Tips for Dealing With an Itchy Belly During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman sitting in a grassy area, looking at her belly

Stockbyte / Getty Images

The cause of the itchy belly in pregnancy is usually just the skin expanding. You have to expand while expecting, so there is not a way to get out of that. This doesn't mean that everyone will experience itching, or to a level that is even noticeable. 

How to Keep Your Pregnant Belly From Being Itchy

Here are tips for preventing and treating an itchy belly during pregnancy:

Keep Your Belly Moisturized

Having dry skin can make the itching worse and lead to scratching. Keeping yourself and your belly well hydrated will usually help tone down the itching, but not necessarily alleviate it. This is where the creams and oils come in handy.

A nice moisturizing lotion will go a long way with the itchiness. There isn't a specific formula that has some magic cure, so don't break the bank buying the most expensive lotion available. Just buy one you like. There are also special baths, like oatmeal baths designed to be safe and yet effective in taking care of itching.

Staying well-hydrated is another way to improve the health of your skin. Some of it is seasonal, some of it is environmental. Can you alter the humidity in your home? That might help.

Stay Away From Things That Are Drying

We also do a lot of things that dry our skin out without even thinking about it. One of the main culprits is hot water. While a bath is perfectly acceptable, how you take it may be drying out your skin.

You might consider being sure that you don't use too hot of water on your stomach. This can further dry out the skin, particularly troublesome for some mothers in the winter months. In fact, when you get out of a bath, gently towel off, not removing all of the water. This is the ideal time to add a moisturizer to your skincare plan. This can help seal in the water still on your skin.

When to See a Doctor About Your Itchy Belly

Be sure to talk to your midwife or doctor before using any medicated creams or taking oral medications to alleviate itching. There are some skin issues that can crop up in pregnancy that goes beyond the normal issues.

If your itching and scratching are accompanied by a rash or severe talk to your practitioner, you may have PUPPP. They can help you determine what the best form of treatment is for scratching and itching that is driving you crazy and beyond the normally dry skin.​

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bechtel MA. Pruritus in Pregnancy and Its Management. Dermatol Clin. 2018;36(3):259-265. doi:10.1016/j.det.2018.02.012

  2. Matz H, Orion E, Wolf R. Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy: polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PUPPP). Clin Dermatol. 2006;24(2):105-8. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2005.10.010