Pregnancy guide > Your baby in pregnancy > Pregnancy health > Pregnancy problems > Itching (cholestasis) during pregnancy

Itching (cholestasis) during pregnancy

Advice on remedies to soothe itching skin, cholestasis symptoms and when itching may pose a problem during pregnancy.
Mild itching is common in pregnancy because of the increased blood supply to the skin. In late pregnancy the skin of the abdomen is stretched and this may also cause itchiness. Wearing loose clothing may help.

Severe generalised itching, without a rash, particularly in the last four months of pregnancy may be the only sign of a more serious problem called obstetric cholestasis. This is a potentially dangerous liver disorder, which seems to run in families, although it can occur without any family history. It is important to contact your doctor if you have troublesome itchy because obstetric cholestasis may lead to premature labour, stillborn or serious health problems for the baby, and to an increased risk of maternal haemorrhage after the delivery.

If itching becomes severe, or you develop jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin), see your doctor. Itching which is associated with a rash may also need treatment if it is severe.

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Hi All,

I was dianosed with intrahepatic cholestasis at week 29 and Doctor has advised to deliver the baby at 34 weeks that was actually due on 4 Oct'11. Treatment with ursodeoxycholic tablets and Vitamin K has been effective in reducing the itching eversince diagnosed. However due to the uncertainity in loss of pregnancy in later weeks beyond 37 weeks, how safe is to deliver the baby at 34 weeks? and what consequences the prematured baby will have?

Appreciate some solution from community members. Thank you.
by Ainmom 11th Aug 2011, 2:30pm
Hi Briana,
I had severe itching when pregnant with my second child. It was not cholestasis related. When I was referred to a dermatologist I was told that it was an allergic reaction to the pregnancy hormones. I was put on oral antihistamines from 26 weeks and told to use excema creams for bathing and moisturising. The condition was relieved over time. It did mean that I was off work and very drowsy for most of my pregnancy.
This condition is very rare and it took several weeks to be treated after seeing many doctors. After weeks of sleepless nights and severe discomfort I demanded treatment. My advice is to ask for a referral to a dermatologist who has Obstetric experience. Most major hospitals should have someone you could see. Good luck.
by bloomingbaby 25th Oct 2010, 3:47pm
hi everyone,

I am 38 weeks pregnant and nealy at the end now, i can not wait, but what i have noticed during the past few weeks my belly has been itching me like mad to the point were it burns after ive been itching it so much, at first i did get an odd itch here and there and my mom just said its were my belly is streching so i just left it, but now i am getting really worried about it, it mainly itches by my stech marks which i throught could be the reason why, but i just want to make sure that its nothing BAD!!
it would be great help if you could give me some advise on what to do or what this could be.

thanks x
by shelbiehayes 4th Oct 2010, 11:15am
Hi people,

I am a 29 year old mother of 2. a 7 year old son and a 22 month old daughter. I had OC with both of mine. Now my younger sister who is 36 weeks pregnant has just been diagnosed with it too. I would say that if you are itching and you know because it's you that it is happening too whether or not it is normal or if somthing just does not feel right go straight to your midwife. Within the space of a week my bile acids with my daughter went from 8 to 72. I was induced at 37 weeks with both of my pregnancies and my sister is being induced on Friday which will be her 37th week also. It is a horrible thing to go through. At one point I was in the bath at 3 o'clock in the morning with the cheese grater trying to stop the itching on the palms of my feet. I suffered terribly but luckily my 2 children are healthy and happy. Although my daughter was born blue and rushed out of the room but brought back fine after about 10 minutes. If you feel in yourself that something is not right, push it, nag your midwife, your GP, find them an article and take it to them. This is a rare illness so I do know that not every midwife has experienced it. I was told with my second child that it was not oc but deep down I knew it was as the symptoms were exactly the same as they were with my son. Eventually I woke up on a Saturday morning to midwives banging my door down as my bile acids had jumped to 72 and I had to get to hospital there and then to be started off. That was my 37th Week. I am happy I pushed it like I did or I dread to think what might have been the outcome.
by cozmo 27th Sep 2010, 4:33pm
I'm 34 weeks pregnant with my first baby. Around 31 weeks my feet starting itching like crazy, especially at night. I've tried everything over the counter and nothing helps. Benadryl gives me a little relief for a few hours, but not much. I talked with an RN and a midwife that said it's probably pregnancy related and should go away after delivery. Then I talked to 2 different OB's and they said it's NOT pregnancy related and sent me to a dermatologist (I go to a practice with 4 OB's and 2 midwives). At first the dermatologist thought it was contact dermatitis (said it was probably a reaction to my flip flops) and prescribed a steroid cream that did not help. The itching got even worse, so I went back. Now she's decided it is just a hormone related pregnancy thing (since there is no rash) and gave me a stronger steroid cream. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm not hopeful at this point. I did go have my liver checked (even though the OB's were reluctant to do it), and they said everything was normal. I don't know what to think. It's only my feet that itch, nothing helps, and all these doctors have a different opinion. It's so frustrating. Has anyone had anything like this?
by briana82 1st Sep 2010, 10:14am
Hi I am 40 years of age and expecting my third baby . I am 10 weeks pregnant and for the last 2 weeks gone crazy with itching all over . It started on my scalp and then quickly onto the rest of my body. Night time is a nightmare chest, legs, under arms under breasts arms backs of my hands are so itchy and hot . Am not to bad through the day if i keep cool but find that bathing in bacarbonate of soda (lots) of it in my bath sometimes twice a day then rinsing my self down with cool water. then covering my self in camomile lotion and just sleeping in a cotton sheet with the fan on helps but keep wakening up feeling really cold but skin feels like its been in a chip pan but clamy to touch. I was given 1% of hydrcortisone which does nothin in fact makes it worse. Sometimes a dettol bath helps too i have had blood taken but waiting for results probably something i will have to put up with going by every body elses stories here docs wont give you anything i have been refused anthistimene . In my last 2 pregnancys i didnt have anything like this before must be my age !!
by HeatherBell13 1st Sep 2010, 10:07am
Hi I am having my first baby,i am now 19 weeks pregnant. I noticed the itching about 3 weeks ago, on my hands and feet and it was mainly in the night i went to the hospital and was kept in for 3 days, i have been told its o c and its rare of someone so early in pregnancy, when i was younge i couldn't take the pill as it had the same affect of itching. my bile acid was 1t 157 i have been put on tablets and they seem to be working if u get the itching go to the hospital for blood tests. its very scary :(
by sashbash 16th Aug 2010, 5:15pm
Hello everyone!

I'm 32 weeks pregnant(with my third child) and from about 28 weeks I noticed itching on my ankles. I also have lesser appetite than for my other pregnancies. Now I have the itching mostly around my ankles, my shins, behind my knees and inner elbows of my arms. Not much on my tummy, a little under the breast. I'm worried that I may have Obstetric Cholestasis. The scary part of my story is that I'm in India, so here they only do the Liver Function Test and the total bile acid test. They do not do the serum bile acid test. I took both the LFT and the total Bile acid test twice. The results are all normal, but the second time I had to take the tests without prescription because none of the doctors I'm seeing are worried about it. They said that since the LFT levels were normal the first time we can safely eliminate OC. Another reason to eliminate it
according to them is because I did not get OC for my other pregnancies.
I'm really worried and that's not good for my baby either. So far my urine looks mostly clear or light yellow. I did have a bout of diarrhea last week, but my stools are ok now, not pale.But the itching is definitely there, not
mostly at night though, it's also there during the day. I do not wake up scratching at night. My husband is not worried, he agrees with the doctors. I know that in case I do have OC and the results show elevated levels in the LFT test only much later in the pregnancy it might harm baby already. Do you people think I should leave the country, I do have the option of going to France (my husband's from there) but I have to decide quickly or I won't be allowed to travel. Am I being too pessimistic here, do you guys think I have the symptoms of OC?

Please advice!!!

by sujajones 12th Aug 2010, 10:55am
Hi my now 33weeks and have been itching for about the last week in a half I really idk why but it's mostly on my feet And arms I tried using creams and others stuff oatmeal baths and i called the doctor after it stared and said I was itching really bad they said used creams and been taking benadryl for the last week and it kind of helps but not really what should I do....
by Myrna1 12th Aug 2010, 10:49am
Hi I'm 22 weeks pregnant and been suffering from extreme itching for past 5 weeks
It's so bad. My consultant has been great and I'm having fortnightly liver and bile acid blood tests so far they all come back saying I don't have oc even though ive been told it maybe to early in the pregnancy to diagnose but all my symptoms point to this! Night time is the worst im lucky to get 3 hours sleep as the itching is so intense! I feel I've tried everything from bio oil, e45 cream, eurax, piriton and mild seriod cream I feel I'm going out of my mind!! Has anyone else had anything like this this early???
by Cez81 12th Aug 2010, 10:11am
Hi I'm a mother of two and from both pregnancies I suffered from cholestasis really really bad the itching was unbareable I thought I was going to go crazy and it got worse in the night I was on nonsleep for about two months and the only thing my Dr. would tell me was that only delivery would make this go away. And I still had a long way to go. I was only 27 weeks pregnant and my Dr. wanted to deliver me until I was at least 37 weeks pregnant and would tell me I had to wait.My whole body was very very itchy and nothing seemed to worked and when I would scratch I would only make it worse I would make myself bleed from head to toe. And my feet were the worse they felt they were in fire and when I would scratch my feet I felt they wre burn so bad. Finally I turned 37 weeks and was induced and had my baby. Now I am pregnant for my third time and my Dr. tells I might not get it I am 31 weeks pregnant and I'm starting to feel so itching all over my body and my feet burn like if they are on fire and itchy I feel I can not go thru this again ( high chances are I am) Is there any one out there that knows any home redemies that help at least a little?
by Mendez 12th Aug 2010, 10:10am
hi i'm 10 weeks nd for one week now i have had terrible itching but only in my feet and hands.. i have a rash with it two especially if i icth it then i scare.. it seems only to come oin the evening and throughout the night eeehhh it keeps me up.. i rung my middwife but she said it has nothing to do with the pregnancy i feel strongly that it is please help guys what should i do next?
by heathermudie 11th Jun 2010, 5:37pm
hi im a mum of 3 children i suffered with obstetric cholestasis in all 3 pregnancies but did not know until i had my daughter 6 years ago itchy skin can drive u totally insane as i know. it was worse with my daughter i was continually told it was hormones by my midwife but i decided to see my gp cos it was so bad , i was continually being sick and itching . i was 36 weeks when within 24 hours of having a blood test i was in hospital having my daughter 4 weeks early 6lb 6oz. my advice to anyone who has itchy skin insist on a blood test to check your liver . if you have it the baby shoukd be delivered early between 34 and 36 weeks , it is very important you do your liver will not be working correctly thus causing the itching cos your blood is not being cleaned by the liver as it normally should . . . antihistamines are only thing that worked for me but i didnt want to take them much doctors say all ok for you ,only bath in luke warm water dont use towels with any fabric conditioner on them . i used vitamin e cream but really nothing truly helps it 100 % you just have to think at the end of this you will have a gorgeous baby and then it is all worth it. also make sure they keep checking your blood. also after you have the baby ensure your doctor does a full enzyme and blood test to check your liver reading goes down . if you need to ask any questions to me feel free.
by ozchic 11th Jun 2010, 5:22pm
hi peeps im 34+3 weeks,for the past week and half iv had intense itching on my whole body i found coating myself in sudacreme after a cool bath helped alittle but hasnt taken it away completely,after readin up on this site i decided 2day was the day i took action and went to see my gp,i have been sent for numourous blood tests and been given antihistamenes until i get my results back next week which im not looking forward to but the risks of not knowing are far greater to just sweep under the carpet,i have also developed a orangy suntan effect if u like on my forehead and around my eyes which i was told is pigmentation and now rekon it is conected with whatever is causing the itchiness,all i can advise others who have similar symptoms is to go to yr gp,
by tina33 21st May 2010, 4:10pm
Hi there i am 33 weeks pregnant and have this uncontrolable itch all over had it for about 2 months now have been tested 3 times for cholestasis and been told i dont have it, being pregnant is meant to be the best thing that ever happens to u and at the moment i not feeling it :( , ive tried everything piriton and all kinds of creams and there not working my midwife and my doctor tell me il just have to put up with it but im not sleepin at night because of the constant itch im up ebout every 2 hours slappin on more cream etc, and its begining to get me down my skin is now covered in little red blood spots. If anyone has any other remidies please let me no thank u
by lynners 18th May 2010, 5:37pm
Hello everyone. I am a 24 year old mother of two boys, ages 3and 4. Never had this crazy itching during those pregnancies. I am now 32 weeks pregnant with a girl and am constantly itching. It is so embarassing and is worse during the night. Feels like I've been lying in a bed of poison ivy. I have a little rash here and there but none are seen until after the itching, then they disappear. I wake up itching again. Itch itch itch all day long. At work, at church, wherever. My future mother in law made the comment to me about Cholestasis. She and her son (my fiance), as well as my mother and godsister have all noticed my constant scratching and mentioned that it may not be normal. My mother and future mother in law have both commented that I never scratched like this while pregnant with either of the boys. I am going crazy here because I am itching now on my knees and one of my ankles. I can barely see my damn ankles, let alone scratch them!!!!
by kellybelly87 18th May 2010, 5:33pm
I am currently 36 weeks and have been driven mad by severe itching! I've had the itching for about 5 or 6 weeks now and it gets really bad at night; so bad that I wake myself up by itching in my sleep. All of my itching is concentrated around my legs, buttocks, lower back, and arms. At one point I was itching so bad that I broke out in hives. The hives haven't been back since but the itching still remains. After I had gotten out of the shower one time my left shin itched so bad that I used a towel to itch it, not the best idea but it felt really good at the time, and gave myself really bad rug burn. I am constantly itching myself open and I am so tired of it. At first I didn't think much of it. I thought it was just my nerves, you know being really anxious about the baby but when the OB saw the rug burn she thought it was much more serious. She had my blood tested for bile last Tuesday and I wont know the results until tomorrow. She didn't tell me what my blood was being tested for all she told me was that we will talk about it when my blood tests came back, which of course scared me. I started reading up on what my blood was being tested for and as I saw that it was Obstetric Cholestasis and that the risk of my unborn would be a stillborn scared me so bad that I realized why she hadn't told me what it could be. Since then though I have calmed down. I figured if it was something serious like Cholestasis then I would of already gotten a phone call from her. I am still scared though because I don't know the test results yet and believe me I am dying to know so I can be a little at ease. Keeping my fingers crossed!!
by DorothyM11 14th May 2010, 4:45pm
i am being driven mad with this itching i cant sleep at night and scratch so much i bleed my feet and hands are the worst especially at night i had cholestsis in my last pregnancy from 26 weeks and was perscribed tablets which helped i am 34 weeks pregnant now with my second child and have been complaining of an itch since 29/30 weeks and its only getting worse i have had blood tests to see if i had developed it again but numerous tests have shown i dont have it, is it possible they could be wrong or could the itching be caused by something else?..PLEASE HELP!!
by Kayren 28th Jan 2010, 9:20am
So I'm a mother of a toddler and pregnant with twins now. I, too, had the arms and ankle itching mostly at night during my first pregnancy, to the point of not being able to sleep. No rash or any other visible signs, just red arms and ankles as a result of scratching. I brought this to the attention of my OB and was told ... normal, normal. It started in my 7th month and I assumed the OB was right and that the itching was maybe related to swelling. But it got worse in my 8th month. The OB sent me to a dermatologist at that time to appease me. Nothing changed with meds from the dermatologist, so I did my own research. When I found the cholestasis of pregnancy information, I requested they run the liver tests. My OB didn't know much about the condition, so I brought my own literature from the web. By the time they had the test results back and confirmed the condition for me, I was 38 weeks pregnant. They put me on Ursodiol and did a C-Section at 39 weeks. SO, HERE ARE MY RECOMMENDATIONS: 1) If you have itching but no rash, mostly at night, at your feet, ankles, hands, wrists, or arms, ASK FOR THE TESTS to rule out cholestasis of pregnancy. 2) If they confirm you have cholestasis of pregnancy, do not take Tylenol and BE SURE THEY DO NOT USE AN ACETAMINOPHIN BASED PAIN RELIEVERS in the hospital. They gave me percocet for pain after the C-Section and that night I wanted to literally scratch the skin off my arms. I was hysterical. Acetaminophin is a drug that can negatively affect your liver and should not be given to Cholestasis patients, IMHO. No, I'm not a doctor, but this was what I learned. Anyway, given the potentially serious affects cholestasis can have on your baby, my recommendation is to push your OB for the bloodwork. If nothing else, it will give you peace of mind.
by haphappymom 21st Jan 2010, 9:19am
hi im am 36 weeks pregnant today and have been suffering from this damn itching for 2 weeks now! i mentioned it to the midwife and it was disregarded and i was told it was normal as i am apparantly carrying a large baby! so i was sent to see s=a consimtant about the size of the baby and i mentioned it to him too! he also disregarded it as normal during pregnancy and as its a big baby my skin is stretching more than it usually would! i wasnt untill today when my mum, who works at the doctors surgery, happend to mention it to a doctor just in conversation. i was immediatley booked in this afternoon to have my bloods taken to test for cholestasis! this word had never been mentioned to me before today and was only mentioned to me as the nursing assistant was pregnent too and had heard of it! why was it dismissed by a midwife and a consultant? i have used the aloe vera gel and gone thru 2 bottles so far, that helps for a few hours but only on the bump! as for arms i found e45 itch relief works but if you pile it on like you would cream cheese and it doesnt last for long! in the past day or 2 it has spread to my neck! the top of my legs are bearing the brunt so far!!! i have been percribed piriton and as i'm up at2.45am then i guess that hasnt worked either! i get the results on monday and i dont know what to think! after reading the comments on here all my symptoms point cholestasis,b ut what if its not picked up like it has been so far!! i just need a fast remedy until my results a threw and i no for sure! its a trip to boots for mew inthe mornong....thank god for the christmas vouchers i got!!!! if i find the perfect remedy then i'll be back!!!! i've even had to cut all my naiils right down so i dont break the skin more than i have now!!! not impressed!
by stephy1234 18th Jan 2010, 2:41pm
Iam 32 weeks and 3days and for the past few days ive noticed really itchy feet and legs and also hands but mainly in my feet and i have made a mess on my feet.. i rang the hospital and they said go and have a blood test asap with your GP so i went down to see him and he then said to me he wasnt worried but the midwife at the hospital was rather worried.. which this has made me feel like there is something wrong so im very worried! if someone could please let me know if this is normal in pregnancy as reading the forums it could be dangerous.. thankyou Kirsty
by KirstyH89 15th Jan 2010, 4:27pm
My Wife is 26 weeks pregnant. Her rashes and bumps started to develop at around 16 weeks, with mild itching. Now she has severe itching and scratches herself violently. At the 20 week scan she was blood tested for Cholestatis and that was negative. The problem is that the GP's are not giving accurate diagnosis for her condition. Even the Dermatologist at the hospital gave creams which did not work. One cream since then has helped somewhat.
We have read and researched the information about Dandelion Root Herb. We feel it may be the answer to the itching. However it contains natural vitamin A and is therefore not reccommended by doctors.
The problem here is that we cannot establish how much vitamin A there is in the average Dandelion Root Herb Capsule. We know that it is safe for her to take between 770micrograms and 3000 micrograms of Vitamin A daily. so the question remains - How much Vitamin A( micrograms) is there in a Dandelion Root Herb Capsule?
We would appreciate any information you amy have
God Bless You All
by benalchemist 13th Jan 2010, 11:48am 14 + 3 days pregnant and got itchy belly and back,this is my 4th pregnancy and didnt have this in my last 3 pregnancys,am confused,can any 1 help,thanks
by kims1 11th Jan 2010, 3:15pm
hi - I am 12 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child & this is also a first for me to experience itching of any sort. my legs itch; my arms itch; my chest itches. i try not to scratch, but it's hard. i feel bumps on my skin - some have been scratched, so they scab up, but I've been watching not to do that anymore b/c it just looks gross. i'm itching like crazy though -- some throughout the day but more at night. any thoughts would be appreciated. i go to my first doctor appt on the 28th, so was going to ask the doc then; but didn't know if anyone had experienced this -- looking for help. thank you!
by omahamomma 18th Dec 2009, 4:26pm
Hi. I am 10 weeks pregnant with my third child. This is the first time I have experienced itching during pregnancy and it is driving me mad. It is all over, especially my legs, and it is stopping me from sleeping. I have my booking in appointment next week and will ask the midwife for advice but in the meantime has anyone got any remedies to help ease the itching.
by Umpelby 16th Dec 2009, 9:09am
Hi. I'm only 5 weeks pregnant and since day one have been suffering from horrible itching all over my body. it started in my hands and neck and now has spread all over. It is driving me mad! Most people say to me that cholestasis only develops after the 1st trimester. Is this true? Had anyone heard of this so early in the pregnancy? This is my third child and the first time it's happened.
I'm worried since I am also retaining water and now have marks all over because of scratching so much when sleeping!
by Rosma 14th Dec 2009, 9:35am
i am 30 weeks pregnant on my 4th child. i have had cholestasis once before on my first child. it was never treated then and i ended up giving birth to my son at 32 weeks (he is fine by the way, a strong healthy 10 year old). but this time although i am getting treatment for the condition, it just feels a hundred times worse than it ever did first time round. if any of you know how to get ANY kind of relief from this itching PLEASE LET ME KNOW! i know this will all go away after the baby is born but in the mean time this is really driving me crazy.
by mumx4 14th Dec 2009, 9:31am
I'm 35 wks & 4 days pregnant. I have been itching for the past week and yesterday reported it to my midwife when i saw her at antenatal. She did some blood tests and today i received a phone call from the hospital saying that my results are showing high levels of something in the blood and that i need to come in to the hospital today. What are the possible outcomes of my visit to the hospital today? I feel really nervous and sick with worry about my little girl and her health.
by xoxCARAMYxox 10th Dec 2009, 9:22am
I'm 29 weeks pregnant with my second child. with my 1st child i had severe itching and did not report it until 38weeks, once i had reported it the midwife did some blood tests and took me in that nyt to be induced, nobody actually told me what exactly it was that was wrong but once my baby boy was born and was healthy i didnt care. when i went for my 1st booking in appt with this pregnancy the midwife informed me why i had been induced last time and told me that there was a high chance it would return, ive been having regular blood tests and it was confirmed last week that the OC had returned, im now having to visit the hospital 2x week for bloods and CTG monitoring, I also have to have weekly scans.i have also been given URSOFALK tablets. im just happy that the hospital are keeping such a close eye on me and my baby and would recomend that anybody who has itching should report it to their midwife asap...
by lurl 20th Nov 2009, 9:25am
I'm 27wks, first pregnancy, expecting twins and found out that I developed OC at 26weeks. My only symptom was very itchy skin, specially around my limps. A few days after the itchiness started I noticed my hands/fingers were a bit swollen and red, so I rang the hospital immediately. The same night I went in for blood tests which confirmed OC. I've been given vitamin K, piriton (doesn't work for me) and a shoothing cream with menthol for now and I visit the htal twice a week (blood test and doppler) and have growth scans forthnightly. My consultant mentioned they may give me steroid injections if things get worse and have to take the babies early..I felt this is bad luck as I'm only 27 weeks, but I'm glad I caught it early. I've been told to monitor the babies' movements and ring them if they slow down. I have also hired an audio doppler to check the heartbeat at home. My advice to everyone experiencing itchiness is to report it to your midwife or consultant immediately, GP's are not that suspicious always - mine suggested the itchiness might be a reaction to the iron tablets I'm taking and asked me to discontinue them...

Has anyone been given URSOFALK tablets for OC? My bile acids increased rapidly the past two weeks, so I'll have to start taking two tablets a day..
by ilia 18th Nov 2009, 9:27am
I am 35 weeks pregnant with my 3rd baby and have been having all over itchy skin for over 3 weeks now. I spoke to a friend who is a doctor and she advised me to speak to my midwife about it as it seems more serious than just dry skin symptoms. I had to be given some tests and it was found I have a liver condition which has been caused by pregnancy. I can't wait to have the baby out at 36/37 weeks so I can have relief as I cannot sleep or relax for 5 minutes without itching like a crased woman. I get a bit of relief from applying vaseline on my skin. Imagine going to bed with greasy skin all night!. Piriton didn't work for me...made me sleepy and woozy all day long. Moreso, I have also have a very nasty bout of thrush..could it get any worse? Please time, fly quickly!!!!
by Mum3Js 13th Nov 2009, 9:14am
hi. my duaghter is now 20 months but when i was pregnant i had obstetric cholestasis. it was found when a friend told me to go to the doctors as i was making myself bleed with itching hands and feet. the same day at the docs i was induced and gave birth by c section two days later. I am now pregnant again and have been told that its more than likely that i will get it again and in with case be booked in to have a c section at 34/36 weeks..Thank god for my friend as i have never hurd of this condition before hand and was never told about it. PLEASE GET HELP IF YOU THINK SOMETHINGS NOT QUITE RIGHT..
by binogem 7th Oct 2009, 11:24am
Hi, I am 29 weeks pregnant with my 4th child. I had cholestasis with all 3 pregnancies and it seems to be coming on again with this baby, although I havnt had blood tests to confirm it yet. Been itching in the usual places for the ast 2-3 days. With my 1st baby, I had been itching for weeks when I finall decided at 36 weeks this isnt normal I rang my GP surgery explaining I needed an app as I am pregnant and have severe itching. I was told there were no appointments available and the practice nurse would call me back. I recieved a phone call with the nurse telling me it was all normal and to just apply calomine lotion, which I did thinking she knew what she was talking about. Luckerly the following week I saw my midwife and I mentioned the itching to her, she explained there was a condition that could develop later on in pregnancy and tested me for it. The results came back the following week and my midwife rang me straight away explaining I needed to be induced that day (I was 38 weeks by this point). Luckerly my baby was healthy, but I was so angry with the practice nurse for just dismissing my itching as normal. I now no the dangers, I was induced at 37 weeks with my 2nd and at 35 weeks with my 3rd. Hopefully things wont develop so fast with this baby. I will ring the midwife on Mon if the itching hasnt stopped and get some blood tests done.

Hi everyone just an update really. The blood tests confirmed I had cholestasis again!! My liver function test and bile acid had shot up really quickly, which resulted in me being admitted to hospital for 3 nights for monitoring. My consultant started me on medication (urso acid & vit k) which took about a week or so to kick in but it has now bought my blood results almost down to normal. I'm seeing my consultant once a week & having fortnightly scans so far everything is looking good, baby is growing above average. The plan is to induce at 37 weeks so only 3 more weeks to go :)
by Alilou 2nd Sep 2009, 10:26am
hi richard...the post below. can i just ask- where did you get this diagnosis from.?? im not being patranising as you havent stated how you came to this conclusion but if a concerned person were to type in these symptoms on to the internet it will diagnos this condition 75% of the time...however this is the downfall of the internet it is general all round symptom sorter..i found these sites too and even told my doctor that this was 'obviously what is was' he was still wrong however,,, my moral is PLEASE LADYS SEE THE MIDWIVES AND----MENTION THIS CONDITION,,,, i was fobbed off 3 times but persisted as my cousin is a gynecologist from another county, so he couldnt take on the case himself. i cant stress this enough please dont do what i did and self diagnose on the internet,,, had i done this i would not have my beautifull boy today. i hope this helps xxxx
by leaxx 28th Aug 2009, 8:24am
Something that really WORKED for me was grandpas pine tar soap. shower followed by applying aueous cream( easily available at boots or super drug 500gms for less that £4.00). while pine tar soap serves as an antiseptic and relaxes the itching nothing hydrates the skin more than aqueous cream( doesnt smell great though but has proved godsend for me.)
by cleshwetha 13th Aug 2009, 11:28am

I am 37 weeks pregnant with twins and although I have had the usual itchy abdoment the past week with the heat is driving me mad, it has spread to the inside of my arms, ankles, legs, well everywhere that overheats really. Went to the doctor and am having the blood test tomorrow to rule out Cholestasis but she is convinced its heat rash / skin irritant which so am i as the blood is pumping 20% faster than the avaerage person being pregnant . Symptoms she was looking for was yellowing in my eyes, (jaundice), change in my waters (coka cola look alike) or stools, again yellowing, itching on the palms of my hands and soles of me feet, all of which I have none, she perscribed me with HC cream and Piriton if desperate.. I think its helping but certainly not a cure.. I have now gone and bought some aloe vera gel, kept in fridge and the dandelion root tablets so lets see what happens. I am due i for c sec in 1 1/2 wks so I think its a case of grin and bare it, mind over matter but its certainly not easy!

Since writing the above yesterday my sisiter has found this which sounds even more closer to the truth...

Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), also known as polymorphic eruption of pregnancy, is the most common rash in pregnant women. It normally occurs in first pregnancies during the third trimester with an average onset of 35 weeks. Thankfully, PUPPP does not usually affect subsequent pregnancies.

Appearance of PUPPP
The rash of PUPPP almost always begins in the stretch marks (striae) of the abdomen. It does not involve the belly button distinguishing it from other common rashes of pregnancy. The rash itself consists of small, red wheals in the stretch marks that grow together to form larger wheals on the abdomen. Sometimes the rash can include small vesicles. Over the next several days, the rash can spread over the thighs, buttocks, breasts, and arms.
by Richard75 13th Aug 2009, 11:06am
i've been itching like crazy especially these past few days.i'm 28weeks pregnant and this is my second pregnancy.during the first i also had OC but the symptoms started a lot GP told me she couldnt prescribe any medication but that i should just keep cool,wear loose clothing and take piriton. a friend asked me to try dandelion root and flaxseed oil.i think i'll give it a try because for the past three nights i havent slept a wink,i've scratched myself so badly that i have wounded underneath my big toe(imagine doing that to yourself with your short fingernails!) and i feel so terrible,like i'm in hell.
by taminova 10th Aug 2009, 9:25am

I am 21 weeks pregnanat and get some mild itchiness around my tummy and abdomen. The main area for itching is my breasts and inbetween them which can be unbearable sometimes! Can anyone help me???
by kez10blue 6th Aug 2009, 9:35am
somebody please please help me urgently i feel am dying. I have been itching for the last one month at first there were no rushes but now they appear on my arms and bumps. My gyno has insisted it s an allergy so is a physician and dermatologist I saw. NO anthistamine I have been given have helped and believe me for all this time I have never had a good sleep. Am exhausted everyday and now my gyno suggest i be induced at 38 wks since i have constatly insisted it has to do with the baby. By the way i had a blood test which apparently ruled out cholestasis which is a week from now. MY last delivery I was induced and it was very painful I thought this time it would be normal but i cant perservere any more can somebody help me.
by Bambo 4th Aug 2009, 12:57pm
When I went for my 34wk check I asked ( as i was leaving!) if there was anything I could do or take for my itchy arms, hands and feet. By this time I was covered in scratches and not getting much sleep. I had already mentioned this to another midwife 2 weeks earlier who dismissed it as normal. This was my second pregnancy and just had the usual itchy bump the first time. This midwife suggested an extra blood test to check. I got a phone call within 4 hours telling me to go the hospital urgently, where they explained to me that I had cholestasis. My blood count was extremely high at over 500 (should be no more than 40) and although it was my decision, they recommended immediate delivery. I was induced that night and gave birth to my daughter the next morning - 4lb 3oz. My point is that I almost didn't say anything to the midwife at 34wks, I had already been told that it was fine. If there is something that is worrying you, ask for tests, even if they are just to reassure you.
I am delighted to say that there is a happy ending and everyone is doing well (although I still have scars on my hands!)
by EB74 31st Jul 2009, 2:21pm
I just went to the doctor's yesterday and they said,cholestasis was "normal" in pregnany. I am having many blood tests done now and my doctor says,she may have to induce me. I am 37 weeks exactly today:)
by tigga2008 9th Jul 2009, 8:59am
I am 34 weeks and have severe itching across my bump and thighs my bump now has little bumps all over it but there are no marks where the itching is on my legs
doctor has already seen me once and prescribed steroid cream which is having no effect and i'm constantly applying moisturiser also with no effect
should i be worried?
by charl24 8th Jun 2009, 9:41am
i am 34 weeks and have been itching like crazy all over my legs.I thought it was dry skin because it happens after a shower but no matter what soap or lotion i used it will still itch..After reading this i sent an email to my doctor but its i will have to see and wait.
by mom092be 18th May 2009, 9:39am
I am 9 weeks and have just broken out in a rash mainly on my torso- I havent eaten anything or changed anything- rash is raised lumps varing in size and are hard- I would not say its itchy but it is annoying...any ideas? Helen
by helen987 18th May 2009, 9:38am
Hi, im 39 weeks pregnant and have been itching quite a lot over the last few days. Do i have anything to worry about??
by siakhan 14th May 2009, 9:41am
i am 34 weeks pregnant and diagnosed with cholestasis.the itchin started about a week ago so i talked to my midwife about blood sample was taken and early this morning my midwife came to my house saying i needed to see the doctor urgently.when i was told what d problem is, initially i felt so bad but i think i feel alot better after reading other people's experiences with cholestasis.i will have to be induced at 38 weeks but i hope i will fall into labour at 37 weeks on my own without being induced cos am aware its quite painful
by babygorl 30th Mar 2009, 9:39am
I had cholestasis during my pregnancy with my son. It began as mild itching around my 27th week of pregnancy and by 28 weeks it was getting pretty intense. It was the worst on my feet and lower legs. It was barely noticeable between 6am and 6pm and then it would come out at night and haunt me all night long, making it impossible to sleep. Finally, in my 29th week, my doc had me come in for blood work. Finally, during week 30 I got my diagnosis and started on the Ursadiol to keep my bile acids in check. The same day of my diagnosis, my doc decided to do an NST (non-stress test) and discovered that I was having contractions less than 10 minutes apart! I didn't even know it! I wasn't dilated or effaced at all, but I still had to go to L&D and get shots of Turbutilene to stop the contractions. It worked and I was sent home with no restrictions. WIthin a week of beginning the Ursadiol, the itching was much improved. I actually slept three nights in a row at one point! On April 17th, at 31 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I had my doctors appointment and NST (which since my ICP diagnosis had been done weekly) and it was discovered that I was once again contracting, this time less than 5 minutes apart. I was unaware yet again that it was happening. My doc checked me and discovered that I was 80% effaced and nearly 3cm dilated! He sent me to L&D immediately where I was checked in and put on magnesium sulphate to stop the contractions. I was so scared and while I was there my back started hurting so badly that I thought for sure the baby was coming. Finally, 4 hours into it, the contractions began to get lighter again and further apart. They gave me beta shots to develop the baby's lungs just in case. They kept me on the mag for 36 hours and then still kept me an additional 6 hours to see if the contractions would begin again. Thankfully they didn't. I was sent home on strict bed rest and would have two NSTs per week going forward. At 33 weeks I was back in L&D getting shots of Turbutilene, but thankfully hadn't progressed any further and they were able to get the contractions to stop once again. Towards the end of my 33rd week, the itching of cholestasis came back with a vengence. I would deal with it for the remainder of my pregnancy. HERE'S THE PART YOU WANT TO KNOW! The only things I found that helped were...

* Keep the air conditioning cranked in the summer or the heat low in the winter. A nice, crisp, cold environment helps.
* Point a fan directly at you at all times and keep the blankets off of your itchiest areas.
* Go bare as often as possible on your itcy areas.
* Gold Bond makes a cooling lotion that comes in a green pump bottle. It has menthol in it. It helps A LOT! I tried every lotion on the shelves and this is the only one that helped at all.
* Try to scratch as little as possible. Believe me, the scratching isn't going to help the itch. It feels good while you're doing it, but as soon as you stop the itch will come right back anyway, so save yourself some major scarring (my legs are ruined) and try to resist the urge to scratch.

I stayed on strict bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy. I made it all the way to my induction date of May 25th and went into labor on my own in the middle of the night before I was scheduled to be induced. If you have ICP, it is CRITICAL that you are not allowed to carry your baby beyond 37 weeks due to the increased risk of infant mortality. Your baby is safe until 37 weeks and then it becomes dangerous because your bile acid levels will increase rapidly at that point.

My son was born happy and healthy and gorgeous! He had no effects from the cholestasis. My itching was completely gone within 48 hours after delivery. About two months later I had one night where I itched just like I had during those final weeks of pregnancy and was up all night. Thankfully it was just one night and I had my liver levels checked and everything was normal so it was apparently just a fluke.

Good luck to all of you ICP mommies and if you ever itch and suspect it may be a problem, please be sure to see your doctor and demand to get your liver levels and bile acids checked! This is a rare condition so educate yourself because your doc may not really know how to treat it. Take control of your own treatment and you and your baby will be fine!
by thebigtomato 4th Mar 2009, 9:17am
I am currently 36 and a half weeks pregnant with my second child and in the last week i have been getting uncontrolable itching over my feet arms and legs,particuarly the soles of my feel to the extent that it is waking me up at night so i can rub them on the carpet!! i had read previously that itching in pregnancy could indicate a problem so i rang the deliery suite and they requested i come in the same day(today actually) for blood tests etc, i googled pregnancy itching and came up with intrahepatic cholestasis. the symptoms listed were excessive itching particuarly on hands and feet, dark urine,greasy and/or lighter coloured stools,and jaundice like symptoms..i also read that in some cases the baby can stop growing which is particuarly worrying for me as at my last prenatat visit the lidwife informed me that my bub hasnt grown in the past 2-3- weeks although the heartrate is strong...very worrying indeed.
by pinkladi08 19th Jan 2009, 9:51am
anyone with this problem will be great to hear.
by Treeks 12th Jan 2009, 10:35am
I'm 34 weeks and started itching uncontrollably last week. Having read one of the entries on this page, I bought some dandelion root tablets and my itching is now more manageable and not dominating my life. I bought the tablets from the local health shop and also checked online that these would be safe to take. They are a diuretic (like tea and coffee) hence the label advises consulting a doctor before taking them if pregnant or breast feeding. However, I've noticed no difference in the number of times requiring the loo. I am just relieved to have stopped itching so badly...
by Cezza1 1st Dec 2008, 9:24am
i also have some advise that may help with all over itching and it has worked for me, every evening have a bath with dried skimmed milk, i sleep at night because i do this if i dont im like a dog with flees.
by jkpaley 24th Nov 2008, 9:37am
I am 22 weeks and my eyes are itching like crazy what should i do please help
by jessy151 17th Nov 2008, 8:53am
When I was about 20 weeks I started itching uncontrollably and have been for 2 months now. It starts off with no rash but with scratching my skin becomes bumpy and scaly (like very bad eczema). I have tried anything and everything suggested to me and been to see my gp, dermatologist and gynae, and I know now that no creams applied to the area help. It is so bad that I get very depressed and its all I ever think about. At night before I get into bed i feel like I'm going to have an anxiety attack. I even dreamt that I asked my gynae to induce me because it was so unbearable. Anyway when my gynae said my body is not coping with what the baby is releasing into my blood, I decided to start drinking more water (up to 3 litres a day) and at least 750 ml's of cranberry juice. I also found something called Electro Colloidal Silver (supposedly cleanses the blood) in the homeopathic section of the pharmacy, and this combination is definitely helping. I could not believe that the remedy was so simple, especially after all the suffering and money I spent on doctors and medication. I can sleep again at night after 2 months of only 2-3 hours sleep each night and I feel like I have my life back and can enjoy my pregnancy again. I hope it lasts!
by almostamom 17th Nov 2008, 8:52am
by ETHANSMUM 10th Nov 2008, 9:48am
Please help I am almost 36 weeks pregnant with my first baby. About 10 days ago I started getting a really itchy belly around my stretchmarks that then turned into a rash. I went to the doctors who said 'it's jsut one of those things in pregnancy due to raised hormones and the skin stretching' to use calamine lotion. About 3 days later it spread right across my belly and looked really nasty and was sore. I called the midwife who said to go back to the doctors. I thought I'd leave it a few days to see how it went. 4 days ago I have been getting really itchy ankles, calves and the tops of my hands that has been driving me mad, I went back to the doctors who again said 'it's just one of those things' I was not happy with this answer as I've read about cholestasis. I have a blood test tomorrow morning to check my liver profile. I am worried this could turn out to be something serious. I just feel the doctors have not taken me seriously at all and what if its been left too long? Please help..
by Jen85 29th Oct 2008, 9:26am
im 24 weeks pregnant with my third little boy and for about 3 weeks, iv had this awful itchiness!! i suffer with exzma, so i put it down to that. then i moved 2 weeks ago, which was so stressful, i thought it could be that adding to it as my exzema plays up when im agitated or stressed, but something just dont feel right. i havnt got a rash, and its on my back, arms and legs, where as with my exzema, its everywhere you could think of!! my exzema has been pretty good for the past few years, but this itching is really started to drive me insane and it hurts so bad when im scratching!! then my sister in law said that i should see my midwife as it could be serious, but im stressing out now just in case they shrug it off and put it down to my exzema playing up. what do i do if they do blame it on that or the stress of moving? should i believe them and leave it there seens that they are the proffesionals or should i insist something be done about it? i never suffered with any sort of itching on my last 2 pregnancys, but this is making me evil!!! HELP!!!!
by katienic 1st Oct 2008, 9:13am
I started getting a pain in the right hand side of my abdoment, by the ribs ! I told my midwife and she tested for Preclampsia - that was clear. But it wont go away - told my Doctor too who examined me but again hasnt' diagnosed - now it gets itchy around that area too - and I'm worried they are missing something ?! Has anyone experienced anything simlilar ?This is my first baby I'm 32 weeks now, so feel a little anxious now !
by Glav 12th Aug 2008, 9:27am
Hi Marshmallow,

My advice is to go to your midwife and tell her about this itch.....ask them to check your liver function to rule out cholestasis. I have had this condition in every pregnancy (this is my third!) and it can really make you feel down and not enjoy your pregnancy like you should. Dont worry if it is this condition as you will be put on to the correct treatment for it and will feel much better - my itch is no longer troublesome and I can now sleep at night!!

Unfortunately nothing else really worked for putting the itch away, except to keep cool, wear loose clothing and drink plenty of water......

Good luck!!

by Wendle 6th Mar 2008, 9:09am
im 26 weeks pregnant and have a severe itching in my legs hands and feet could anyone give me advice on what i should do ? as im a first time mum and really worried about it thanks xx
by Marshmallow1606 5th Mar 2008, 8:45am
Hi I'm 36 weeks pregnant and for the past two weeks I've had this really annoying itch closer to my belly button. This is my first pregnancy and when i tell the nurses about it for my regular check ups they just say they skin is stretching. However they're not here with me in the night when it is so uncomfortable I can't sleep and nothing soothes it!! I am waiting for my last blood test to return so I'll know if it is a liver disorder or not. But i am thankful that I'm not alone with this.

Good luck to everyone!
by Neets 20th Feb 2008, 8:40am
i am 37wks pregnant with my first child and i av neva ad itching like this in my life, i am awake most of the nite with it, i went 2 c the doctor last wk and e sent me 4 blood test, i av just got the results 2day and all they av sed is i av 2 discuss them wi my doctor on friday. i have tried al kinds of stuff 2 get rid of it but it just dont seem 2 go away.....
by nicki86 29th Nov 2007, 8:51am
Hi Sandym,

See your doctor and ask them to do a liver blood test to eliminate cholestasis.

Once that is eliminated, I would suggest you have a condition called PUPP (google this to find out more).

I suffered from this and tried everything from antihistamines, calamine lotion, talcum powder, oatmeal baths and nothing worked! Someone then recommended going down the holistic root and advised dandelion root tablets and flaxseed oil tablets. I started taking the tablets and noticed an obvious improvement after just 3 days! My skin is still a bit itchy but it's bearable. Hope all this helps.
by LaraO 12th Oct 2007, 8:27am
I am 12 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and I have never experienced itching like this before. I am at the stage where I am tearing my arms and legs apart on a daily basis and cannot sleep with the itching. I have tried e45 nad vitamin e creams but nothign is helping me. I already went to my nurse who told me its one of those things but i'm worried. Is it worth a second opinion?
Also, when your initial bloods are taken at the hospital are they automatically checked for cholestasis or is there a special blood test for this?
by sandym 23rd Jul 2007, 9:19am
Hi Sandra, so glad that you posted on here. I'm currently 35weeks pregnant with my first baby. About 2 weeks ago my wee tested positive for blood and also biliruben. The results came back that there was no infection and my midwife said to put it down as a "pregnancy thing" and not to worry. Since then over the last week I have developed the most maddening itch (without a rash) I have ever experienced and I suffer from exzema so I know about these things lol. At the moment it is everywhere on my body and gets worse at night time where it seems to concentrate mainly on my feet and hands. After reading your post I have rang the doctor and am awaiting his return call, I'm so glad to read your post because I probably would have suffered in silence if not! Anyway, lets hope it's nothing, but something tells me.......well, lets just call it mothers intuition eh?
by lipping50 4th Jul 2007, 1:27pm
I am posting this comment to share my experience of obstetric cholestasis and to urge any pregnant woman suffering from similar symptoms not to ignore them.
From around the 26th week of my pregnancy, I began suffering from the most horrendous itching, particularly on my lower legs, feet, abdomen and arms. At first, I could almost cope with the itching by applying E45 Itch relief cream and calomine lotion, and my midwife suggested that it was simply caused by raised hormone levels, in particular, progesterone. However, the itching became so unbearable that eventually I could barely function - I couldn't sleep and the only thing I could think about was the terrible itch which was driving me to the verge of madness! Blood tests were taken and a couple of days later the consultant from the maternity hospital called me to tell me to come to the hopsital immediately as my results were abnormal. Cholestasis was diagnosed and I was told that the count of bile in the blood should ordinarily be between 1 and 40. At this point, mine was around 140, and I was told that I would have to attend the outpatient department every day to have the baby's heartbeat checked. I was also put on ursodeoxycholic acid and vitamin K, and given steroid injections to promote development of the baby's lungs as it was suspected that I would not be allowed to go full term. My blood tests were taken every day and my readings were getting more and more abnormal, so at 34 weeks, I was admitted to hospital and told that I would be there until the birth. I was given an anti-histimine to control the itch and my blood was checked daily along with the baby's heartbeat.
By 35 ½ weeks, my readings had become so abnormal (440) that I was told that the baby really needed to be born sooner rather than later. I was induced at 36 weeks and 1 day and had a healthy baby boy weighing 7½ lbs - his size probably due to the fact that I was also suffering from gestational diabetes.
I count myself extremely lucky to have received such excellent medical care. The hospital staff were obviously aware that my condition could have led to a stillbirth, but the risk of this was alleviated by the constant monitoring and drug treatment.
The cholestatis did not present any other symptoms apart from the itch, and if I had not sought treatment for this, then the result could have been disastrous.
by Sandra 27th Jun 2007, 1:03pm