When you find out you're pregnant, it's understandable that you immediately begin planning how you want your pregnancy and delivery to go. Everyone has an idea of what they imagine to be the perfect labor and delivery, and that's why people who are expecting start planning early on. They don't want to leave anything to chance, or find themselves in a situation where their wishes are not being honored. But the thing about pregnancy, labor, and delivery is that anything can happen. Lots of stuff can go wrong, and even the best-laid plans end up not coming to fruition. A lot of the time, this is because of an unforeseen complication that arises during pregnancy, or while you're in labor. Actress Kate Mara welcomed her first baby in May, and a late-stage pregnancy complication threw all her plans into turmoil. She and her baby girl made it out just fine, but in a recent interview she opened up about her unexpected c-section, and the pregnancy condition that ended up changing all of her plans for delivery.
Kate and her husband Jamie Bell welcomed a daughter in May. Mara was originally planning on having a home birth, but she ended up delivering her daughter via c-section at 36 weeks, after three days of labor. She had to be induced because she developed a rare liver disorder called cholestatis. The condition can develop during pregnancy, and causes severe itching. After Mara was induced, she labored for three days, but then spiked a fever of 102F. The fever forced doctors to proceed with the c-section; Mara experienced some complications, including shakes from the medication and excessive bleeding that required a blood transfusion, but both mama and baby are recovering well from the ordeal.
While cholestasis is rare, it is definitely a complication that pregnant people need to be aware of. It slows down the flow of bile into the gallbladder, causing it build up in the liver. As a result, the bile can spill into the bloodstream. The condition can increase the chances of a preterm delivery, low birth weight, lower APGAR scores, and lung immaturity, so it's important to recognize the symptoms.
The most common symptom is severe and intense itching, particularly on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Other symptoms include nausea, yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes, vomiting, dark yellow urine, and an enlarged liver that noticeably extended beyond your belly.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, bring it to the attention of your doctor immediately. They can run tests to confirm the condition, and will typically wait until you're 36 weeks along before inducing labor.