Postpartum Hives – Causes and Treatment
- What Are Postpartum Hives?
- Is It Normal to Get Hives After Pregnancy?
- Is It Contagious?
- What Are the Causes of Postpartum Hives?
- What Are the Symptoms of Post Pregnancy Hives?
- Possible Complications of Post Delivery Hives
- How to Treat Hives After Childbirth
- 6 Home Remedies You Can Try for Postpartum Hives
- How Long Do Postpartum Hives Last?
- Postnatal Hives and Breastfeeding
- When To Consult A Doctor
Parenthood is difficult, especially when you are a first-time parent. The process of pregnancy of delivering the baby can be harsh on the mother’s body. Not only does she have to deal with the healing process, she also has to deal with what comes with postpartum. New mothers are so focused on their babies that they forget about how important it is to care for themselves. Unfortunately, the hormonal changes experienced after delivery make it much harder to do, as you are most likely going to suffer from some ailments as a result. Postpartum hives and postpartum rash are one such problem.
What Are Postpartum Hives?
Allergens result in a protein called Histamine being released into your bloodstream. This may result in your immune system reacting negatively, causing red and itchy skin on different parts of the body, known as postpartum hives.
Is It Normal to Get Hives After Pregnancy?
Postpartum hives have been known to affect at least 20% of women after delivery. They tend to occur at different times after giving birth and usually appear on your arms, back and feet, though some women have also reported them occurring on their legs as well.
Is It Contagious?
Since postpartum hives occur due to a variety of reasons, whether they are contagious or not depends on the cause of the hives. If they are related to allergens or hormonal issues, they are most likely not contagious. However, if they are caused due to bacteria or viruses, they may be contagious.
What Are the Causes of Postpartum Hives?
Here are some reasons why hives can sometimes appear:
- Insect bites or stings
- Hormonal changes after delivery
- Medical conditions like acute thyroid conditions
- Exposure to intense sunlight, heat or very cold climates
- Environmental conditions either outside or inside the home
- Certain medications
- Certain foods or additives in the food.
What Are the Symptoms of Post Pregnancy Hives?
Here are some postpartum hives symptoms to look out for:
- Scaly skin
- Itchy skin
- Raised welts on the skin
- Rashes on the body
- Pink or red skin bumps
- Eczema-like skin texture
Possible Complications of Post Delivery Hives
There are some cases where postpartum hives may lead to complications that could be life-threatening, such as anaphylaxis. This affects the whole body and leads to having difficulty in breathing.
How to Treat Hives After Childbirth
Postpartum hives can be irritating, itchy, and painful to deal with. You will want to find a cure for them as soon as possible. Due to different causes of postpartum hives, the treatment and cure for them also vary. There is no exact cure for postpartum hives, but you can try out the below steps:
1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drink plenty of water and up your fluid intake.
2. Topical Applications
The burning and red patches can be soothed if you apply some cream or lotions. Consult your doctor about the most effective creams and lotions that you can use to get some relief.
3. Manage Stress
As stress is a factor that plays a role in causing hives, you should try to manage your stress levels as much as possible. Learn to meditate and try to rest as much as you can.
4. Get Help
If you can get help, this will allow you more time to rest and will, in turn, also give you more time to spend looking after your child and yourself.
5. Consult a Dermatologist
You can speak to a dermatologist about what medication is best and get a prescription for it.
6 Home Remedies You Can Try for Postpartum Hives
You may be sceptical about trying out modern medicine as your body has already been through enough. You may not be able to leave your newborn at home, either. So, here are some remedies you can try yourself at home that are natural and safe:
With its anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal can help soothe the skin and provide relief from all the itching and swelling caused by hives.
How to Use
- Take a microfibre cloth and put one cup of oatmeal in it.
- Soak this in a bowl of hot water for about 15 minutes and then add it into your bathwater.
- Soak your body in this bath for 15 minutes once every day. Make sure the temperature of the water isn’t too hot, as it can further irritate the skin.
2. Cold Compress
By shrinking the blood vessels, the histamine release can be prevented from increasing. The cold compress will also provide relief from inflammation, itching, and swelling.
How to Use
- Use a towel or microfiber cloth to wrap some ice cubes and place it on the affected area
- Try this for 3-4 times a day
- Cold baths or showers are also recommended
3. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera is incredibly effective for healing and improving skin conditions.
How to Use
- Fresh aloe vera gel should be applied on the affected parts of the skin and left on for about twenty minutes.
- Rinse off with cool water.
- This can be done several times a day.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Filled with anti-histamine properties, apple cider vinegar provides relief from the inflammation.
How to Use
- Mix apple cider vinegar with water in equal amounts and with a cotton pad, clean the infected skin.
- Do this twice a day.
Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that stimulates the body’s natural anti-inflammatory hormones. It also has antihistamine and antioxidant properties.
How to Use
- Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder in hot milk and consume it twice a day.
Cumin is a medicinal spice that is used to treat a number of things.
How to Use
- Add one teaspoon of dried cumin to hot water and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.Strain it out.
- You can add some honey to it and consume it.
How Long Do Postpartum Hives Last?
Though you are probably miserable that you have developed this condition rather than getting the chance to enjoy spending time with your baby properly, don’t worry. This condition generally resolves itself in about 6 to 8 weeks time. With proper care, it can take lesser than that as well.
Postnatal Hives and Breastfeeding
The one thing that concerns most mothers suffering from this condition is the kind of effect it could have on breastfeeding and the risks their babies may have to face after drinking their milk. Medications such as antihistamines containing loratadine and fexofenadine are considered safe, as studies reveal that the exposure breastfeeding infants have to these drugs is quite minimal and highly unlikely to result in any side effects, making them compatible with breastfeeding. At any rate, it’s best to go with any medication only if your doctor has approved of it.
When To Consult A Doctor
You should consult your doctor as soon as your start seeing postpartum hives. However, here are some symptoms that you should look out for, which may show the severity of your situation:
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue, mouth, or throat
- difficulty in breathing
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- anaphylaxis symptoms
1. Can Hives Spread By Scratching?
Your hives can cause itchy skin postpartum, but you should remember that any kind of hives can and will get worse by scratching or itching them. You should avoid scratching your hives. Try some cooling methods to try to deter itching.
2. Are There Any Ayurvedic Treatment For Postpartum Hives?
There are many ayurvedic treatments for postpartum hives and postpartum itching. You can opt for oil massages, oral medications, body removal treatment, etc.
While it may be convenient to ignore your skin issues, it is best that you look after yourself as well because you have a little baby who is completely dependent on you for everything. Consult with your doctor about any medication that you may want to take.
Also Read: Postpartum Anemia