Itch in pregnancy

What is the cause?

Mild itching may be a symptom of increased blood flow in pregnancy, dry skin or stretch marks. A cool bath or skin moisturiser may alleviate the symptoms. A doctor may prescribe antihistamines.

More severe itching may indicate liver disease (obstetric cholestasis, OC) and can be harmful to your baby. It occurs when bile salts are not excreted properly from your body. Typically there’s an itch on palms and soles without any rash.


It is important to let your doctor or midwife know, as you may need increased foetal monitoring in your pregnancy as there is an increased risk of stillbirth. OC resolves after delivery, but it may recur in subsequent pregnancies.

Do you need an appointment?

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