Itching in pregnancy

Some itching around the stomach is normal as your skin is stretching around your growing baby.

What are the causes of itching in pregnancy?

Mild itching, especially around the stomach area, is normal in pregnancy as it is caused by the stomach skin stretching to adapt to the growing baby.

If you have the following symptoms you may have a liver condition called obstetric cholestasis/intraheptic cholestasis of pregnancy. You should see your midwife as soon as possible to be tested.

  • severe itching
  • particularly on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet
  • the itching is worse at night
  • there is no rash with it

Find out more about intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), also known as obstetric cholestasis (OC).

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  1. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Obstetric cholestasis, Green-top guideline 43, London RCOG, 2011
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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.

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  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Aug 2017 - 10:29

    Itching varies from night to night should I still let my Obgyn know? Its the left palm and both feet at 36 weeks pregnant with lower back ache and left side hip down hurting. Is all this normal?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Aug 2017 - 15:58

    Yes, definitely ask advice from your midwife or doctor. Any pain or itching should be reported. It may be sensible to do a blood test to rule out anything abnormal. Best wishes Tommy's midwives

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 2 Mar 2017 - 10:19

    Hi, thanks for your comment. I'm sorry to hear that the itching is getting worse. Are you also having regular blood tests for a pregnancy condition called Obstetric cholestasis?

    I would advise you to contact your maternity unit as soon as possible to let them know the itching is worsening and the creams/antihistamines not helping. Also if there are any other concerns such as baby moving less than normal for your baby.
    Try to avoid anything that might irritate your skin such as perfumed soaps and detergents -use sensitive skin alternatives and also avoid too hot showers or baths as hot water can also irritate skin.
    Hope this helps
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 28 Feb 2017 - 13:12

    Been told i have pupps but itching getting worse anything to ease it on cream and antihistamines

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