Not every baby cries

The ICP Support 2022 Christmas Appeal

Baby's hand

ICP Support exists for women and families experiencing the devastating impact of intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). The number of people contacting the charity for support and information about intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy has risen by 27.5% this year – and thank goodness it has, because if women don’t get the right information, this can – sadly – lead to stillbirth.

Devastatingly, this happened to Charlotte and Simon in March of this year. Charlotte was told that the itching she was experiencing in her pregnancy was normal. But when her baby, Millie, was stillborn at just under 36 weeks, a midwife spotted scratch marks on Charlotte’s body and her bile acids were – belatedly – tested. Charlotte’s bile acids came back raised and she and Simon were given the devastating news that Charlotte had suffered ICP in her pregnancy, and that this was the most likely cause of why Millie had died. If Charlotte had found ICP Support, things could have been very different.

Says Charlotte: ‘I wanted to understand what ICP is before meeting the consultant to discuss the post mortem results on Millie. I came across ICP Support after a quick search and sent an email to see if someone would be willing to explain the condition to me in more detail. The charity replied almost instantly, offering a Zoom meeting. ICP Support’s knowledge was amazing and I felt fully informed and prepared for the post mortem meeting. I am confident that if I had been diagnosed with the condition while I was pregnant that I would have found ICP Support and would have had the knowledge to push for an early delivery.’

ICP Support’s aims include not only raising awareness of the condition and supporting anyone affected by it, but also ensuring that health professionals are up to date about ICP. Baby Millie shows us why this work is so essential.

The charity can do this work in a variety of ways – for example, giving presentations to midwives, attending conferences for health professionals, and working with organisations such as the Royal College of GPs to produce a short training video for GPs on ICP.

Without your support, we can’t do this work or be there for families like Charlotte’s. A gift of £20 will help us to continue supporting women diagnosed with ICP, providing them with vital information so that they can take control of their health during pregnancy.

Charlotte and Simon feel strongly that our work will help to ensure that no other families have to endure what they have been through. They say: ‘Without ICP Support we probably still wouldn’t have a thorough understanding of the condition. The support they provide to women on their social media pages, telephone lines and website is above and beyond. The amount of work they put into the research and the constant updating of professionals is vital to women like me who develop ICP in their pregnancies. The charity has been super supportive of my current pregnancy and we’re so grateful to have had their guidance for the past seven months.’

We want to thank Charlotte and Simon for being prepared to share their heartbreaking experience with us and for sharing such precious photos. Your donation will help the charity to achieve the vision that Charlotte and Simon also share with us: that every ICP baby is born safely. In these financially challenging times, we are incredibly grateful for anything you may be able to give.

Baby's hand

To make a gift to ICP Support this Christmas:

  • Make a donation on JustGiving
  • Set up your own JustGiving page to fundraise for us (maybe request a small donation from friends and family instead of sending Christmas cards this year)
  • Send a cheque made payable to ICP Support to our office address at 69 Mere Green Road, Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield, B75 5BY