Print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Itching in pregnancy

Mild itching is common during pregnancy. But if you have more severe itching, with or without a rash, talk to your midwife or LMC about it. This is especially important if the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet are itchy.

Most itching during pregnancy is harmless but it can be caused by a rare liver condition called cholestasis of pregnancy (or obstetric cholestasis). A blood test can look for this. The itching usually happens when you're at least 28 weeks pregnant.

If you have cholestasis of pregnancy, you'll be referred to an obstetrician. The obstetrician will most likely recommend that you have regular blood tests. They may prescribe medication to help manage the condition, and they will discuss the timing of the birth with you.

A condition called Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy (PUPPP) can cause itching with a rash in the last trimester of pregnancy. The rash usually starts on your tummy and is related to skin stretching. It lasts until after your baby is born.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2021.

Page reference: 134203

Review key: HIHCP-311277