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Woman Discovers She's "Allergic" To Her Own Baby | She Was Covered In "Unbearable Red Itchy Plaques"

Woman Discovers She's "Allergic" To Her Own Baby | She Was Covered In "Unbearable Red Itchy Plaques"

Fiona Hooker, 32, first noticed red itchy areas on her stomach when she was pregnant at 31 weeks.

Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic images of blisters that maybe distressing to readers.

Can you be allergic to your own baby?

One pregnant mom was in for a shock when she saw red itchy areas on her stomach at 31 weeks of her pregnancy. For Fiona Hooker from Basingstoke, Hampshire, they were initially like  'nettle stings',but later got worse as time went on. By the end of her pregnancy, things took a turn for the worse where the 32-year-old said the rashes 'exploded' into incredibly painful blisters once she gave birth, according to Manchester Evening News. The pain was so intolerable that she found it hard holding her own newborn baby. The mother was later diagnosed with a rare autoimmune pregnancy condition known as Pemphigoid Gestationis. It's likely that a reaction took place to a gene in her son's DNA which probably caused her immune system to attack her own skin. The condition is so rare that it is only known to affect one in 50,000 women.



 

 

 "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 explained. Experts prescribed her a range of steroid creams, but they didn't seem to lessen the severity of the symptoms. "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. It 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 heartbreakingly recalled,  "It was like I was allergic to my own baby."



 

 

"By 35 weeks I took myself to A&E because I couldn't bear it and nothing was touching it and they gave me four days of oral steroids which really helped it calm down," she said, as per LADBible. On June 13, 2021, Hooker gave birth to her son, Barney but her health concerns worsened around the time of birth. "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. If I scratched it, it felt good and temporarily took the itch away but obviously I was removing the blisters and skin so then I was left with raw, really painful skin and the blisters just came back on top of that. It hurt a lot to even hold my son so I wasn't really able to enjoy the newborn stage because of it." The mother-of-two revealed that after 6 months her symptoms started to subside but she still has to use steroid creams occasionally. Hooker hopes that her story will raise awareness of the rare pregnancy condition.



 

 

References:

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/mum-discovers-allergic-baby-after-23046924

https://www.unilad.co.uk/news/new-mum-discovers-shes-allergic-to-her-baby-20220210

Representational Cover Image Source: Getty Images | sot

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