"Obstetric cholestasis is a condition of the liver which occurs in some pregnant women. Cholestasis means there is a reduced flow of bile down the bile ducts in the liver. Some bile then leaks out into the bloodstream, in particular the bile salts. These circulate in the bloodstream and can cause symptoms. Obstetric cholestasis is also called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy by some doctors."
There is very little in the way of information about Cholestasis as research remains unconclusive. Only about 1 in 100 women get this during pregnancy and it is more likely to happen if your mum and/or grandmother (on either side) had it. Knowing whether they suffered can be difficult to know though as it is only recently recognised as a condition.
I was a sufferer of this rare condition during my pregnancy with DS. I ended up being induced 2 weeks early for fear of a stillbirth. This would have been from too much bile from my blood getting into the baby's system. Though now I know that research supporting this is still unconclusive. Up until induction I was on 3 different tablets, 3 times a day. I rattled like a pill bottle!
It wasn't until I mentioned about it to my mum that we found out that she had it with me. Of course she didn't know at the time as it was not recognised and she was told it was just one of those pregnancy things. Thankfully she natural went into labour with me early anyway.
Symptoms tend to start showing their ugly heads after the 24 week mark, though some do show earlier. Mine came to light at around 30 weeks.
The most common symptom (and more often the only one) is itching! Oh, how it itches! Although the itch can be all over (like mine) doctors won't tend to test for it unless it is on the hands and feet. This is because these are the areas that are worst effected by itching. The itching can drive you crazy, it's so bad. I lost so much sleep because I couldn't stop itching. My skin got so hot because of it I spent many nights sat with wet socks on hands and feet just to cool them and reduce itching. I was miserable through the whole of this but thankfully, it goes away once you've given birth.
If any of you would like more info or have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'l try my best to answer.
"The worst feature of a new baby is it's mother's singing." - Kim Hubbard