34 answers

Itchy Feet During Pregnancy

Has anyone dealt with itchy feet during pregnancy? Ever since I took the HPT, my feet have been itching like crazy, especially at night. I have mentioned this to my ob at both my appointments, and he dismisses it. Recently, it has spread to my hands. The itching is so bad at night, that I have trouble sleeping. I called the ob office and the nurse told me to take Benadryl so I could sleep and to see a dermatologist. Well, I must be the only person that does not get sleepy from Benadryl. And as far as seeing a dermatologist, I am in the middle of switching insurance companies and will have to wait until next month. I have tried Gold Bond foot powder, Benadryl spray, Aveeno lotions, and soaking my feet in cold water. The cold water gives me a little relief, but it doesn't last.

I do not have a rash. It just itches. I've looked things up on the internet and I've seen that it can be related to my liver function. That scares me a little especially since my ob doesn't seem to be taking me serious.

I feel like I'm going crazy. Especially when I talk to other people b/c they've never heard of such a thing during pregnancy. This is really taking a toll on me. I've been in tears since last night b/c of the pain of itching.

I'm really hoping that someone can help me.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for the advice. I decided not to go to a dermatologist. I just didn't want to pay my huge co-payment and then have them tell me it was my hormones. The itching has subsided quite a bit. My feet only itch once or twice a day and it isn't nearly as painful. I'm able to get some sleep at night. I did do some research about cholestasis, but I didn't have any of the other symptoms. I truly believe that it is related to my hormones.

Update #2: The itching remained during the rest of my pregnancy. At 39 weeks (I had a scheduled c-section due to a previous c-section), I had a beautiful, healthy girl. The itching is now gone. If it happens in my next pregnancy, I will be more assertive about getting my liver tested.

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I experienced something similar. My itching wasn't on my extremities (feet and hands) mine was on my abdomen. I was referred to a dermatologist. His prognosis was dry skin and the stretching of my skin due to the pregnancy. I switched to Dove soap. I stopped using body wash which can cause dry skin. I limited the amount of time I soaked in the tub which also can cause dry skin. It didn't eliminate the itching but it eased it enough where I could bear it. The good news is that it ended when I delivered my daughter.

Hi K.,

I would get a second ob's opinion if it does not go away. My sister had itching later on in pregnancy (nothing early on) and it was related to liver function, so she had to deliver a little earlier. I'm not saying this is the case with you, so I would not panic, but I would keep on top of it if it does not subside.

All the best,

My hands itch really bad when my skin is extremely dry. Sometimes it doesn't look dry but it still is. I usually increase my water intake and put Vaseline on the itchy spots after getting out of the shower

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You HAVE to get your liver enzyme levels AND Bile acid levels tested and tested frequently. You most likelt have what I had, it's called Obstetric Cholestasis. Mnay OB's will dismiss the "itchyness" as pregnancy dry skin. This is NOT the same. It is so miserable that by the end of my pregnancy, I had itched almost all of the skin off of my legs and would go outside to run the skin raw on my hands and feet to stop the itching. I even placed my hands on hot burners for a second because the burning pain relieved the extreme itching. There is medication that can ease the itching. The biggest concern is there is a 10% chance of stillbirth after 36 weeks. You MUST have your baby monitored very closely after 32 weeks and you HAVE to deliver early to prevent stillbirth. My fourth daughter was born at 36 weeks and was in the NICU for 8 days, after they did a fetal lung maturity test to make sure she was "ready". Although that was tough, at least she wasn't going to die randomly inside of me. There is a website that offers TONS of support and information. I went to over 10 OB's and almost all of them dismissed my symptons, leaving me miserable and possibly endangering the lives of my children. It is the grace of God that allowed them to live, without proper care. Go to : www.itchymoms.com Get support today and demand support and acknowledgment from your ob, go to your next appointment with printed out information from the internet and go with a friend who will stand up for you and not let your doctor talk you out of your knowledge and need for better care.

1 mom found this helpful

Definitely check with your OB/GYN! I don't want to scare you, but it can be a liver issue.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.!
I just welcomed my first child on July 8th, 2009. I had the exact problem. My itching got so bad that even when I was sleeping I was scratching and my sheets would be stained with blood. My OB also kept dismissing it and telling me that it was normal when pregnant. Benadryl did nothing for me and neither did the steroid pack my OB prescribed. I was scratching for over a month and my OB did nothing, despite the scabs all over my legs, arms and stomach. Finally I decided I needed to see a Dermatologist. She prescribed Hydroxzine HCL 25 MG, Prednisone 20MG, Bactroban 2% cream, and triamcinolone 0.1% cream. After one day I stopped scratching and my legs, arms and stomach started healing after a few days. I was so upset that my doctor did nothing, but so happy I listened to my instincts and went to a dermatologist. The dermatologist actually also did some labs and the itching was associated with elevated hormone levels. Itching maybe associated with pregnancy, but it does not have to ruin such a precious time in your life. I highly recommend going and seeing a dermatologist.

I always get itchy feet during pregnancy. It is so irritating, but it does go away after the baby is born. I got some relief from soaking my feet in cold water or putting ice packs on them. I have no idea what causes it, but it does appear to be harmless. Benadryll does nothing for me in terms of sleepiness either. My OB w/ baby #2 gave me Ambien and with baby #3 my doc gave me Phenergan. Hang in there, it will go away eventually!

Hi K.~

My heart goes out to you. I have experienced both extreme pain and extreme itching, and, in my opinion, itching is worse.

The systems of the medical profession are only about 60 years old and they cannot understand the body as do practitioners of Chinese Traditional Medicine, a system that has been working effectively for over 5,000 years.

I would recommend one of these practitioners. One of the best in the area is Dr. Shao. Of course, one has to pay. Even when one has insurance, it will not pay for such therapies. However, the work is not as costly as mainstream medicine.

Blessings to you, my dear, and I pray you will find relief.

Since your ob doesn't seem concerned, try calamine lotion or baking soda. Both refresh and sooth.

You are not crazy! I experienced the same thing during my last pregnancy. My arms and legs itched like crazy. My midwife said it may be something to do with the hormones. Benadryl didn't do much for me either. what helped is a hot as you can stand it shower followed by a cool rinse and I would do gold bond after. And then just busy yourself with something to take your mind off it. I feel for you cause it is annoying but you will get through it! Congratulations by the way!

Hi K.,

I have the same thing happen to me. I'm not pregnant now, but it started when I was and happens occaisionally now. Try putting a pillow under your knees and elevate your feet a bit. I think it's caused by bad circulation, especially since you're pregnant. Perhaps the baby is sitting on a nerve or blood vessel when you lay down.

Good luck! I know how uncomfortable it can be!

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