11 answers

Itchy Armpits After Pregnancy While Nursing

This is a very weird question, but I want to know if anyone else has experienced this issue. I figure it has something to do with hormones, but I am not sure. After the birth of both of my daughters my armpits were really itchy until I stopped nursing. After my first daughter the itch stopped when I stopped nursing around 6 months. I am still nursing my second daughter and will probably stop when she is one. I hope my armpits don't itch this long!!!! I have tried different deodorants and even none at all, but nothing seems to work.

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It's been 24 and 15 years ago, but I remember having that too. I always thought it was me having some sort of let down. I was always too embarrassed to ask other moms, so I never did. I am glad to hear I'm not the only one who had this. Yes, mine went away too once I stopped breastfeeding.

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Ah - hah! I have this same thing! It's weird isn't it? For me it's not every time I nurse, but definitely when I have a really good let-down.

I got curious a few months ago and did some research. Turns out, mammary glands are simply modified sweat glands. Some time, millions of years ago, our teeny, furry ancestors needed the ability to provide for their young, so they developed the ability to lactate via their sweat glands. :) Cool, huh? That's why a lot of moms notice that they sweat more when they're lactating.

It's not an issue of finding the right deoderant, it's just weird and wonderful biology!

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Interesting responses! I wonder if Calamine lotion would help you?


It's been 24 and 15 years ago, but I remember having that too. I always thought it was me having some sort of let down. I was always too embarrassed to ask other moms, so I never did. I am glad to hear I'm not the only one who had this. Yes, mine went away too once I stopped breastfeeding.

The itchiness probably doesn't have anything to do with deodorant or the skin. The breast tissue and milk ducts actually extend up to your armpit. That's why women can get "breast cancer" from a lump in their armpit.
It's normal, it's actually the tissue underneath that is irritated and creates an itchy sensation, scratching it massages the tissue and it goes away temporarily.

1. make sure you are drinking enough water. the 8 suggested glasses a day is the minimum for a regular person nursing moms need more, you should actually divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water a day. ie. 150 lbs drink 75 oz of water minimum, like I said nursing moms need more.

2. try massaging the side of your breast and arm pit after nursing. It helps get all of the milk ducts emptied. Just reach with your other hand and start as far under your armpit as you can and push forward like you were trying to squeeze something out of a zip lock bag.

As long as it goes away when you stop nursing it is fine. If you still have itches after a few months after you quit then talk with your doctor, it can be a sign of cysts. Their usually harmless but rather to be safe than sorry.

Hi L., That is interesting. I had a similar problem when I was pregnant with my first. The itching was horrible! I didn't know what to do so I called the dermotologist. I was using degree deoderant and they recommended I switch to Dove Powder Soft, I also changed my shower gel to "aveeno, sensitive skin." For me, that did the trick, the itching was gone. I was in heaven. Meanwhile, when the itching was bad, the doctor told me to use ice packs which really did stop my itching. Hopefully this helps, though I'm weary because you already switched deoderants...Good Luck!

Hi there, I had this after all my five pregnancies. It's very normal. I'm sure there is a medical name for it, but it is basically because there is so much activity going on around that area---milk ducts running through there, maybe? Hormones? I noticed that I perspired more while nursing (I hardly perspire otherwise) and that I smelled more. I don't have any great advice except for maybe a medicated powder? I used them some, they seemed to help. Drink tons of water.
Good luck!

After my second birth, I had such severe itching on my thighs and buttocks. It drove me insane. BTW, I never had rashes before in my life.
I saw a dermatologist at least 5 times and he couldn't diagnose it; he even did a skin biopsy, to no avail.
About 8-9 months post-partum, the symptoms subsided without any medication, although I tried MANY different prescription creams recommended by the doctor.
I, too, believe it's hormone-related.
Now, after my third child, I had similar insane itching. Now, 11 months post-partum, I still have patches of itchiness and every doctor just says to stay moisturized. I use aquaphor as recommended by docs and estheticians. It's greasy, but necessary.

I never stopped breastfeeding the second until she was 20 months old and by then the itchiness had stopped. I am still nursing the 11 month old, but I'm thinking I'll be finished by the time he's 12 months, we'll see how the itchiness is then.
The only medication that seems to give me some relief is called Betamethasone Dipropionate lotion usp, 0.05%.

Good luck

OMG i thought i was the only one and i was crazy. i experience the same thing i don't know why it happens but you not the only one!!!. i don't know what will help i haven't found any relief. My son is almost 6 months and probable won't stop nursing til he is one let me know if you find out why or any relief for it. GOOD LUCK

I had that too... I don't know why... I just thought that maybe I got sweatier after I had kids and was breastfeeding and I noticed that my skin (arm pits) would get more itchy as the hair grew in... versus, before i had kids it was not like that.

Its weird.. I dont' know why...
But also, after I had kids and I got more sweaty and my "B.O." smell got, well, 'stronger' I've had to used stronger deodorant too... so "maybe" my skin reacts to that?

But then, the body just generally changes after pregnancy too... the hormones, and probably even the chemistry make-up of your sweat changes, and everything... so maybe 'sensitivities' to things are more heightened...?

I don't know, but my arm-pits do not itch all the time, nor anymore... and it wasn't constant..but enough that I noticed.

But I would take a Claritin/antihistimine... and it seemed to help. But I can't really pinpoint the "why" my armpits itched thing.

It will be interesting to see what others say...

all the best,

I had the same thing but I also had soreness. I ended up going to the dr. because it was so persistant. He explaind to me how the mammary tissues goes into your armpit and milk can get backed up into it. Shaving is irritating and can cause teeny tiny nics to cause infection. He had me massage the area, use a cold compress, and apply neosporin. Good luck

Oh my goodness! I have the same thing. I assumed it had something to do with the energy your body needs while nursing, almost like your slowly sweating. You're probably right about the hormones. Please let me know if you get down to the bottom of this.

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