known to occur as well as the skin starts stretching to accommodate the growing babyb

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