During pregnancy, you will notice many different changes in your body. While you may be really excited about the birth of your new baby, some of the pregnancy symptoms may make this time downright uncomfortable. This may make you even more eager for your pregnancy to be over and to have your baby cuddled up with you. Many expectant moms experience itchy nipples during pregnancy and this may be one of the very first pregnancy symptoms you actually notice. The following article gives you information on what causes this symptom and some good ideas on how to deal with it.

What Causes Itchy Nipples During Pregnancy?

Itchy nipples during pregnancy come from the many different changes in your hormone levels that are normal for pregnancy. You may feel sore nipples, itching and heaviness in the breasts and nipples as they expand and grow. This is caused in part by a larger amount of blood flow to the area. Your nipples may become sore and more sensitive from increased hormones and you may even feel tingling after touching them.

Understand that itchy nipples is a very common issue in pregnancy. You may notice the itching comes on suddenly and sometimes occurs in public. This makes for an embarrassing situation if you feel the need to scratch. The nipples are actually growing and stretching with the breast as they enlarge to get ready for you to breastfeed your baby after it is born. You may even notice stretch marks beginning to form in the breast area.

Toward the end of your pregnancy, your breasts may become quite large and the itching may become quite severe. As the skin stretches all over the body, itching skin in other areas may also become an issue.

How to Deal With Itchy Nipples During Pregnancy

The good news is there are a few tricks that expectant moms can do to find some relief for itchy nipples. These should be part of your daily routine throughout your pregnancy to keep your skin supple and healthy:

  • Use a good lotion. Invest in a good lotion that has vitamin E oil, cocoa butter, aloe vera and/or lanolin. Make sure you don’t use any lotion that contains alcohol or fragrance. These chemicals are not good for your body and can dry your skin out more. Use lotion daily and make it a part of your daily routine.
  • Use moisturizer at the right times. The best time to put on your moisturizer is right after you get out of the bath or shower. This helps to “lock-in” the moisture from the water on your skin. Use it when you get dressed in the morning and before bed at night to help keep your nipples and skin well hydrated.
  • Use some petroleum jelly. You can add extra moisture to your nipples by using a dab of petroleum jelly to keep them soft. Massage them lightly with petroleum jelly a few times a day. This will help lock- in moisture even more on top of daily lotion treatments and help reduce itching.
  • Avoid harsh soaps, detergents and perfumes. Pregnancy can make your skin a little more sensitive to things you are normally used to. Wash your clothes in “fragrance-free” detergents and avoid the use of perfumes and scented lotions to help stop itchy nipples during pregnancy.
  • Invest in a good maternity/nursing bra. A bra that fits too tightly can rub and irritate nipples and cause itching. Your sweat can get trapped inside your bra and also lead to itching. Look for a good maternity bra that converts to a nursing bra after your baby is born.

Are Other Moms Experiencing Itchy Nipples During Pregnancy?

“This is the first trimester of my pregnancy and I am suffering from very itchy nipples. In the beginning, they were really sore and I couldn’t stand to touch them. After that symptom went away, the itching started and it has been driving me crazy. The best remedy I have found is cocoa butter lotion. This stops the itching for most of the day.”

---Brandy, 10 weeks pregnant


“I had to laugh when I needed to scratch my breasts in public. While it was incredibly funny, I was so miserable and only had a week to go in my pregnancy. I really hope this goes away after my baby is born because it is driving me crazy. I finally found some relief with a homemade remedy of almond oil and lavender oil. This mixture is non-greasy and really works for me.”

---Christine, 39 weeks pregnant


“At around my 6th or 7th month of pregnancy with the twins I started getting really itchy nipples. Not only that, I felt intense itching in my arms, back, stomach, breasts and legs. I could not take my whole body itching so I started using some Calamine lotion every day. Of course, I asked my doctor before I used this and let also said a tiny amount of Benadryl may be helpful. This did help me, but the doctor said not to use too much. My doctor let me know that Benadryl can only be used in pregnancy with their permission.”

---Tammy, 25 weeks pregnant with twins

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