Who knew Facebook could actually save a baby’s life?
A lot of times we underestimate the power of social media and how it can help us in our everyday lives. One US mother, Christina DePino complained in a Facebook post about itching during her pregnancy, her friends cautioned that she may have cholestasis a hormonal condition that affects the mother's gallbladder and can cause babies to die in the womb if left undetected.
"What had started as an all-over itch started to become more pronounced on the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet," DePino told TODAY.
"It got to the point that I could no longer sleep at night ... my arms and legs were bleeding from all the scratching."
The pregnant mother googled the condition and then contacted her doctor who diagnosed her and then recommended for her to be induced at 37 weeks. On March 28, at 37 weeks, 2 days, DePino delivered a healthy baby girl, Lexa Rae.
DePino then wrote a facebook post on the condition in a bid to educate other women on this condition and prevent the possibility of still births for other mothers.
"I would like to urge pregnant women who are suffering from severe itching to be their own advocate," said DePino. "Know the signs and symptoms and then contact your doctor. Don't ignore the itch, a simple blood test could save your baby's life."
According to the Mayo Clinic, cholestasis of pregnancy occurs in late pregnancy and triggers intense itching, usually on the hands and feet but often on many other parts of the body. Cholestasis of pregnancy can make you intensely uncomfortable but poses no long-term risk to an expectant mother. For a developing baby, however, cholestasis of pregnancy can be dangerous. Doctors usually recommend early delivery when a mother has this condition.
Dr. Donnica Moore, a women's health expert and advocate, says cholestasis rarely brings complications for pregnant women, but chemicals in an affected mother's bloodstream can cause sudden death for a foetus.
Because of this danger, most doctors will induce an expectant mother with cholestasis once she has passed 36 weeks gestation.
What causes cholestasis of pregnancy is unclear but a woman that has a history of cholestasis of pregnancy is most likely to suffer from it also. History of liver diseases and a twin pregnancy are also factors that increase the risk of the condition in pregnant women.
As mothers, sometimes we are responsible for helping other mothers when they are going through one thing or the other either emotionally, psychologically or medically. It's important that we educate other women on our experiences, who knows all it might take to save a life could be a Facebook post, tweet, comment or sharing posts on our wall.