The Itchy PregnancyPosted by Kate Green on Jul 15, 2012 in featured, Motherhood, Pregnancy | 1 comment
Well that is perfect for today’s blog, as I am 4 weeks away from having our first baby. It has been an interesting time, especially for the last week or so as I have had for sometime now a pretty intense itch all over my body.
I am 33 weeks and just over a week ago I saw my OBGYN, and very innocently mentioned, “What’s with the itching while pregnant”? Thinking this was just a pleasant chat between Doctor and client, or my new best friend for 9 months, I had no idea it was going to bring a whole lot of questions, and serious Dr. voice action.
“Yes” I answered to all over my body and “yes my palms, wrist and soles of my feet itch”, oh and “yes it is much worse at night with no signs of a rash”. “It feels like in certain areas e.g.: my shoulders there are mites biting into me. Isn’t this normal?”
No no no…off we go for more blood tests, I am a pincushion of late and did not realise that this is rare amongst pregnant women (only 1-1.5%). It has come to my attention that I have CHOLESTATIS.
What is Cholestatis?
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is typically presents with itching, and can lead to complication between mum and fetus. It is a liver disorder caused by the hormone oestrogen, interacting with the liver, to suppress the flow of bile from the liver into the Gall Bladder and woman’s bowel. This can cause a build up of toxins (liver enzymes, bilirubin and bile acids) that then leach into the woman’s blood stream. The disorder is diagnosed by blood tests, looking specifically at the woman’s liver function, and measuring bile acids.
Itching has long been considered to be a common symptom of pregnancy. The vast majority of times, itching is a minor annoyance caused by changes to the skin, especially that of the abdomen. However, there are instances when itching is a symptom of ICP.
ICP occurs most commonly in the third trimester, but can begin at any time during the pregnancy. It is also the second most common cause of jaundice in pregnancy.
Reasons for Cholestatis
- Have had Hepatitis
- Heavy Alcohol use
Consequences and signs for mother if untreated
- Itching, which can become intense and debilitating
- Nausea, possibly vomiting
- Premature labor
- Darkened Urine
- Pale bowel movement
- Deranged clotting, which requires Vitamin K
Consequences for fetus if untreated
- Meconium Ingestion
- Meconium Aspiration syndrome
- Fetal Distress
With these consequences for Mother and baby that is why the baby must be delivered at 37 weeks (no longer).
For me the doctors are a little confused as I have had no hepatitis, no one in my family that I am aware of has had this, I am not a heavy drinker, and the only symptom is the frustrating itch that is fine one day and very very present another. So each week I get blood tests done and see my OBGYN for updates and check ups.
I have been prescribed Ursodeoxycholic Acid, which helps treat Gall Stones but is especially helpful with Cholestatis and not just the itching. I take two tablets three times a day and will still be blood tested to watch my acid bile and liver functions. I would like to think I could make it to 37 weeks.
Since living a healthy lifestyle and wanting the best for my baby and myself, it was a choice I made to take this drug. For someone who does not consider taking even headache tablets, I had to look at the whole picture and know that DIS-EASE in the body, which can be healed organically as well as scientific, medical help can work as one. I believe that the scientists who created this medicine have made it with excitement, love and the intention to help the fellow woman/man.
I also did not want to have my baby at 33 weeks, which was one of the options and not an option the doctor was pushing for. So for now I will be gentle with myself, take it easy and look at the light within all of this.
As always, keep it lean, green and in moderation
Love & Light