As your pregnancy progresses and your bump increases in size, you have no doubt noticed an itchy or dry sensation that comes with it, which is only worsened by the cold air and harsh winter winds.
Itchiness is an extremely common pregnancy symptom, affecting most pregnant women due to a variety of different causes. However, this does not mean that you must continue suffering, as we have curated 3 top tips to help you alleviate some of your discomfort! Keep reading to find out why your bump may cause you irritation in winter, and what you can do to help combat it.
Why is my bump itchy?
During your pregnancy, it is extremely common to experience skin-related discomfort; it usually occurs as a result of an increase in hormone levels, as well as those of certain chemicals in the blood. Stretch marks, itching and irritation can also be attributed to the stretching of your skin as your bump grows; some women can even develop eczema or skin conditions through pregnancy.
Seasonal changes can also affect skin irritation, as your skin can naturally become dry and cracked as a result of harsh, cold weather conditions. This is because brisk winter air results in less humidity, and therefore less moisture, which will inevitably dry out your skin.
Mild cases of itching are usually innocuous and will not harm you or baby, however it is important to note that it can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious condition, especially if it is more noticeable in the evenings. We recommend that you contact your healthcare professional if you are experiencing itching, so that they can determine whether any further investigation is required, as well as offering potential solutions; you can find more information on the NHS website.
How can I soothe my dry, itchy skin?
- Keep Your Skin (And Yourself) Hydrated
If you use a rich skin cream containing jojoba oil, coconut oil or cocoa butter instead of your regular moisturiser, it will soothe and hydrate your bump more effectively. You should apply your lotion after you dry off from your morning shower, as well as before going to bed, so that your skin absorbs moisture throughout the night. Shea butter comes especially highly recommended by Hilary Duff, who is experiencing itchiness whilst pregnant with her third child, as she claims that it has “saved” her dry winter skin.
(If you were not aware that Hilary Duff was pregnant, or feel that you’ve been missing out on news regarding celebrity pregnancies, why not check out our list of 5 celebrities who kept their pregnancy a secret during lockdown?)
It is important to avoid perfumed lotions and body products, as this can increase irritation and aggravate existing skin conditions. You should also ensure that you are drinking plenty of water in order to keep your skin, and your body, hydrated.
2. Make More Conscious Clothing choices
Itching can be worsened as a result of your clothing choices, as chafing can lead to patches, or irritation and rashes. To avoid causing further irritation, you should avoid wearing synthetic materials; make the switch to natural, more breathable cotton clothing in order to let air circulate close to your skin. You should also ensure that you pay close attention to your washing powders, as scented products can irritate your skin, potentially exacerbating skin conditions and itchiness.
3. Combine Long-Term Solutions with Instant Relief
For more instant, temporary relief you can try a cool shower, or placing cold packs or cool, damp cloths on especially itchy areas. You can also try a more natural remedy, mixing oats, baking soda and milk powder in a food processor to create a 20-minute oatmeal bath soak; this is recommended due to the soothing properties of oatmeal when it comes to itchy, irritated skin.
You can also apply homemade masks with natural ingredients that are beneficial to dry skin, including honey, for moisturising and hydrating the skin, and plain yogurt for skin hydration. If you are having a self-care evening, why not try out our recipe for a mask designed to combat dry, itchy skin in winter for both your face and bump?
So those were some easy tips to help you to combat your dry winter bump! We hope that these remedies are helpful in alleviating some of your itchiness; remember that you are not alone in these experiences, as even celebrities such as Hilary Duff are plagued by unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as an itchy bump.
If you’re looking for support and guidance along your pregnancy journey, why not join our community of mums, who are here for you whenever you need it?
If you are looking for real-time answers to any pregnancy-related questions or concerns you may have, the service named instant midwife can also be a helpful support tool, 24 hours a day.
If you’re looking to keep your pregnancy a secret over the festive period, check out our 10 useful tips for hiding your bump in the first trimester, as well as our 3 classic non-alcoholic drink recipes so that you can discreetly enjoy the festive period.
Looking for information regarding giving birth in the pandemic? You can check out our recent blog post for guidance.