allergic contact dermatitis

Relieve the Itch: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Hives

Relieve the Itch: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Postpartum Hives

No, you're not allergic to your newborn. If you're someone who has never had allergies or has only ever had very mild flare-ups, you should know that pregnancy and childbirth can exacerbate them. Here's everything you need to know about postpartum hives.  

Since they are so frequently focused on caring for their babies, it's common for new moms to overlook their own needs, sometimes even the health of their skin. Your body experiences various changes, including hives, as a result of the hormone rollercoaster that follows childbirth, which affects the immune system.


Typically, an allergic reaction to something or a psychological problem like extreme stress causes a bumpy skin rash known as hives. This skin reaction can still develop even if you've never had pregnancy rashes before and don't have any allergies.

Postpartum hives, which are also commonly seen on the back, arms, and feet, are itchy, red, and bumpy patches that appear on the skin. They are common in women after delivery due to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy.

MedicalNewsToday explained that hives, medically known as urticaria, happen as a skin reaction when the body releases the chemical histamine in response to a perceived threat.

Histamine aids in the body's defense against illness and infection. These hives, which often indicate that your immune system isn't quite balanced, come in a variety of shapes, including round, oval, worm-like, and irregular.

"Hives can occur due to an allergic reaction. Pregnancy may worsen allergies in some people, making them more sensitive to allergens," they said in an article, highlighting that hormonal, physical, and immune system changes due to pregnancy and childbirth may contribute to developing postpartum hives.


You might get postpartum hives for many reasons.


One of the most common causes of hives is an allergic reaction.
As your body adapts to post-pregnancy changes, your skin may get more sensitive. Dietary changes during and after pregnancy may also disrupt your gut health, triggering an overdrive in the immune system that causes allergic skin reactions when you're around common triggers like: 

    • Dust
    • Pollen
    • Mold and mildew 
    • Animal fur and pet dander 
    • Latex and other harsh elastics 
    • Bug bites or stings 
    • Chemicals
    • Dyes
    • Perfumes and strong fragrances 
    • Medications 


Postpartum hives are caused by infections with bacteria or viruses, which, according to Healthline, "throw your immune system out of whack.” 

"When you’re pregnant you’re more likely to catch a cold or flu. These germs might stay in your system, and will decide to annoy your immune system when it’s relaxed, right after the baby pops out," it said.

The health blog even mentioned that due to all the activity during labor, infections can develop in the privates. Other infections that might trigger postpartum hives include:

    • urinary tract infections
    • strep throat
    • other bacterial infections
    • the common cold virus
    • influenza virus
    • hepatitis virus
    • infectious mononucleosis 
    • other viral infections


Aside from the physical aspects, emotional factors like stress, which naturally come with welcoming a new little human into the world, can also trigger pregnancy rash. Various factors like lack of sleep, anxiety, panic attacks, and other mental strains can manifest as a physical reaction in the form of postpartum hives on your body.
Other causes may be linked to:
    • sleeping at odd hours
    • feeling anxious or depressed
    • feeling stressed
    • having a panic attack
    • feeling cold or hot
    • blood transfusions
    • changes in your diet
    • sun exposure
    • exercising or other physical activity
    • wearing tight clothing


According to MedicalNewsToday, symptoms of postpartum hives include: 

    • raised, itchy bumps on the skin
    • on darker skin, hives may be the same, slightly lighter, or slightly darker than the person’s usual skin tone
    • on light or medium-toned skin, hives may be red or pink and the center may turn white when pressed

While hives can appear almost anywhere on the body, they commonly affect the following areas: 

    • chest
    • abdomen
    • back
    • upper arms
    • buttocks
    • upper legs


Healthline suggested certain home remedies that can soothe the skin and control irritation during postpartum hives. If you experience postpartum hives, try these tips to help slow down scratching: 

    • Avoid allergens or irritants 
    • Have a cool or lukewarm bath 
    • Take a nap or relax 
    • Apply pure aloe gel to help heal and soothe the areas 
    • Apply a natural lotion like shea butter 
    • Use wet wraps on the skin 
    • Wear loose, breathable clothing like cotton fabrics


Even though hives aren't contagious and typically go away on their own after a few days or weeks with the help of home remedies and other topical treatments, if the flare-ups go untreated, they could still become serious. Healthline urges people to get urges medical care upon experiencing of serious allergy symptoms like: 
    • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, mouth, or throat
    • difficulty breathing
    • dizziness or lightheadedness
    • fainting
    • other anaphylaxis symptoms

TAKEAWAY: Postpartum hives can happen for several reasons, such as allergic reactions, stress, or hormonal changes. Always check with your doctor on how to better deal with the skin condition. 

If you're looking for dependable clothing that won't interfere with your comfort as you celebrate your new baby, visit our collections to view our extensive selection of allergy-free organic cotton collections. Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Wet Wrap Therapy, read here.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition.

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      1 comment



      1. If you have an allergy to latex you should not use shea butter.
      2. Postpartum hives can also be caused by an allergy to iodine based solutions used to swab the back before an epidural.

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