Postpartum Hives (4 Possible Causes & Treatment Options)

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Postpartum hives are a very common skin condition that affects many new mothers. They can range from mild hives that cause itching and redness to severe hives that cause swelling and can be painful. They can be caused by several things, such as allergies, infections, and a sluggish liver. If you have a more severe case of postpartum hives, it’s important to see your doctor immediately.

Postpartum hives are a common condition that can affect new mothers.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), postpartum hives are “a pruritic eruption that may be associated with itching, burning, or tingling on the skin.”

Typically, hives develop within three weeks of giving birth, but they can occur before or after this time. The exact cause isn’t known, but it’s believed to be related to increased hormones present during pregnancy and postpartum.

If you’re experiencing postpartum hives, there are several things you can do to help treat them.

You can apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to relieve itching and redness; you should also try taking ibuprofen for pain relief if needed.

If these methods aren’t enough to ease your symptoms, speak with your doctor about other options.

Causes of postpartum hives

Postpartum hives may be caused by several reasons, including allergies, infections, and a problem with your liver, among others.

1. Allergies

The most common cause of hives is food allergies. Hives are a reaction to a specific food or allergen that causes an allergic reaction in the body.

A young woman is blowing her nose because of her allergies, which might be the cause of her postpartum hives.

The most common allergens are wheat, dairy products, eggs, and shellfish.

Talk to your doctor if you think you may be allergic to something in your diet.

2. Infections

Hives are a common occurrence after giving birth, but there are several causes. The most common is infection.

One of the most common causes of postpartum hives is infection. Infections can be caused by viruses (like herpes), bacteria (like staph), or fungi (like Candida).

Hives are allergic reactions to an allergic substance that has entered your body through the bloodstream or a cut on your skin.

If you have any of these infections at the time of delivery, many doctors recommend waiting until after delivery before getting them treated.

This will allow for a “window” for treatment where your body’s immune system could kill off the virus before it can cause an allergic reaction.

3. Sluggish liver

While pregnant, your body might overwork and affect your liver’s ability to filter toxins and others from your blood.

If this happens, your liver enzymes will be imbalanced, which causes wastes to collect in your blood.

These situations can lead to rashes and hives. It usually happens after childbirth or near the end of your pregnancy.

If your liver is the cause of postpartum hives, you might see rashes on your face, stomach, and legs.

It is usually uncommon to get postpartum hives, only about 1 in 200 women who are pregnant or have given birth develop hives because of their liver.

Women in their first pregnancy have a higher chance of getting postpartum hives.

4. Other causes

In addition to physical factors like pregnancy hormones or infections, emotional stress can also cause hives. This can happen when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenting or have other stressors in your life.

Mental health issues can play a role as well.

For example, if you have depression or anxiety, these conditions will likely affect your body in some way, and postpartum hives are no exception.

When do postpartum hives go away?

Postpartum hives are a common condition that can occur after a woman has given birth.

They are usually caused by the build-up of histamine in the body and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

📌 While postpartum hives are generally harmless, they can be uncomfortable and cause itching, enough to make you feel like you’re under attack. The good news is that postpartum hives usually go away after a few weeks—and sometimes even sooner!

If you suspect you have postpartum hives, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately so you don’t delay treatment for too long.

Your doctor will likely prescribe antihistamines and topical steroids to treat your condition as soon as possible.

Can you get hives while breastfeeding?

Postpartum hives are common after childbirth, and breastfeeding can worsen them.

A mom is sitting down and breastfeeding her newborn baby

The first thing to remember is that postpartum hives are not caused by the milk itself but rather by an allergic reaction to it, the same way you might get hives from poison ivy or nettles, for instance.

It’s also important to note that postpartum hives aren’t contagious. So they’re not going to spread from mother to baby or vice versa.

Treatment for postpartum hives

Postpartum hives are a fairly common skin condition that can occur after the birth of a child.

The condition is characterized by small, itchy bumps on the skin that may accompany swelling and redness. Some women have no symptoms at all, but others experience severe itching and burning sensations.

In some cases, postpartum hives are caused by an infection or allergy to something in your diet or environment. However, many women experience postpartum hives without any known cause.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

There are several treatment options for postpartum hives:

  • Skin steroid cream (such as betamethasone valerate) can help reduce redness and swelling on the skin
  • Antihistamine (such as pheniramine) may help relieve itching and irritation caused by hives
  • Anti-itch lotion or cream will help soothe dry, irritated skin caused by hives
  • Steroid medication (like prednisolone) may be necessary if you’ve experienced prolonged symptoms
  • An epinephrine pen can bring relief from severe itching


Can breast milk help with hives?

Experts say that breast milk contains anti-inflammatory properties and is one of the best treatments for mild rashes and skin irritation.


If you have experienced postpartum hives, it’s important to know that you’re not alone.

Postpartum hives are a very common side effect of pregnancy and childbirth and can be very uncomfortable.

Fortunately, there are many different treatments for postpartum hives that can help relieve your symptoms.

If you suffer from the painful symptoms of postpartum hives, we encourage you to take action!

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Nudrat Naheed
Hi, I am Nudrat, The Heart And Brain author, IR student, and painter. Writing about health fascinates me because it helps me to explore a new healthy routine and share it with others. I write primarily about general health, pregnancy, postpartum, and allergies here. If you don't find me writing, I'm busy painting or reading on global politics.

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