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).

Read more

  • Pregnant woman looking anxious.

    Mental wellbeing

    Although it’s normal to have periods of worry and stress when you’re pregnant, some women have feelings that don’t go away and this can be a sign of something more serious.

  • Pregnant woman exercising on cross-trainer.

    Exercise and activity in pregnancy

    People may tell you that pregnancy is a good time to put your feet up. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated it is actually much healthier for you and your baby to exercise while pregnant.

  • Woman on treadmill at gym.

    Weight management in pregnancy

    Although you will be putting on weight in pregnancy as your baby grows, limiting the amount of extra weight gain in pregnancy will improve your health and your baby's, both now and in the future.

  • Weeks 1-12 infographic

    Pregnancy calendar

    We've got all the information you need about your body, your emotions and your baby, week-by-week of your pregnancy.

  • Mother and newborn baby.

    Labour & birth

    Most women worry about how they will cope with the pain of labour and birth. You may worry too, especially if it is your first baby and you do not know what to expect.

  • Woman in hospital bed being comforted by health professional.

    Pregnancy complications

    Sometimes things go wrong during pregnancy and you need extra care

Sources

  1. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Obstetric cholestasis, Green-top guideline 43, London RCOG, 2011
Hide details

Last reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.

Was this information useful?

Yes No

Comments

  • 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?

    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/pregnancy-complications/obstetric-cholestasis/intraheptic-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

Add new comment