When I was 36-37 weeks pregnant with my first son, I started having a lot of itching under my belly button. With all the stretching my belly had done, I figured itching was pretty normal. However, every day the itching got worse.
After a week, the itching was no longer isolated to my belly, but on the back of my thighs, up the behind really really bad, and up my entire back! My entire backside went from a red rash to being covered in what looked like welts! The itching from the rash was worse than Chicken Pox or anything else I had ever experienced. It was miserable trying to sleep (along with the normal discomforts of pregnancy), and it was especially bad when I would get hot or sweaty. It was in the 100's the week before I had my son, so you can imagine how uncomfortable I was!
The picture below shows part of the rash on my back. The picture doesn't do the rash justice.
*The right side of this photo was cropped off to fit another photo next to it in my scrapbook.
When I went into see the doctor, he told me the itchy rash was caused by pregnancy. He gave me a cream to try and said once my baby was born, the rash would go away. Over the next week, my rash continued to get worse and spread more. Nothing I tried would help with the itching. It just continued to spread more and more.
By the time I hit 38 1/2 weeks, my doctor suggested an induction. Knowing that my baby was large (he had been 5lbs at 32 weeks) and feeling like I was going to loose it from all the itching, I decided to go along with the induction. I was so excited to meet my baby and was happy that there would be relief in sight.
I was induced at 39 1/2 weeks. Lying in bed during labor, sweating like crazy with that rash across my entire backside drove me nuts. It was awful. Sweat and itchy rashes are not a good combination!
Sure enough, after my baby was born the rash started to go away. After a week, the rash was completely gone.
What was this pregnancy rash that I had? I believe it was Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy, or PUPPPS. From what I've read, it's not very common- only 1% of pregnant women end up with PUPPPS. PUPPPS occurs more often with women who are expecting a boy and is more common with first pregnancies and pregnancies of multiples.
I was scared I would end up with the rash when I pregnant with my 2nd. son a year later, but I never had more than regular itching. I never had the PUPPPS come back with the pregnancies of my daughters either.
Have you or anyone you know ever experienced PUPPPS? If so, were you expecting a boy? What did you do to soothe the itching?