Are Itchy Nipples An Early Sign Of Pregnancy? Those Early Symptoms Are Tricky

Ad failed to load

There are a lot of strange pregnancy symptoms. Many of which existed only in my mind. For instance, I was positive that I smelled different when I was pregnant and I didn't think my deodorant worked as well. Another strange occurrence I've heard about is itchy nipples. There are plenty of message board posts and reddit threads revolving around the tips of your nips, and if they should itch when you're expecting. But are itchy nipples an early sign of pregnancy?

Like almost all of the difficult, peculiar, and somewhat unexpected embarrassments of pregnancy, itchy nipples is a real thing and is caused by hormones, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Those hormones begin the process of getting your breasts ready to produce milk and your nipples ready to deploy your newborn's beverage of choice from the word go. This means that with all the blood flow, stretching, and cellular shifts happening in your breasts, your nipples, the sensitive peaks of the structures, will likely begin to itch.

Because running out of the office three times an hour to throw up isn't embarrassing enough. Nope, you need to also figure out how to discreetly scratch the crap out of your nipples when no one is watching.

Ad failed to load

My nipples were the bane of my existence during my pregnancy. They constantly itched, and then when I scratched them as I was wont to do, they burned. The only thing more fun than itchy nipples is burning nipples, ask anyone. And there isn't a ton you can do about it. According to New Kids Center, your options are limited. You can't just use a steroidal cream like you could normally for an itchy patch of skin. You don't want to ice them, because, ouch, and meds? Those are straight out.

According to ACOG and New Kids Center, the best strategies for keeping the nipple itching to a minimum is a multi-pronged approach. First, you want to make sure you're well hydrated. The drier your nipples are, the more they will itch. Aim to drink as much as it takes to quench your thirst, and then drink a bit more. Sure, you'll have to pee a lot, but you'll likely be in there to throw up anyway, so you can kill two birds with one bathroom break. I found that it helped to have a liter water bottle on me at all times. I knew I needed to down two of those so I could get the full benefit.

Ad failed to load

While itchy nipples are a sign of pregnancy, they're also a sign of a bad moisturizer. Make sure the one you use is thick and has lasting power. A rich cocoa butter from the Body Shop seemed to help my tingling tatas. However, if it had any fragrance that wasn't just the natural scent of the cocoa butter? My nipples would rage like tiny rabid beasts attached to my boobs by stitches made of fire. It was really pleasant.

New Kids Center also suggested making sure your bra fits really well and is very supportive. If your nipples have a hard time making an appearance, it's hard for them to work up the effort to itch, or at least it seems that way. The counter pressure helps ease the discomfort, and relieves the need to tear at them like they've wronged you personally.

Ad failed to load

One more thing you might not consider is how you do your laundry and the soap you use. I mean, ostensibly, you've been using these products for a very long time, so why would they bother you now? Turns out those hormones screw with you, and what may not have irritated you before can irritate the crap out of you now.

Remember, this ball starts rolling the moment you get pregnant, so if your nipples are itching, let them point you toward a pregnancy test or to the lotion aisle, because you may need it.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How To Introduce Your Pet To Your Baby & Make Everything As Calm As Possible

Our home, which we lovingly refer to as “the funny farm,” is filled with four-legged family members. We have two crazy beagles and two cat jerks, and boy are they loved and spoiled. (As they should be.) But we are now finally having a baby of our own…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills