Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Postpartum Hives


After their little bundle of joy arrives home, new mothers are drifted away with happiness, eventually forgetting about self care. This period is when postpartum hives pop up in a number of women after delivery. Since many women forget that even their body needs as much of care like their babies, health issues such as postpartum hives arise. In this article we will be learning on how to overcome or avoid these postpartum hives.

In This Article:

What are Postpartum Hives?
Is It Normal to Get Hives After Pregnancy?
Causes of Postpartum Hives
Symptoms of Post Pregnancy Hives
Possible Complications of Post Delivery Hives
How to Treat Postpartum Hives at Home?
How long do Postpartum Hives Last?
Postnatal Hives and Breastfeeding

All You Need to Know about Postpartum Hives

postpartum hives

What are Postpartum Hives?

Postpartum hives is a health condition which occur post delivery when the body’s immune system reacts to allergens or hormonal changes; it releases histamine, a protein in the bloodstream which reacts negatively causing the skin to turn red and itchy. The plasma leaks into the skin, which further leads in the formation of a red rash which is called postpartum hives. Along with rashes, one might also have raised welts, scaly skin and swelling that causes a burning sensation or pain. Hives typically occur on the arms, feet, and the back, at different time spans after the delivery.


Is It Normal to Get Hives After Pregnancy?

Whether you get postpartum hives or not depends on how much you take care of yourself. Though when studied it was found that postpartum hives affect at least 20% of women after delivery. So if you are one among the 20% of women who is experiencing these hives, it is recommended you start giving attention to your body and health.

Causes of Postpartum Hives

Some reasons why postpartum hives occur are as follows:

  1. Insect bites or stings
  2. Hormonal changes after delivery
  3. Stress
  4. Medical conditions like acute thyroid conditions
  5. Exposure to intense sunlight, heat or very cold climates
  6. Environmental conditions either outside or inside the home
  7. Medications such as ibuprofen
  8. Food or additives

Symptoms of Post Pregnancy Hives

The symptoms of postpartum hives are very obvious and can be noticed easily. Here are some symptoms which you can easily recognize:

  1. Swelling that results in pain or burning sensations
  2. Blanching of the skin (skin becomes very pale or white)
  3. Raised welts on your body parts
  4. Scaly skin
  5. Itchy skin
  6. Red rashes

Possible Complications of Post Delivery Hives

Like every other health condition, postpartum hives also in some rare cases may lead to life-threatening complications. They are as follows:

  1. A reaction called anaphylaxis may affect the whole body which in turn leads to difficulty in breathing.
  2. If you have hives on the back area or arms then it might spread to whole body resulting in swelling of the throat and may cause a blockage in the airway.

If you experience these symptoms like difficulty in breathing, then consult a physician as soon as possible.

How to Treat Postpartum Hives at Home?

This condition usually resolves on its own after about 6-8 weeks. But if the hives are making you miserable and not letting you enjoy your time as a new mother, here are some ways to treat them:

Cold Compress

Cold compress helps to shrink the blood vessels and prevent further release of histamine, this in turn reduces swelling, inflammation and itching. This is one of the easy ways to cope with postpartum hives. Take some ice cubes and wrap them in a cloth (do not place ice directly on the skin) and place it over the affected area. Do this 3-4 times a day for 10 minutes each. You can also take a cold bath or shower.



Another effective treatment for postpartum hives is through oatmeal. Oatmeal acts as an anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing agent, providing quick relief from itching and swelling. Put 1 cup of oatmeal in a cloth and soak it in a bowl of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, add this water to your bathwater and soak your body in it for 15 minutes. Or you can mix 2 cups of oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and enough water to make a paste and apply the paste on the affected skin for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water. Use this remedy once daily.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The antihistamine properties of apple cider vinegar provide relief from inflammation and also regulate the body’s immune system. Dilute raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of cool water and use it to wash the affected skin a few times a day.

Aloe Vera

Due to its anti-inflammatory, soothing and moisturizing properties aloe vera is considered very effective for treating postpartum hives. Apply fresh aloe vera gel on the affected parts of the skin and leave for about twenty minutes and rinse off with cool water. This process can be done several times a day.

Turmeric Milk

Turmeric is known as an anti-inflammatory spice which stimulates the body’s natural anti-inflammatory corticosteroids. Also, the natural antihistamine and antioxidant properties provide quick relief from symptoms of hives. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and pinch of pepper powder to a glass of hot milk, sweetened with a little honey and drink this twice daily. Turmeric milk also helps to deal with different body pains.


Chamomile is a daisy like plant herb used for its natural antihistamine and having anti-inflammatory properties as it relieves swelling, inflammation and itching. It is good for both the baby and mother. Add 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile to hot water, cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then strain the water, add hone and drink this tea 2-3 times a day.


Calamine or calamine lotion is a medication used to treat mild itchiness, rashes or hives. After using the cold compress, pat dry the area with a towel and apply calamine lotion. Do this several times a Take your physicians suggestion before you use this lotion.


Avoid stress

Stress is the cause for many health problems. Stress increases the cortisol levels which can trigger hives after your delivery, therefore avoid unnecessary stress. Meditate regularly to deal with stress.

Drink plenty of Fluids 

Increase your fluid intake. Your body should be properly hydrated to avoid and fight with infections and diseases.

How long do Postpartum Hives Last?

As we have discussed earlier, postpartum hives resolve after 6-8 weeks. And if you take proper care and precautions, you can avoid these hives to a great extent. If you already got the hives then try some of the above treatment methods and you will see the results soon. Do not try everything at once, be patient and know what suits you best. Consult a physician if you think the rashes are spreading to the other parts of your body.

Postnatal Hives and Breastfeeding

What most of the mothers are concerned about is how hives affect their babies, since they are breastfeeding. Do not worry because medications such as antihistamines containing loratadine and fexofenadine are considered safe. Studies reveal that breastfeeding infants are unlikely to experience any side effects, since these drugs are considered compatible with breastfeeding. But it’s best to go with any medication only if your doctor has approved of it. Also do not apply anti-itch cream on your nipples, you can pump and store breast milk instead.


Increase the amount of vitamin C in your diet to help reduce your body’s production of histamine. Stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. To get some extra rest, you can try lying down while breastfeeding. It will also make your job easy.



Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women and Healthy Babies!!