"It hurt a lot to even hold my son so I wasn't really able to enjoy the newborn stage because of it," she said.
Fiona Hooker observed red, itchy spots on her tummy when she was 31 weeks pregnant. They initially felt like nettle stings, but they only became worse with time for the new mother. Her disease quickly worsened causing large blisters that hurt even after her baby's delivery, reports Unilad. The mom from Basingstoke, Hampshire was eventually diagnosed with Pemphigoid Gestationis, a rare autoimmune pregnancy disorder. Her immune system presumably attacked her own skin as a result of a response to a gene in her son's DNA. According to AOCD, PG occurs in approximately 1 in 50,000 pregnancies in the United States.
Hooker said, "I got a few tiny, really itchy marks around my belly button that felt like nettle stings. I went to the doctors after a few days because it was getting more and more itchy and unbearable." She added, "They gave me some steroid creams which didn't really touch it and it was getting bigger - my belly was covered in red, itchy plaques." She said it took time to recognise this rare condition, "t was the third GP I went to see that said it looked like the condition Pemphigoid Gestationis and he referred me to a dermatologist who gave me the strongest steroid cream you can get." She said that it was like, she was "allergic" to her own baby.
A 32-year-old woman was left in intolerable pain from rashes on her stomach, which she later discovered was due to her baby's DNA causing her immune system to attack her own skin. https://t.co/TJYLJweXFr— ScienceTimes (@ScienceTimesCom) February 11, 2022
She added recalling her experience, "By 35 weeks I took myself to A&E because I couldn't bear it and nothing was touching it. They gave me four days of oral steroids, which really helped it calm down. But two days before I was due to give birth it started to get unbearable again and 24 hours after I'd given birth it just exploded and turned into blisters." She says is she "scratched it, it felt good and temporarily took the itch away," however, it was really painful. The mum of two added, "It hurt a lot to even hold my son so I wasn't really able to enjoy the newborn stage because of it."
Mother who erupted in agonising blisters was stunned to discover she was ALLERGIC to her own baby https://t.co/SYSiYqzNcu— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) February 10, 2022
In a frantic attempt to treat the agonising disease, the dermatologist at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital put her on a high dose of oral steroids, per Daily Mail. She claims that the itching plaques, blisters, and scars caused by the severe response have now decreased, but she still has to use steroid creams on occasion and may experience mild flare-ups for the rest of her life. She now aims to raise awareness of the uncommon pregnancy ailment, which she had never heard of before researching her symptoms online and being diagnosed herself. She says, "It's put me off being pregnant again especially because the research says it will come on earlier and worse, and I don't think I could do that again even with steroids."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/skaman306