What is ITP in Pregnancy?

ITP Pregnancy, gestational thrombocytopenia, immune thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, breastfeeding with ITP, birth with ITP, ITP birth plan, low platelet 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.

In normal pregnancies, 7.6% of women present with mild thrombocytopenia during pregnancy, and 65% of them will not be associated with any pathology. Mild thrombocytopenia is defined as a platelet count of 100 – 150. Gestational Thrombocytopenia a platelet result between 50 and 100 and severe Thrombocytopenia is a platelet count less that 50.

A low blood platelet count, is encountered in 7-8% of all pregnancies. Women are more commonly diagnosed with platelet disorders during pregnancy since screening is done as part of the initial clinic evaluation with automated blood counts. Thrombocytopenia can result from a wide range of conditions with several of them being pregnancy related.

There are lots of websites available online, listing hundreds of scary pregnancy complications. Don’t read these lists. Chances are none of the information available will apply to you.

During my ITP pregnancy, I think the worst part was knowing every single detail of what could go wrong. I was always wondering what horrible thing would happen next. I was so worried about my ITP PREGNANCY that I wrote a book about it, to help other women relax.

Many midwives at my hospital suggested I should never read ahead in the pregnancy book. They told me that it is the best way to manifest symptoms that aren’t real and worry for no reason.

Talk to your doctor about everything. You should always go to your doctor first (and then googling anything they said later) Listen and trust your doctor – and if you don’t actually trust your doctor then find another one.

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by Meg

Meghan Brewster is a writer and blogger. She is an ITP patient and launched ITP&Me in 2011. She is a coffee lover and a try hard dancer. @meghan_brewster

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