Disease & Illness

This Mom’s Facebook Post May Have Saved Her Baby’s Life

Her itchiness turned out to be the sign of a dangerous condition.

When you’re expecting a baby, you want to share the entire exciting, exhausting experience with everyone you know. Should you worry about oversharing TMI though?

Maybe not. In fact, for one woman, her Facebook post about an annoying symptom she was enduring might have saved her baby’s life.

Christina DePino went to Facebook to share her frustration over the itchy feeling that was keeping her up at night and causing her to scratch her skin until she bled. Not one but three of her Facebook friends urged her to contact her doctor ASAP.

Heeding their advice, she discovered she was suffering intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy or ICP. This pregnancy-related liver disorder puts moms and babies at risk for pre-term labor, respiratory distress, maternal hemorrhaging and stillbirth.

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Experts recommend early delivery as the safest course of action for ICP pregnancies. At 37 weeks and 2 days, DePino delivered her healthy daughter, Lexa Rae.

In her Facebook post, she warned others about the condition, stating, “Now I will be the crazy lady running around telling all the preggie ladies to beware!”

Here’s the full copy from DiPino’s Facebook post:

If your [sic] pregnant & your itching REALLY bad, don’t ignore it!! Started having severe itching a few weeks ago, (it was keeping me up at night) thanks to a little Facebook complaining & the urging of Jennifer, Britney & Monica, I got the itch checked out & found out I had pregnancy Cholestasis, which is basically harmless for me – except for the crazy itching – But could have caused a still born after 37 weeks!! I was officially diagnosed last week and had to get her out this week! We are so blessed! Thanks guys for giving some amazing advice which may have just saved our precious girl’s life! Yeah We are SO BLESSED & in awe!!! (Made this public so you guys can share away!)

(Now I will be the crazy lady running around telling all the preggie ladies to beware! )

For more info on this condition, visit :
ICPcare.org – they are working to spread awareness!

Should you be concerned about cholestasis? According to the American Liver Foundation, it only occurs in one to two pregnancies in 1,000 in the U.S., although the risk increases to more than 5% in Latina populations.

Young woman suffering from itching on her skin and scratching an itchy place. Allergic reaction to insect bites, dermatitis, food, drugs. Health care concept. Allergy rash

If you have a family history of ICP, you are at greater risk as well.

Of course, you shouldn’t be worried about every little itch, but it is always wise to contact your doctor regarding symptoms that concern you during your pregnancy.

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Following are the most common symptoms of ICP:

1. Itchiness

Women with cholestasis often experience intense, constant itching or cyclical itching, usually on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. However, some women will feel itchy all over or in other localized areas. There is generally no rash associated with ICP.

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2. Right Upper Quadrant Pain

Because ICP can affect the liver, bile ducts and gallbladder, women may experience pain on the right side of their bodies under the ribs. Occasionally, the pain radiates to the tip of the right shoulder blade.

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3. Bathroom Issues

Dark-colored urine, even when a woman is sufficiently hydrated, and pale gray or clay-colored stool are other signs of cholestasis.

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4. Various Other Symptoms

Pregnant women with cholestasis may also experience nausea and lack of appetite, fatigue and malaise, mild depression or jaundice.

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If you are only experiencing itchiness, you may still have choleostasis — in many women, it is the only symptom, which gets worse at night.

Of course, as mentioned above, if you’re experiencing a symptom that concerns you, contact your doctor!

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As for Lexa Rae, DePino recently shared this picture of her on Facebook. She looks to be healthy and happy (and adorable)!

We are so happy to see that sweet, healthy face!