As someone who experienced extensive itching during both of my pregnancy, I can firsthand account for how miserable of an experience it is without any available remedies. When I started to experience itchiness that kept me up at night during my second pregnancy, I looked to Ayurveda to help me understand the causes and natural ways for managing it.
According to Ayurveda, growing baby imbalances all the doshas in mother thus disturbing the balance in mother’s body. The combination of extra blood volume, increased body heat and hormonal changes, imbalance pitta (the fire element), often results in heat rashes and itching during the pregnancy.
For someone like myself that is primarily Pitta (fire element), these factors exasperate an already inflamed body. This condition further intensifies during the late stages of pregnancy, as the skin begins to stretch. Similarly, if you have any underlying conditions such as allergies, eczema or fungal infections, etc, they will all result in intensifying this condition.
While itchiness for me started in the first trimester, I’ve talked to many women who experience it in their second trimester or most commonly the third. The western medicine diagnosis for this is Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy or PUPPP Pregnancy Rash; this rash can show up on your full body, belly legs or arms and or the back. For me it was my back.
Here are some remedies that provided me with some relief and also pacified the aggravated Pitta (fire element) in my body:
• Lemon Water – In Ayurveda this is the first drink one should drink each and every morning as part of a daily routine. It cleanses the liver which is super important for healing this particular rash. Warm Lemon Water is the first thing you should drink, before coffee, tea or anything else. Remember hydrate before you caffeinate.
• Add Fresh Pressed Juice – Celery Juice, Celery/Apple Juice, or Cucumber/Apple Juice. Drinking fresh juice in the morning before any solid food is a so key to helping your body cleanse of this rash and bringing pitta back into balance.
• Using a Paste Made Out of Gram Flour – Take some Gram Flour (Besan), Oil and Water, mix it properly to form a nice paste, use this paste on the area that is itching and let it dry for some time. Later, wash it off. Gram Flour (Besan) has been observed to keep the skin fresh and extremely soft. Since it has these inherent properties, using it as a paste allows the skin to be moisturized, and reduces itchiness.