Many women start paying attention to their pregnancy symptoms as soon as the pregnancy test is positive. Yet, one pregnancy ailment that catches many by surprise is chapped lips. In early pregnancy, chapped lips can indicate that you are not consuming enough fluids. In late pregnancy, excess blood flow in the nasal passages causes many women to breathe through their mouth -- causing dry lips. The good news is there are simple home treatments to ease the pain and irritation of chapped lips during pregnancy.
Drink plenty of fluids to rehydrate your body and lips, and to prevent your lips from drying out. Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day to avoid dry skin and chapped lips.
Apply a lip balm or other moisturizing lip product to your lips 3 to 4 times per day. These products help trap moisture, thus relieving dryness, so if needed, apply right after bathing or moisturize your lips with a wet washcloth prior to application. Always apply the product every time you go outside, especially during the dry winter months.
If your household air is dry, use a humidifier in your bedroom when you sleep. This will add moisture to the air and prevent the mucous membranes in your mouth and nose from drying out.
You are more likely to suffer chapped lips if you are breathing through your mouth due to congested nasal passages. Treat the stuffiness with a saline nasal spray, which may allow you to breathe through your nose again. Also take a steamy shower a few times daily until your symptoms go away.
Protect your lips from cold, dry air and winds to prevent them from drying out even more. Avoid licking your chapped lips, which will actually dry them out even more.
Always check with your physician before using any medication during pregnancy, even those available over the counter. If the chapped lips persist or become very painful, visit your obstetrician or dermatologist who may be able to prescribe a stronger topical solution safe for pregnant women.
- Maternal Newborn Nursing; Barbara R. Stright
- Primary Care: A Collaborative Practice; Terry Mahan Buttaro
- National Institutes of Health: What Are Some Common Signs of Pregnancy?
Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.