HELP: Cholestasis of Pregnancy

Updated on December 01, 2008
A.W. asks from Smyrna, GA
10 answers

My sister has been experiencing severe itching of her hands and feet and the nurse told her she MAY have Cholestasis of Pregnancy. She needs to see the dr on Monday. I am extremely worried about her. Has anyone else experinced this? I need all the advice and reassurance for my sister. She is almost 37 weeks.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for all your responses. My sister experienced the severe iching of her hands and feet for a few days, but after she had her bile salt levels tested everything was normal! Yipee!! My sister delivered her precious baby boy at 38 weeks, naturally. Both mommy and baby are doing well. Thanks again. AW

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Spartanburg on

Just like Angela, I too had this and the only thing that offered any relief was the birth of my twins! I was carrying just over 11 lbs of babies. I wonder if this is associated with big babies or twins??? It was absolutely miserable, and the only advice I can give is to sleep when sleepy, no matter the time of day. NOTHING curbed the itchiness. I would go to bed around 11 PM, be up again by 12 or 1 AM, and not be able to go back to sleep until 9 AM the next morning. They should run the blood test to check her liver function and then closely monitor her once to twice a week from here on out. At least sitting in that big comfy chair in the dr.'s office offered an opportunity for sleep! She and baby should be fine. Just tell her to hang in there!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Atlanta on

Don't read anything on the internet. She is going to be fine!!! You can drive yourself crazy with worry if you read the internet... but she is 37 weeks and will deliver a normal healthy baby! It is just a small bump in the road! They may give her a topical cream.. but it will go away after pregnancy, and the baby will be fine!
:)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.N.

answers from Spartanburg on

I had this problem when I was pregnant with my twins. I feel so badly for your sister. I was miserable! I literally thought I was going crazy! NOTHING seemed to help. I covered my chair and couch with smooth sheets, I did baths, and lotions, it was to the point that the Dr have me something to help me sleep. We discovered this problem at 34 weeks and I delivered on my own at 36 weeks. So, I never had the opportunit to be treated, if there is anything to be done. The good thing here is your sister is so close to delivery. At this point if it became a point of concern for her health or he babies health, they could very safely deliver at this point. Keep shaved legs, lotion right out of the shower, wear smooth clothes, get a humidifier to keep moisture in the air, and put a fan on her. And pray for her!!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.H.

answers from Charleston on

Hi Ann! I totally feel for your sister...I had severe itching during my 1st pregnancy, but it was only on my legs. I could have scratched myself to the bone trying to stop the insane itching. I never heard of cholestasis and the dermatologist didn't even suggest it. She did tell me oatmeal baths, very mild soap (Dove), and Cetaphil lotion, which worked a little. My itching did not go away immediately after giving birth...it was about a month or two later. I'm pregnant with my 2nd now and hope I don't have to endure the "itch", but I'm sure I will. Oh BTW, my daughter weighted 9lbs 6oz...she was big and I had very swollen legs. Hope your sis finds some relief and has the baby soon! Good luck. D. H.

K.B.

answers from Spartanburg on

I e-mailed my midwife that was with me for 5 births in another state and got this responce...

Research books are at the office and haven't had time to get up there in the last few days. Webster defines cholestasis as "the stoppage of the flow of bile" -- being a malfunction of the liver or gall bladder. Either can be very serious in pregnancy. The good news is that she is close enough to full term to deliver a healthy baby, assuming that the baby's weight is appropriate for gestation (ie, not too small).

Hope that might be of some comfort and that your sister delivers soon!

Sincerely,

K. B

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Atlanta on

The good news is that your sister only has three more weeks and the baby would be in great shape if he/she were delivered now. The itching of her hands and feet could also just be due to swelling towards the end of pregnancy.

I experienced this condition with my first pregnancy. I was being monitored by both my ob and a perinatologist. They were able to test my liver function through a simple blood test. Although the itching was all over for me and uncomfortable, I was able to manage it by taking Benadryl and oatmeal baths when it became really bad. I also was told to take colace to help move my bowels more frequently.

My perinatologist prescibed a drug that was considered acceptable to take for the condition but I chose not to take it because I wasn't convinced that it wouldn't affect the baby. I am sure he was right in prescribing but it was my first child and I was a little leary.

I think the reason I had this condition was because I had a large child and I am not a big person. There was no room left inside of me. After birth (they took him 3 weeks early because he measured 10 lbs in an ultrasound 4 weeks before his due date--He was 9lbs. 10 oz at birth) I had no problems relating to liver function. Again they used a simple blood test to determine this. I have not had any trouble with my other pregnancies.

I wish both you and her the best. I am having my third child on Dec. 16.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Columbia on

Cholestasis for me was horrible. I started severe itching six weeks before the twins were born. Oatmeal baths helped a little for short periods of time. Oatmeal lotion helped a little for short periods of time. The only thing that STOPPED the itching was the birth of my beautiful, healthy boys. She will be fine, the baby will be fine but help her with the itching any way you can if it becomes severe. I had a panic attack over the summer when I had poison ivy because I thought about the itching of my pregnancy - LOL!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from Savannah on

I had sever itching of the hands and feet due to an allergic reaction to medication I was given after having hernia surgery. I did sea salt soaks 3 times a day which helped tremondously!! You can buy sea salt at Walmart right next to the big containers of table salt and water temp should be as hot as she can tollerate. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Charleston on

I have had this condition with both of my pregnancies. It depends on how sever her case is. Her doctor should run a specific blood test to determine her bile salt levels. There are severl schools of thought on this condition. The first is that the baby can possibly be adversely affected i.e preterm labor, prematuraty and in rare cases, stillbirth. Her doctor may recommend taking a medication to curb the itching, but it may or may not work. Also, about the medication, it WILL NOT prevent any of these things from happening, it is just to curb the symptoms. The other school of thought, one which I subscrive to having had it twice, is that it does merit extra monitoring of the baby and mom for the small chance that it may cause something to go wrong, but the condition itself doesn't mean that a bad outcome is guaranteed. The itching is the worst part and ususally goes away shortly after delivery. I took herbal suplements, dandelion root and milk thistle to help with liver health which is where the condition originates. It is caused by a reation by the liver to the hormone levels in pregnancy in some women. The best advice I can give is for her to soak in an oatmeal (Aveeno) bath everyday as needed and also to use oatmeal soap in the bath. There is also a great support group on Yahoo called Itchy Moms that she can join. My email is [email protected]____.com and I live in Ladson just outside of Charleston, SC. I would love to communicate with her about this and give her some first hand perspective.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.Z.

answers from Atlanta on

Your sister should try dandelion root (available at health food stores or GNC), which helps with that condition. I didn't have that but I had PUPPs, and that helped more than anything else. It's listed as one of the treatments for Cholestasis.

She's going to be okay. She's far enough along that should she need to have the baby soon, they'll both be fine. Keep the faith. You have my best wishes.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches