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When Should I Worry About Itching In Pregnancy?

Updated: Feb 1

When Should I Worry About Itching In Pregnancy?

I don’t know about you, but adding one more thing to the uncomfortable third trimester can be too much to even think about. However, we are talking about a really important one today:

Itching In Pregnancy

Seem a little melodramatic? Maybe, but itching in pregnancy is more than just the occasional scratching. It can also be a sign of something a little more ominous. 

As we all know, pregnancy creates weird changes to our bodies. Some of these changes can result in itching, like your skin growing, stretch marks appearing, or dry skin. But the itching can also be a sign of a problem with your liver.

Cholestasis in pregnancy is a condition that affects the way your liver processes the bile used to digest your food. The bile gets backed up and doesn’t get released properly. Typically, this is an issue that begins in the third trimester of pregnancy and can last until you deliver your baby. 

Some really important things to know about Itching In Pregnancy:

  1. You might find your hands and feet are really itchy but there is no rash

  2. The itching can get worse at night or in the evening

  3. Your whole body could be affected, not just your hands and feet

  4. Some creams may help to lessen the symptoms

  5. It’s essential you see your doctor!

Talk to your doctor or midwife about any new or worsening itching that you may feel – sooner than later! They will likely send you to have some blood work done to check your liver function and make sure that everything is ok with you and your baby. You may be consulted with a Maternal-Fetal Specialist for extra monitoring depending on how things are moving along. 

Sometimes when this condition becomes severe, you may be induced early (35 weeks or after) to keep your baby safe as Cholestasis can cause an increased risk to the baby. 

This is stressful, without a doubt, but knowing that you are doing everything you can to make sure that you and your baby are safe is the first step into Motherhood.

Moral of this story? Listen to your body and get familiar with what your “normal” is – when things are outside of this “normal” it never hurts to ask your health care provider!


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