Kate Mara on her ICP diagnosis and emergency c-section

Despite planning a home birth, actress Kate Mara gave birth to her baby girl by emergency c-section, after developing a liver disorder called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP).

Photo of Kate Mara and Jamie Bell posing for the paparazzi on the red carpet

Pregnancy blog, 01/07/2019
Image credit: @katemara via Instagram

Actress and model, Kate Mara, was recently interviewed on Dr Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast, during which she described how she became concerned when her hands and feet started itching badly during pregnancy. Thinking she might be having an allergic reaction to something she had eaten that day, Kate contacted her midwife straight away and was referred for a blood test to check for possible ICP.

After testing positive for ICP, Kate was recommended an induction at 36 weeks. Following further complications during the birth, she was then advised to have an emergency c-section. Despite feeling ‘devasted’, she consented.

Speaking to Dr Berlin, Kate said she ‘wouldn't do anything differently’ because her baby was born healthy and thanked her team of doctors for how they handled the complications. 

‘We really did do everything in our power to make it as peaceful and natural and easy for our baby to come out as possible.’ Kate Mara

Kate’s story is a perfect reminder that not all births go to plan and how important it is to always ask about symptoms you have, whether you think they’re related to your pregnancy or not.  

Our midwife Kate says:

'We would always encourage parents to be, to think about your choices and options in pregnancy, and for the birth, knowing what you would like, but also be prepared in case things do not quite go to plan. Often, if something unexpected occurs, this can bring about lots of emotions and feelings, therefore having a de-brief or support around this is important and we would always encourage you to speak with your midwife.'

Symptoms of ICP

Some itching around the stomach is normal as your skin is stretching around your growing baby but it can also be a symptom of ICP, especially if the itching is:

  • on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet (although it can be anywhere on the body)
  • worse at night.

Find out about more ICP symptoms, how it is diagnosed and what treatment is available.

Tell your midwife or doctor straightaway if you experience any of the itching described above, even if you think it’s mild.

Watch our recent Facebook Live Q&A with ICP Support and Helen George

More information

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