You can suffer liver disease during pregnancy

Mujer embarazada
You can suffer liver disease during pregnancy
This is cholestasis of pregnancy, a liver disorder that can occur during late pregnancy.

This is cholestasis of pregnancy, a liver disorder that can occur during late pregnancy.

This liver disorder also called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, can bring complications for the mother but also for the baby. In some cases the OB/GYN will recommend bringing forward the moment of delivery, with the intention of minimizing the risks. 

Some of the complications are that the mother’s body may present difficulties in absorbing the fat momentarily, although it should be emphasized that this is rare. 

As for the babies, there may be premature deliveries, breathing difficulties in case she inhales meconium (liquid that accumulates in the intestines of the fetus and can occur in amniotic fluid if the mother becomes ill with cholestasis).Similarly, and among the most serious consequences, there is the possibility of the baby’s death before delivery. 


In addition to itching of the hands, feet or other areas of the body, there are other signs that could signal suffering from this disorder. These include yellowing of the eyes and skin, loss of appetite and nausea.

Unfortunately, there is no specific way to prevent this condition, however, by staying in constant contact with your pregnancy doctor, you can detect it early.

Also, HELLP syndrome can occur in pregnancy, but what is it? It is a set of signs that some pregnant women present, these are: 

  • H for hemolysis, which results in the breakdown of red blood cells. 
  • EL is for elevated, one of the symptoms that pregnant women may present is an increase in liver enzymes. 
  • LP stands for low platelet count. 

HELLP tends to occur during the third trimester of pregnancy, although in some cases it has appeared days after the baby is born. In addition, it can be misdiagnosed as: 

  • Cholecystopathy
  • Lupus flare-up
  • Influenza or viral diseases
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic thrombocytopenic purpura.

To prevent or adequately take care of this syndrome, it is recommended to visit your doctor, in addition to attending control appointments throughout your pregnancy. 

Ana Henríquez, Editor
Fundahígado America Content Intern

Eugenia Jiménez Alvaréz, proofreading
Assistant to the Fundahígado América coordination
Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences

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Génesis is 3 years old and was born in Costa Rica with a congenital liver disease.


Elías is a young adolescent with an advanced liver disease.


Jin received a segment of his father´s liver in May 2015.