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Little Ferry Resident Raising Awareness of Pregnancy Condition

1.8 from 4 votes
Thursday, June 30, 2016

In 2011, just before she reached 31 weeks into her pregnancy, Migale, the daughter of Little Ferry Councilman George Muller, was diagnosed with ICP, a condition which a mother’s liver does not function properly and becomes unable to filter bile acids.

The bile acid in the mother’s blood reaches the fetus through the placenta, and can result in a stillbirth for what was an otherwise healthy baby. Migale said one of the most memorable symptoms for her was an irritable itch which would not go away even with the strongest of topical creams. "It’s like being covered head to toe these mosquito bites that won’t go away," she said. "You can’t sleep. You can’t function. I would wake up with blood stains seeping through my clothing because I scratched myself raw."

ICP is a fairly rare disease which affects only one to two of every 2,000 pregnancies. However, the condition’s morality rate can be 15 percent for babies of mothers in untreated or undiagnosed cases. Migale dealt with the condition throughout her pregnancy, but turned to passionately spreading awareness once her daughter was born and she saw the impact on the health of her child.

"Because of the ICP my daughter went into fetal distress," she said. "She was completely purple. She was without oxygen. After she was born we saw how scary and serious the condition could be." Her daughter, Daniella Lynn, was born early at 36 weeks.

During her pregnancy Migale said she often ran into the problem of people not understanding what she was going through.

According to Migale, when she told people about it they often confused her condition for another, significantly less harmful, condition called polymorphic eruption of pregnancy, which simply causes a small, easily ignorable amount of itching and does not result in a difficult birth or impact the baby’s health.

She turned to seeking support online and found an entire community of mothers who were going through the same thing through Facebook groups such as ICP Care/Itchy Moms. Because the group is international and active, she found there was someone to support her who had personal experience with her condition at any time of the day or night.

She recommends that women who find themselves with an ICP diagnosis reach out to others and build a support network. The group uses the hashtag #WorthEveryItch when sharing stories of hope that ultimately ended in a healthy mom and baby.

Daniella Lynn is now a healthy 5-year-old girl, but her risky birth had a lasting effect on Migale. She shares her story on social media and works to raise awareness for the condition.

She encourages pregnant women to know the signs and seek help if they find themselves in the same position.

Migale urges women to speak to their doctor about their pregnancy symptoms, no matter what they are and not to write anything off.

Her doctor ultimately transferred her to a specialist for at risk pregnancies, and she received what she described as excellent care at Hackensack University Medical Center.

"To see a healthy baby at the end is worth it," said Migale.

Author: Alyssa Bajek
Source: North Jersey
1.8 from 4 votes
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