If you have an uncomfortable itch during your pregnancy, you shouldn’t ignore it, because in some rare cases this could mean a very serious problem.
Another thing that women ought to keep in mind about pregnancy is that the pregnancy shouldn’t extend beyond the due date, because this could mean emotional and behavioral problems in the child.
What is obstetric cholestasis and its symptoms?
If you have persistent and problematic itch during your pregnancy, it is best to get it checked. Though in most cases it will be nothing to worry about, in some rare cases it could be a condition called obstetric cholestasis that could be responsible for the itch.
This is a condition about which little is known but which is potentially deadly for the child.
In the case of 33-year-old antenatal teacher Alice Tuson, the condition was detected in time and when the heartbeat of the baby was perceived to be slowing down, labor was induced and her son delivered safely.
However, in the case of Jenny Chambers the story was rather different. She had severe itching in the last few months of each of her four pregnancies.
Two of those ended tragically in stillbirths. Later obstetric cholestasis was seen to be the underlying reason for both.
Other than severe itching, symptoms of the condition could include pale stools, dark urine and sometimes jaundice. The problem resolves soon after giving birth. In this condition, the liver’s ability to regulate bile acids becomes affected.
These bile acids then cross over from the mother’s blood stream to the baby, leading to fetal distress, meconium staining and even stillbirth.
Post term babies are at risk of ADHD
We know that babies born before term are at risk of certain health problems. Equally, babies who are born later than their due date or post term are also at risk of certain problems.
In a study involving five babies in the Netherlands, babies who were born before their due date as well as after their due date were seen to be more at risk of emotional problems and behavioral problems and ADHD when they were between the ages of 18 and 36 months.
It is not yet clear what other problems could occur in the longer term owing to post term births. This is also due to the fact that the problems caused by post term births are not as well known among people or those in the medical community.