For some women, cholestasis risk is higher
Cholestasis can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but it most frequently occurs in the third trimester, according to Dr Reed said. It only happens to about 1 in 1,000 pregnant women, making it uncommon. But you’re at higher risk if:
Non-urgent advice: Call your midwife or GP if you have itching that’s:
If you experience this kind of itching, you should get checked for ICP.
Since your clothing is less likely to rub against your skin and irritate it, wearing loose clothing may help you avoid itching.
You might also want to stay away from synthetic materials and choose natural ones instead, like cotton. As they are “breathable,” they permit air to flow close to your skin.
You might discover that taking a cool bath or using cream or lotion can help reduce the itching.
You might want to try using unscented lotion or soap because some women find that strong perfumes irritate their skin.
Although mild itching usually poses no threat to you or your infant, it can occasionally be an indicator of a more serious condition, especially if you experience it more frequently in the evening or at night.
If you experience itching, let your midwife or doctor know so they can determine whether you need any additional testing.
Pregnancy can lead to the development of the potentially dangerous liver condition known as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP).
Bile acids normally move from your liver to your gut to aid in food digestion.
When you have ICP, your body’s bile acids don’t flow as they should and instead build up. ICP cannot be cured, but it should disappear after having a child.
Although ICP appears to run in families, it can also occur in people without a family history. Around 1 in 70 to 80 pregnancies are affected by it, which affects women of south Asian descent more frequently.
If you previously experienced ICP, your chances of experiencing it once more during a subsequent pregnancy are very high.
According to some studies, babies born to mothers with ICP are more likely to be premature or stillborn.
You might be given the option to induce labor due to the connection to stillbirth. Depending on the amount of bile acids in your blood, this could happen at any time between 35 weeks.
If you have ICP, a consultant-led maternity team will likely advise you to deliver in a hospital.