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by Katie Hodgkins

Obstetric Cholestasis - Aimee's Story

Obstetric Cholestasis is a condition we’re keen to raise awareness of at Bump, Baby & You.

Here, we’ve shared Aimee’s story in the hope that it helps to improve awareness of this condition that can occur during pregnancy. The NHS states that the main symptom is itching, usually without a rash. For many women with ICP, the itching is often:

  • more noticeable on the hands and feet, but can be all over the body
  • worse at night

Other symptoms may include:

  • dark urine
  • pale poo
  • yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice) – this is less common

Symptoms of ICP typically start from around 30 weeks of pregnancy, but it’s possible to develop the condition as early as 8 weeks.

Call your midwife or GP if you have itching that’s:
  • mild or distressing, possibly worse at night
  • anywhere on your body, but may be worse on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet
Feeling itchy like this can be a sign of ICP, and needs to be checked.

My sister had Cholestasis and it was a horrible time for her, I was there for her every step of the way so I remembered everything.

So of course when I had fallen pregnant I got really ill, not to mention I was already on the high risk category because I had a miscarriage not long before falling pregnant again. My full pregnancy I wasn’t putting on much weight and was continuously being sick, I was kept in hospital several times to get some fluid intake.

During my stays and also when I was home, I would inform doctors, midwifes and GPS that I just kept being sick yellow and brown stuff until it progressed into blood, I was not listened to. Until I had went to one of my growth checks (because I wasn’t putting on much weight) and the lovely midwife had looked at me and said you do not look well, she sent me to the ward for further tests and I kept telling the doctors about Cholestasis and that my sister had it, once again I was ignored, until I had completely broke down thinking I was going to lose my baby again.

They finally had checked my bile levels and they were sky high!

I was right all along and this was at my 32 week mark and I was already starting to get pains, so the hospital finally stepped in and had told me that I had to rest or else my baby could come very early or be born stillborn. There are so many risks in Cholestasis itself and it’s not spoke about enough.

This caused me to get kidney infections, all types of medical issues and my baby to be born 5 weeks early, it wasn’t as early as a lot of other babies but he was born not breathing, he was in NICU for a further 2 weeks getting god knows how many blood tests for infections and the worst part was, we couldn’t really hold him, I couldn’t take my baby home with me.

All because they found the Cholestasis too late for me to be treated properly!

Please talk and please listen. You can read more about Obstetric Cholestasis on the NHS website here.



Katie Hodgkins Image
I'm Katie, and I'm a mama, wife, and freelance content creator for Bump, Baby & You. I also help to run our thriving online community over in our Facebook support group, as well as volunteering for my local branch of the National Childbirth Trust. I'm a busy bee and enjoy keeping active, cooking, writing, and fun days out with my little family. My special topics of interest are... autism (as me and my son are both autistic), science, all things parenting and pregnancy related, and The Handmaids Tale!
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