Pregnancy comes with its own set of discomforts, but throw in some summer heat and you're probably noticing that the temperature's rising below your bikini line too.
Pregnancy heat rash and chafing
Suffering through the sweat and friction in your nether regions isn't your only option. From staying fresh to minimizing heat rash to dipping into your baby's diaper bag to deter chafing, discover 10 ways to cope when it's hot down there.
What is heat rash and chafing?
Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is a pink or red rash that looks like dots or tiny pimples, which can be very itchy and irritating. Heat rash most commonly occurs under your breasts, in the crease between your growing belly and your genitals, and your inner thighs.
Chafing is the irritated and sometimes painful abrasion of the skin that most often affects your thighs, groin, underarms and nipples. But, why are pregnant women blessed with these oh-so-unpleasant discomforts?
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How these pregnancy discomforts occur
With the extra weight, hormones and dampness and perspiration pregnancy can bring, chafing and heat rash below your bulging belly is more common than you think, according to www.KidsHealth.org. When damp skin meets the friction of skin and clothing, you're bound to end up with chafing or heat rash, which can include your hoo-hoo. But, the good news is that despite the bundles of pregnancy discomforts being knocked up can bring, you can minimize — and sometimes even avoid — the irritation of chafing and heat rash.
Kick heat rash and chafing to the curb
Since there is no way to avoid packing on pregnancy pounds or to stop sweating for nine full months, your best bet is to work towards minimizing the causes of chafing and heat rashes while pregnant by trying to:
Practice good hygiene
Practice good hygiene with your delicate parts by showering or bathing daily; you may want to also check out feminine hygiene products that are safe to use throughout the day, such as I Love My Muff, which product founder Ritz Clinging recently used throughout her entire pregnancy. "We are committed in using the finest all natural ingredients in the creation our products. We feel our entire product line is great for everyday hygiene care and non-harmful for pregnant women. In fact, we have many expecting moms that love using our Muff Stuff!"
- Apply a cool, damp compress to soothe some of the heat of a heat rash
- Dust heat-sensitive body parts with talc-free powder or dab with diaper rash cream daily to absorb moisture and minimize irritation
- Pat a bit of calamine lotion on the irritated area, so long as you get the thumbs up from your MD
- Take a warm — not hot — soak in an oatmeal bath to calm irritated skin
- However, when a rash or chafing lasts longer than a couple of days, ask your doctor about how to proceed before dismissing as another pregnancy discomfort
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting cotton clothes to minimize perspiration and friction
- Steer clear of overheating you and your baby-on-board with cool drinks, ceiling fans and avoid going out during the hottest times of the day
- Sport pantyhose or a product like Mama Spanx to minimize friction
- Take it all off — the best way to stay cool and limit irritation is to be naked!
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration that can make skin more sensitive
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Although pregnancy discomforts may be driving you batty, beware of over-the-counter remedies for chafing and heat rash that may be off limits to a mommy-to-be. It's best to check with your doctor, pharmacist or dermatologist to make sure that the relief you're reaching for won't cause more harm than good to you and your baby-to-be, especially when you're looking for ways to cope when it's hot down there.