As her abdominal skin stretches over her expanding belly, your spouse may experience intense itching. Increased levels of estrogen during pregnancy may also cause itching in areas such as the palms and feet. These symptoms are temporary and will disappear soon after childbirth. Here are some of the things she can do to cope with the itching:
- Use a moisturizer. This will prevent drying of the skin which aggravates itching.
- Avoid bathing with very hot water.
- Use mild soaps and shampoos.
- Apply calamine lotion that has been refrigerated. This will provide instant relief.
- Massage the skin with olive oil or cocoa butter.
- Take a warm oatmeal bath.
- Wear loose cotton clothing to avoid aggravating the itch.
- Avoid scratching. Some experts suggest scratching a stuffed toy to satisfy the psychological urge to scratch.
- Avoid moving out in the sun as this could aggravate the itching.
Less commonly, itching may also be caused by ‘PUPPP,’ or, pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. In this condition, a red rash, consisting of itchy bumps and wheals, appears in the stretch marks on the abdomen and may spread over the buttocks, breasts, and thighs. The rash is in itself harmless, but can be maddeningly annoying.
Your spouse’s doctor will diagnose the condition and prescribe appropriate treatment such as an ointment, or perhaps a course of steroids or antihistamines.
Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please consult your doctor.