Ahhh! Finally your morning sickness has subsided. Great! Now you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy in peace, right? Except for that one itch that seems to not go away. Then suddenly there’s another spot, and before you know it everywhere is itching. What is going on? Well, the good news is, it’s common to have itchy skin during pregnancy. The bad news is… it’s common to have itchy skin during pregnancy. Often thought to be caused by the hormonal changes our skin undergoes during pregnancy coupled by the increased blood flow, our skin becomes increasingly sensitive and prone to itching.
The good news is that there are many ways to ease your itchiness. Here are 8 ways you can treat your itchy pregnancy skin.
Well-moisturized hydrated skin is soft, elastic, and healthy, making it resistant to stretch marks and itchiness. Dry skin is extremely common among expecting mothers, so using a hydrating sulfate-free body wash, especially one infused with essential oils, will wash away your stress while also dousing your skin in moisture. Combine this with the daily application of organic, nourishing, mommy-approved stretch mark prevention creams, butters, and oils will help soothe the itchiness you’re experiencing. When applied, the right products hydrate the skin, reinforcing its lipid barrier to lock in moisture and prevent dry skin. And don’t worry, you can apply these products all over, not just where you see stretch marks.
Drink Up… Water That Is
In the fight against itching, water is your best friend. Nourishing your skin from the outside just isn’t enough. To experience the maximum benefits you need to make sure you nourish it from the inside too. Drinking plenty of water (2.3 liters a day or more) will prevent hydration, increase your mental acuity, and help keep your skin hydrated, minimizing itchiness.
If you live in a warmer climate, or especially during the summer add an additional 8-ounce glass of water for every hour of light activity. If you’re not a fan of drinking water you can add a little flavor or zest to yours by infusing it with fruit slices, lemon juice, or herbs like mint and basil.
Keep It Cool
While hot bubble baths may feel like the perfect way to relax and unwind after a long day, if you’re struggling with itchy skin, hot water is only going to exacerbate the problem. The heat strips your skin of vital moisture, resulting in dryer skin making it more susceptible to itching, not to mention, the hot water can be harmful for your little one as well. Cool showers and baths will allow you to relax while still retaining your skin’s moisture. Follow up your bath by drying off with gentle pats, not aggressively rubbing, then apply your stretch mark butter or oil.
Remember when you were a kid and got chicken pox? There weren’t many rules but one that we all knew was: NO SCRATCHING. Keep that in mind now. While in theory scratching should ease the itching, when you’re pregnant it actually does the exact opposite and further aggravates the issue. Instead of scratching, treat your itches to a massage with nourishing hydrating creams and oils to soothe and calm your irritated skin.
One well known method of making your pregnancy more comfortable is to wear loose clothes made from breathable materials or natural fibers like cotton. Tight-fitting clothes or those made with synthetic fibers tend to be more uncomfortable and irritating. Form fitting clothing rubs against sensitive skin and can aggravate it, leading to more itchiness.
Heavily scented cosmetics can further exacerbate your itchy skin because of the harmful chemicals that comprise them. Not only can these chemicals be harmful to you, but they can be harmful to your baby as well. Instead, opt for naturally scented or mild-scented products. These will not only serve the cosmetic purpose you purchased them for, but they’ll also keep you and baby safe without irritating your skin.
Intense or persistent stress can elicit physical reactions in your body, like inflammation, pain, and breakouts. It can also cause incessant itching; the more stressed you are, the more it exacerbates your itchy skin.
Once your bundle of joy is here, your hands will be full, so it’s important now (and then) to make time to relax. You can meditate, read a few pages from your favorite book, sip a cup of pregnancy tea, or just listen to calming music. Do whatever makes you feel relaxed, refreshed, and de-stressed
Remember that each body is unique, and you may have to experiment with different skin regimens to find out what works best for you. But the most important thing to remember is to be gentle with yourself and to take care of yourself physically and mentally.