Pregnant Mom Starts Itching All-Over, Then Doctors Say They Need To Get The Baby Out Immediately
Kristin Danley 4/10/2017
Christina DePino began experiencing severe itching during her pregnancy, but brushed it off as nothing serious. The Michigan mom-to-be was 35 weeks pregnant with her first baby when the itching began driving her nuts. So she took to Facebook to see if anyone had any idea what might be going on.
Friends reading her Facebook post were worried. Several of them had heard about a condition that, while harmless to Christina, could ultimately kill her unborn baby. Her friends urged her to see a doctor.
"What had started as an all-over itch started to become more pronounced on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet. It got to the point that I could no longer sleep at night ... my arms and legs were bleeding from all the scratching."
So Christina researched online the condition her friends thought she might have. The symptoms sounded exactly like what she'd been enduring. The condition affects the mom's gallbladder enough that it will render the fetus stillborn in utero.
Christina learned she needed special diagnostic testing to determine if this condition was indeed the culprit to the constant itching. Fearful for her baby's life, she readily agreed. She scheduled an appointment with her doctor immediately.
Doctors confirmed that Christina was suffering from what's called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Her obstetrician recommended she be induced at 37 weeks gestation in order to save her baby girl. Christina was floored, but so grateful to her friends for urging her to see a doctor.
"Thanks guys for giving some amazing advice which may have just saved our precious girl's life!"
On March 28, Christina and her husband welcomed Lexa Rae to the world. She was born perfectly healthy. Christina said she did experience the "what-ifs" after Lexa Rae arrived.
"What if I had not complained on Facebook? What if no one had told me? All I could think was that I had to let other women know. I didn't want any of them to wonder what had happened to their perfectly healthy baby."
Cholestasis is a rare condition that affects only one in 100 women in the United States. Dr. Donnica Moore told Today that cholestatis causes chemicals to be released into the mother's bloodstream and that, unbeknownst to the mom, is what causes sudden death for the baby in utero.
"Very simply, cholestasis is the sludge of your gallbladder building up and becoming more sluggish - and as a result, chemicals build up in your bloodstream that should have been eliminated. And that can deposit beneath the skin and cause this terrible, terrible itching."
Christina's frightening experience posted on Facebook has been shared more than 26,000 times with many moms thanking her for sharing the information. She urges all expecting moms who endure extreme itching on their hands and feet, as well as elsewhere on their body, to get checked out. She said a simple blood test could save the baby's life. I wasn't aware of this. Were you?
Sources: Today, Facebook/Christina DePino FB Image Sources: Facebook/Christina DePino, Facebook/Christina DePino