As Your Child grows inside your belly and your breasts enlarge, your skin will inevitably stretch. This may lead to stretch marks and abdominal itching.
Not every pregnant woman will experience stretch marks though.
Why do I have stretch marks?
Stretch marks may appear as pinkish or reddish streaks, mostly around your breasts, tummy, or thighs, as your skin stretches more and faster during pregnancy. This is because of your extra weight and Your Child’s growth. In addition, you have higher hormone levels which may disrupt your skin proteins, making your skin thinner. Almost 90% of pregnant women will experience stretch marks.
What can I do?
There may not be anything you can do to prevent stretch marks, but you can try to minimize them by avoiding putting on too much weight too quickly, exercising regularly, and drinking plenty of water. After birth, the marks usually fade and become silvery white or brown lines. It can take up to six months for this to happen. Try to look at stretch marks as something positive. You’re growing your little Your Child after all!
In addition to the marks, the stretching might also lead to itchy skin.
As your belly grows, your skin stretches and tightens which may cause dryness and itching. However, if you have severe itching late in your pregnancy, possibly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, and jaundice, you should contact your doctor. This could be a sign of cholestasis, which is related to the function of the liver. Cholestasis occurs in about one in every 50 pregnancies and, most of the time, it resolves after the pregnancy.
On the other hand, if the itching is intense and spreads to your arms and legs, it could be pruritic urticarial papules and plagues (PUPP). PUPP is itchy, reddish, and raised patches on the skin; it usually resolves after delivery. PUPP occurs in about one in every 150 pregnancies.
What can I do?
Keep your abdomen moisturized to alleviate the dryness and itchiness. You can also use an anti-itch cream such as calamine lotion to help provide more relief.