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Cholestasis of Pregnancy

Posted on February 5, 2013

Cholestasis is a condition in which bile is not transferred from the liver. It is most often associated with extreme itchiness in the mother during pregnancy, most commonly on the hands and feet. It can often lead to jaundice in the fetus.

If a pregnant woman is experiencing severe itching that is not relieved by topical creams or corticosteroids, she should undergo a bile acid test and a liver function test. Doctors look for a high level of alanine transaminase in the urine and bile salts. If a woman tests positive for cholestasis, her doctor will more than likely prescribe her with medications and a Vitamin supplement. Vitamin K helps decrease the risk of hemorrhage during delivery, and certain medication helps decrease the concentration of acid in the bile. It is sometimes recommended that the mother deliver around 37 weeks, once the baby’s lungs have been fully developed because this has been shown to reduce the risk of fetal death. Never take any Vitamin supplements without first consulting with your doctor.

If you have questions on this or any of the Duffy + Partners Birth Injury Blog posts, you are welcome to contact us.