A new mother is sharing an important message about the dangers of what could have been mistaken for a common pregnancy symptom, but was actually the sign of a severe condition that could have killed her baby. Christina DePino, 28, was late into her pregnancy when she started experiencing such uncomfortable itchiness that she was unable to sleep at night.
“The itching was so severe that i would wake up and I wouldn’t be able to go back to bed, and my legs and arms were scabbed and bleeding from the uncontrollable need to scratch,” DePino, of Monroe, Michigan, told CBS News.
While itching could be a sign of skin stretching during pregnancy, DePino sought the advice of her social media followers, who suggested her discomfort could actually be a symptom of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), which impairs the flow of bile from the liver and could cause a baby to be stillborn after 37 weeks, CBS News reported.
At 36 weeks, DePino was diagnosed with ICP after a series of blood tests to check her liver, the news outlet reported.
“My doctor explained that while not all the reasons are understood, after 37 weeks, patients with ICP are at a very high risk of having a stillborn. He also explained that induction was still my choice, as it is possible to carry a baby to full term and not have a stillborn,” DePino told CBS News.
According to a March 28 post on Facebook, DePino decided to go forth with an induction and gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
“Thanks guys for giving some amazing advice which may have just saved our precious girl’s life!” DePino wrote in the post. “Yeah we are SO BLESSED & in awe!!!”
DePino included a link to ICPcare.org and said she’ll be known as “the crazy lady running around telling all the preggie ladies to beware!”
Her post has been shared more than 26,000 times, with many commenters sharing their own experiencing with ICP.