The Itch That Would Not Twitch

Strange things happen to the body during pregnancy. Sometimes even when science supposedly can explain it, it still seems downright weird what we experience as pregnant women. For instance, Pica is a term used to describe our cravings for things of apparently no nutritional value. Quite a few pregnant women have shared their cravings for the taste of mud, dirt, chalk, even ice chips while pregnant. This is supposedly an indication of iron deficiency...or maybe just a strange episode of pregnancy.

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I didn’t really have any strange cravings during pregnancy (1st sign of bizarreness!), but I did experience some things that I found quite unusually strange.

THE ITCHES OF PREGNANCY

Some women talk about the skin on their tummy itching as it streches, but I experienced a different kind of itch. I had an unbearably, insatiable head-to-toe itch during the final trimester of my pregnancies. It would come on right after I would have a shower and I literally couldn’t do anything but scratch from head to toe for a good 10 minutes. I tried changing my body wash, towel, scrub, laundry detergent, even my lotion but nothing helped.


I shared my experience with my doctor because I thought I may have developed obstetric cholestasis (a liver problem that sometimes develops in the third trimester of pregnancy). I even thought it may have been pruritic urticarial papules and plaques during pregnancy (PUPPP)...or maybe I was just being paranoid. My doctor, however, allayed my fears/paranoia and said that it seems the rise in my hormone levels was possibly making my skin become more sensitive to regular pipef water. She also added that our water is actually harder than we may think.


What can you do if this happens to you? Avoid really hot baths that can dry out the skin. Opt for warm baths instead. Make sure to moisturize a lot and probably avoid scented lotions. Oats bath may also work (but who really has time to clean up that mess. You’re pregnant!) Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment has helped some relieve the itching. Palmer's Cocoa Butter formula for Dry, Itchy Skin is another product that may help. As for me, Shea butter is my go-to product for all things skin and hair so that's what I used to help with the itching all the way up until delivery.

 

BOOB: BODY ODOUR OF BREASTMILK


This was by far one of the most bizarre things that happened to me during pregnancy. I noticed from around the second trimester of my first pregnancy that I was starting to smell like breast milk! How did I even know what breast milk smelt like since it was my first pregnancy and my name isn’t Lucy? I don’t even know! If I were to simply guess what it smelt like, I just knew that that smell was it. I told my doctor and he found it hilarious but thank God for Google, alas I was not alone again.Some women describe it as a smell of Maple syrup. Either way, it was at the top of the strange list for me. I did not have a leaking-boob-pregnancy nor experienced leaking post-partum, but I did have a very BOOB pregnancy!

De QUERVAIN’S TENDINOSIS

Last but not least, I had a pain in my right thumb that almost felt like crick neck, but in my wrist. I could hardly do anything with my right hand because of it. It was horribly painful if I had to pick up or grasp anything. It turned out that I had what’s called De Quervain Tendinosis / Tenosynovitis. After consulting Google, apparently this usually happens when the tendons at the bottom of the thumb become swollen and the swelling causes the sheaths over the tendons to become inflamed. In turn, pressure is placed on the nerves nearby which is what causes the excruciating pain each time I move my wrist.

A simple test called a Finkelstein test can be done to help determine whether you have this condition. This test is performed by making a fist with the thumb tucked in, then bending the wrist in a hammer-like motion as seen in the image. If you feel a surge of pain as a  result, then it is a positive assessment.

What to do if you have this condition? Of course, avoiding repetitive hand or wrist movements would help relax the tendon, but this is near to impossible especially with your right hand if you are right-handed. Purchasing a split to help restrict movement of the hand is an option or alternatively strapping it down. Applying heat or ice to the base of the thumb. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAIDs) may help as well. As for me? I had to bear it up until a couple weeks after delivery.

 

Thanks for taking the time to join me on my journey! I hope you had a good read. Click here to go back other interesting posts on our blog, The Journey. Also check out our online store right here for all your baby essentials. FREE shipping available worldwide!

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1 comment

  • Tiffany

    This was quite informative! Evey pregnancy differs and your body goes through so many changes, stress and strains that worry can take over. Thanks for addressing some of those issues. Keep up the great work.

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