Cholestasis of pregnancy occurs in late pregnancy and triggers intense itching, usually on the hands and feet but sometimes on other parts of the body. Cholestasis of pregnancy can be intensely uncomfortable but poses no long-term risk to the mother. Cholestasis of pregnancy can be dangerous for a developing baby, however. Early delivery is usually recommended.

The term "cholestasis" refers to any condition in which the flow of bile, a digestive fluid from the liver, slows or stops. Pregnancy is one of many possible causes of cholestasis. Other names for cholestasis of pregnancy include obstetric cholestasis and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

Oct. 12, 2011