By Kate Wilson
‘I would remind women that you know your own body, as, with anything, if you feel something isn’t right it probably isn’t. Get yourself to your midwife/healthcare team and ask for a test. I didn’t have an appointment booked at the 37-week mark but I knew I had to see my midwife. She fit me in and gave me my results two days later.’I would remind women that you know your own body
Sophie Osgood had heard of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy before her diagnosis: ‘A friend of mine had it in her first pregnancy. I remember her writing a post about it on Facebook, so as soon as I realised what I had, I was straight on the phone to her asking questions!’. Sophie’s symptoms were similar to most other women’s: ‘I had mild itching on my palms and soles of my feet’. She used essential oils and body lotion to help soothe the itch. Sophie’s friends and family were somewhat shocked at the diagnosis, however, with Sophie claiming: ‘I don’t think we realised what could have happened’.
I don’t think we realised what could have happenedOnce Sophie recognised what the symptoms could mean, she immediately took action: ‘I asked to have my bloods taken, as I had heard of the condition before. In some ways I was pleased with myself for knowing something needed to be investigated. I’m quite in tune with my body and it didn’t let me down. However, I also felt sad, disappointed and unnerved, as it meant I couldn’t give birth at the local midwife unit in the birth pool with my amazing midwife, who had seen me all through the pregnancy as wished’.
Sophie’s experience with ICP Support did not begin until after the birth of her daughter, Florence: ‘I didn’t find you guys in time for support. But I have been reading up and learning a lot more about ICP, which is great to have the new knowledge for any further pregnancies’. Sophie now uses the Facebook group and the website for further research.
In the near future, Sophie plans to hold a Cake Sale to ‘raise both funds and awareness’. Sophie also claims she ‘wasn’t aware of too many risks’, so ensuring that healthcare professionals are educated about the condition is vital when it comes to ensuring that every ICP baby is born safely. Sophie used hypnobirthing techniques to keep both herself and the baby calm during the delivery. Sophie’s symptoms of ICP had disappeared within ten days of the birth.