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dry belly in pregnancy, dry skin in pregnancy, itchy belly skin

A Dry Belly during Pregnancy can Be a Total Bugbear - Here’s How to Remedy Itchy Skin

I could talk about pregnancy skincare routines for the full 10 months of pregnancy. But let’s face it, the skin that is really going through the biggest change is that covering your every growing bump, which is stretching and shifting every single day. It’s why a dry belly during pregnancy is often, par for the course. 

"Nooooo," I hear you cry. And I get it. I've been there but stick with me, as I have the answers and action points your pregnant bod needs. 

Let's start with why you can  develop a dry belly seemingly overnight....

Our skin has a little give, but when pulled too fast and furiously, our collagen reserves have a tough time keeping up, and that’s when those faint lines start to appear and you can experience a tickling, tingling sense like your skin is being expanded over a large trampoline.

💡Why is my stomach so dry during pregnancy?


During pregnancy, the production of sebum, the natural oil of your skin that’s regulated by androgen hormones, is thrown off by high levels of estrogen. This means, skin that was once happy, no matter how little attention you paid to it, can suddenly cry out for attention.


Your baby’s needs for fluid is high during pregnancy so if you're not drinking enough for two your skin will suffer. 

A little tender care is just what the doctor ordered (or at least, what I’m prescribing as a professional beauty editor - because none of you need an excuse to exercise some self-love right now.) Every burgeoning belly will enjoy the benefits of a daily massage from your first trimester – as would your baby.   

How to care for your dry belly during pregnancy

As we’ve mentioned, stretching skin is prone to dryness and dehydration, and so a daily dollop of rich oil is an idea to keep the area moisturised and soft, while warding off itching, fine lines and hopefully any lined markings too. A little massage will also stimulate blood circulation to help skin stay juicy, toned, and bright (just in case anyone other than your midwife is looking).

Your five-minute bump massage routine

Step 1: Use a gentle scrub

The best way to start dealing with a dry belly in pregnancy is to exfoliate the skin first with a gentle scrub.

You goal is to slough away dulling, dead skin cells on the surface, encourage new skin cell growth, and crucially create a more receptive skin readily able to soak up any moisturisers that your rub in over the top. 

No scrub? A soft body brush works well too.

Step 2: Choose a pregnancy-safe body oil

Oils and creams rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and omegas, such as argan, coconut and almond oil will nourish, while also boosting elastin and collagen to allow skin to stretch and move comfortably. Calendula oil, added to Hatch’s Belly Oil, will also help with itching and sensitivity. Apply on damp skin to lock in as much moisture as possible. 

Step 3: The belly massage moment

Start by shaking off tension in your hands and shoulders so that they flow more easily across your bump.  For the massage, glide hands over the bump starting at the sides and moving towards the middle, or going clockwise in circular motions, being mindful to avoid firm pressure and the area around the pubic bone please.

Step 4: Unpack your moisturising mask

If you have time for one last step make it a belly mask. These cute - and clever - pregnancy beauty products up the hydration anti by locking in moisture, FTC loves Hatch Mama Belly Mask.

A final word on pregnancy skin and changes

We happen to think that stretch marks are a beautiful reminder of how incredible you and your body really are. But this is also our reminder that anything which eases the stretch for the next 40 weeks, even if it’s just enjoying a five-minute DIY massage, is also a beautiful thing. 

Hungry for more? Here are the most commonly asked questions about a dry belly during pregnancy. 

Which vitamin deficiency causes dry skin?

A lack of vitamin A can cause itchy, dry skin during pregnancy. Pregnant women need about 1.3 mg daily and is found within oily fish, dairy products, eggs, orange vegetables and fruit. A well-balanced diet should provide enough vitamin A. This NHS guide to vitamin A is a handy resource for any pregnant mama feeling a little lost. 

Does drinking water help with a dry belly?

Yes! During pregnancy you blood volume is increasing and in order to meet the needs of a growing fetus, and the body’s need for fluid is very high, your body needs more water. Additionally, Tommys notes that if you are being sick or sweating a lot, which is common in pregnancy, it’s easy to become dehydrated quickly. According to the NHS you should drink enough during the day so you pee is a pale, clear colour - for most pregnant women this is around  6 to 8 medium (200ml) glasses of water or fluid a day, or 1.6 litres. All drinks count, including hot drinks such as decaf tea and coffee. 

[Tip: Carry a one litre bottle of water with you to help you keep track of how much you are drinking throughout the day.]

How can I moisturise my pregnant belly?

As your shape-shifts and your body changes before your eyes, moisturising your pregnant belly can help you connect. Our bump facial routine above is a wonderful self-care ritual but on the days when time is short, reach for products designed to lock in moisture. Key moisturising ingredients are dimethicone, ceramides and hyaluronic acid and can be applied liberally. Shop from our beauty and wellness edit to ensure what you buy is pregnancy safe. 

katy young, beauty director

Katy Young, Contributing Beauty Director

Read more pregnancy skincare tips

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. For The Creators has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.

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