Mild itching is common in pregnancy because of the enhanced blood it is provided to the skin. As your pregnant progresses and as your baby grows, the skin of her abdomen is stretched and also this may likewise feel itchy.

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Mild itching is usually nothing to problem about, but if the itching becomes major it can be a sign of a severe liver condition called obstetric cholestasis. This influence fewer than 1 in 100 pregnant women, but needs medical attention.

Mild itching

Wearing loosened clothes may help prevent itching, together your garments are much less likely to rub against your skin and also cause irritation. You may additionally want come avoid fabricated materials and choose natural fabrics such together cotton that allow the air to circulate nearby to her skin. Friend may uncover that having a cool bathtub or applying lotion or moisturiser can help to reassuring the itching.

Some women discover that commodities with solid perfumes have the right to irritate your skin, so girlfriend could shot using plain lotion or soap.

Serious itching: obstetric cholestasis

If you’re worried around your itching, or if you have severe itching, it’s necessary to watch your midwife or doctor.

Obstetric cholestasis (OC), additionally called intrahepatic cholestasis the pregnancy, is a serious liver disorder the affects a small number of pregnant women, typically in the last 3 month of pregnancy.

Causes that obstetric cholestasis

The reason of OC is unclear, however it’s believed the rise of pregnant hormones later in pregnancy may slow the normal circulation of bile — the digestive fluid made in the liver the helps her digestive system malfunction fats. In OC, bile salts build up fairly than leaving the liver, at some point entering the bloodstream, which can make you feeling itchy.

OC seems to run in families, although that can occur with no household history. The is also an ext common in females of Indian and Pakistani origin. If friend have had OC in a vault pregnancy, you"re much more likely to build it again in a succeeding pregnancy.

Babies that women with OC are much more likely to it is in born prematurely or to be stillborn, or to have lung difficulties from breath in meconium. Since of this complications, your doctor may take into consideration inducing labour before you room due.

Symptoms of obstetric cholestasis

The classic symptom that OC is itching without rash, generally on the palms and also soles of the feet, yet it may be much more widespread. The itching can be non-stop or unbearable, and also worse at night.

Other symptoms include dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and also whites the the eyes), and pale bowel motions (poo).

The itchiness typically goes far within a few days after providing birth.

Treatment that obstetric cholestasis

OC is diagnosed with taking a medical and family history, and blood tests that inspect your liver duty (liver attributes tests — LFTs). When OC is diagnosed, you will certainly have constant LFTs till your infant is born, so the your doctor deserve to monitor her condition.

Creams, such together calamine lotion, room safe to use in pregnancy and also can carry out some relief from itching. Her doctor may prescribe a medicine to alleviate bile salts and also ease itching.

OC can impact your absorption of vitamin K, i beg your pardon is necessary for healthy blood coagulation so you might be readily available a vitamin K supplement.

If you space diagnosed v OC, your midwife and also doctor will talk about your health and also your options with you.


Sources: mei Clinic (Cholestasis of pregnancy), NSW wellness (Having a baby), royal Women’s Hospital (Common concerns in at an early stage pregnancy), SA wellness Department (Clinical reminder obstetric cholestasis), Women"s and also Children"s health and wellness Network (Itching in pregnancy), King Edward Memorial Hospital (Cholestasis in pregnancy - clinical guidelines)

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Last reviewed: November 2020


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