Pregnancy Symptoms: Itchy Belly

Posted on Feb 6, 2013 | Pregnancy Symptoms Category | | Print This Article

Most women expect some morning sickness during pregnancy, as well as some aches and pains. You might even expect to have sore breasts, fatigue and maybe even some strange cravings. One of the more common symptoms of pregnancy that’s often overlooked, however, is an itchy belly.

For some women, the itchy belly can be just as frustrating, if not more so, than a symptom like morning sickness. Try as you might, you can’t seem to “get away” from that itching sensation. You scratch and scratch and scratch, only to seemingly make matters worse.

What causes itchy belly?

An itchy belly during pregnancy is often caused by the rapid expansion of your abdomen. As your baby grows, your skin has to stretch. Even if you’re gaining weight in a relatively steady fashion during your pregnancy, chances are you’re going to see periods where your belly just seems to grow faster than everything else.

This is normal, of course. Your body is making room for that growing baby.

If your belly expands in such a way as to cause stretch marks, you might be even more itchy than other women. Not every woman gets stretch marks, of course, but that process is the most likely culprit of that itch you just can’t seem to scratch.

There are some other things that can cause an itchy belly (or itchy other parts) during pregnancy, too. Sometimes, you’ll have a reaction to a food or a medication during pregnancy that you seemed to tolerate fairly well when you weren’t pregnant. This is normal, too; your body is changing chemically as well as physically.

How long does itchy belly last during pregnancy?

Itchy belly may last for quite a while, even after your pregnancy is over. For some women, it can take several weeks or even months for things to come back to normal.

In the meantime, there are plenty of natural aids to help with that itch. Lotions, creams, butters and oils can help. Most use anti-itch herbs such as chamomile, lavender, calendula or marshmallow root. They usually come in a base of cocoa butter, shea butter or natural oils.

Keeping your skin moisturized during pregnancy can also help to prevent and soothe itchy belly.

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