What is ITP in Pregnancy?

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ITP is the abbreviation of the blood disorder Immune Thrombocytopenia. Immune Thrombocytopenia is defined as a low platelet count in an otherwise healthy individual.

If a pregnant woman develops a low platelet count during her pregnancy she will either be diagnosed with ITP or Gestational Thrombocytopenia.

If she has not previously had a low platelet count, she is more commonly diagnosed with Gestational Thrombocytopenia. If the pregnant woman has a history of low platelets it is classified as ITP in Pregnancy.

If the platelet count corrects itself after the pregnancy then she simply had Gestational Thrombocytopenia. If the low platelet count persists, she may be diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopenia.

Pregnancy is known to lower the platelet count of almost all pregnant women in some way. The normal range of platelets in nonpregnant women is 150 to 400 making the average platelet count 250.  During pregnancy the average decreases to 213,000. Continue reading

What Not to Say to Women with a High Risk Pregnancy

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“Just relax OR If it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be OR The baby will decide when it’s ready to come.”

Telling someone to relax, not only does not help them relax, but it also trivialises their stress and worry. Instead of simply dismissing the stress of a high-risk pregnancy by distracting your friend or telling her to get over it. Instead, ask her if she would like to talk about it, tell her you understand how stressful it must be, and that she is justified to worry.

Tell her that you hear her concerns and think they are valid… Then try and help her relax by actually doing something relaxing with her, not just telling her to relax and then leaving.

“Oh, Yes, I know, pregnancy is such a worry.  I remember when we were having our last baby and we couldn’t get in to see the natural therapy hypnobirthing class for three months!  It was so stressful!”

Um, not the same thing… Continue reading

Bellies, Babies and Bruises

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For Women Living With ITP,

ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet pregnancy A Book About ITP and Pregnancy

In 2009, Meg Brewster was given a copy of her family tree. Looking back through the generations, she wondered if the family tree would stop with her or would she be able to have a baby while living with ITP and APS?

Meg had heard the risks of bleeding, bruising and infertility involved in ITP and Pregnancy. But were they real? Had she only heard the horror stories. She wondered what it would actually be like to have a baby with ITP, and if it was going to be as complicated as everyone had led her to believe.

Seven years in the making, this is the story of an ITP pregnancy; Including research and interviews with other women about their ITP pregnancies.

BELLIES BABIES AND BRUISES was inspired by Meg’s personal journey with ITP and APS while pregnant. ITP is an autoimmune disorder that causes bleeding and clotting problems in its patients. APS is a clotting disorder that is commonly associated with ITP and low platelet counts.

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About the Author, Meg Brewster

meghan brewster, author, how to heal a bruise, itp blood disorderMeg was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia when she was 22 years old. She struggled to read dense medical journals and scholarly articles to learn more about her ITP. What was missing from the ITP conversation was information from other patients about what immune thrombocytopenia was really like to live with. 

In 2012, Meg set up ITPANDME. It’s now one of the largest ITP blogs in the world. Meg loves writing about ITP, hearing other women’s stories and helping women with ITP connect.

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Praise for How to Heal a Bruise

The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly! FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy

Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Megan Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder…I couldn’t stop reading.  FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura

‘My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find many of your post’s to be just what we are looking for.’ Andy USA

‘Thank you for your thoughts…they’ve helped me with finding perspective in our reality.’ Jenny Australia

‘Love the way you write…you made me chuckle.’ Bron Australia

‘Thank you for writing this, it will surely help the newbies.’ Padma, India

Features

  • Stories of pregnancy from women with ITP.
  • Meg’s personal journey with ITP and Pregnancy
  • Information about natural and caesarean births.
  • Information for breastfeeding mothers with ITP.

Bellies Babies and Bruises: An ITP Book for Women and Babies

Exercise During an ITP Pregnancy

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Also with Antiphospholipid Syndrome, you have to exercise like heaps anyway…

First Trimester

  • Ballet – Monday & Wednesday.  I stopped going to Friday class because I was so tired.
  • Yoga – Did a little yoga at home, until I joined a prenatal friendly yoga class on Tueday’s
  • Walking – A wise person told me a very long time ago that if you walk every day of your pregnancy, you will never notice how much the belly weights.  You will be accustomed to walking with the weight of it each day and your body will grow stronger to hold it.  If you stop for just a few days, when you head out to walk, the belly will feel difficult and heavy from the changes.  So with that in mind, I am walking.

Second Trimester

  • Ballet – Just Monday nights for a little while.
  • Yoga – Once a week for an hour and a half.
  • Walking – Almost every day, unless it was raining.

Third Trimester

  • Ballet – twice a week, beginner classes.  Monday and Wednesday.
  • Yoga – Once over the weekend.  there are a couple of classes I can go to that are suitable, so I just fit them in around seeing friends.  I went to a pregnancy yoga class but found it really boring.  All they talked about were babies and everyone’s feelings.  Yawn.
  • Walking – Walking around Sydney a lot.  Walking to friends houses and to go shopping.

Post Baby

  • Ballet
  • Yoga
  • Walking

If you want to try it out – I suggest the GRACEFUL & FIT PREGNANCY BUNDLE from Mary Helen Bowers, if you can’t get to a Ballet class, and are interested in trying it.  I have her other DVD’d to do at home, during ballet breaks.  But I continued going to Ballet classes where my teachers could guide me along.  So I didn’t end up buying the Pregnancy DVD’s in the end.

What was your exercise routine like during your pregnancy?  Did you have people telling you, you couldn’t do this and had to stop doing that?

Breastfeeding with ITP (Bleeding Nipples)

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Breastfeeding introduction – How it is hard and you need to feel confident and all that.  Strange new feeling like not everyone likes.

My story – I’ve been breastfeeding now (or not breastfeeding) for the last four months – what have I found.  How has the story gone…  What have I learnt and what problems have I faced?

When it gets hard…

Cracked and Bleeding Nipples?
What should I do with a low count?

Need to ask someone about this?

Lactation consultant.

What about women with bleeding disorders.

Taking care of your Nipples –

What could I do to prepare my nipples, take care of them while feeding?

Recipe from another blog about what to rub into your nipples – or perhaps just coconut oil…

So what Causes Blood in Breast Milk?

All of the breastfeeding problems listed below usually end quickly and are not considered serious…
– Cracked broken nipples and nipple blisters can cause blood in breast milk.
Read more on how to identify the cause of your cracked nipples.
– Vascular engorgement: Also called rusty pipe syndrome, due to the rusty color of the milk. This usually occurs immediately after giving birth, a first-time mommy may notice that her expressed milk is orange or pink in color. This is due to the increased blood flow to her breasts, which is needed during the development of the milk producing cells. The blood will usually disappear within a week or so after birth.

Look.  Here’s the thing.  I have breastfed a baby.  It’s a grueling if not some-what beautiful task.  I think there is a lot of romance surrounding breastfeeding to help encourage woman to continue to do it – but let me tell you it’s hard on your body, cuts into sleep time, can keep you awake for 23 hours at a stretch, saps your life and energy from your body, drains you of vitamins and minerals.

Breastfeeding is the important and special – but let’s be honest, it’s not 100% fun – not every single minute.

So when some crazy arsehole online is telling you to set aside time to soak your nipples in a saline solution – Then you’re probably going to tell them to go fuck them self.

Perhaps you might just end up doing nothing, and waiting for your nipples to heal on their own.

Please note: Although bleeding looks scary and blood may sometimes show up in your baby’s bowel motions or vomit, it is not harmful to your baby. It is quite safe for her to keep breastfeeding.

BREASTFEEDING ASSOCIATION AUSTRALIA

A Transverse Baby

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I know this is a little off the topic of ITP and Bleeding Disorders, but it was something I wanted to write about.  There isn’t much personal information onIine about transverse babies, and a few people keep asking me what it feels like to have a transverse baby, so I will do my best to describe it.

I’m currently at 36 weeks and our baby has been transverse for at least two months.

As this is my first experience with the third trimester, I have nothing to compare to, so for most of the day, everything just feels normal to me.  But I will try and break it down so it makes a little sense for people who are unfamiliar with the feeling of a transverse baby. Continue reading