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Mother who suffered an ‘ALLERGIC reaction’ to pregnancy that left her covered in an angry rash reveals she’s willing to risk going through the pain AGAIN to have a second child
- Laura Guiney suffered low blood pressure and broke out in a rash while pregnant
- The mother-to-be was diagnosed with polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PEP)
- Pre-natal condition was excruciating and made pregnancy ‘unbearable’
- But the 28-year-old is willing to risk the pain again in order to have another child
A mother has revealed how she suffered a painful ‘allergic reaction’ to being pregnant.
Laura Guiney, 28, from Dereham, Norfolk, knew something was wrong when her blood pressure dropped and she began breaking out in painful red welts while expecting son Flynn in 2016.
Doctors diagnosed the mother-to-be with polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PEP), a condition that is thought to be caused by the stretching of skin and hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy.
It left Laura covered in an excruciating rash that continued until her son was one month old, making breast-feeding and cuddling her newborn baby ‘almost unbearable’.
But Laura, a pub supervisor, said she is willing to risk the same pain to have a second child – even though there is a 50 per cent chance she could be struck down with PEP.
Laura Guiney, 28, a pub supervisor from Dereham, Norfolk, was diagnosed with polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PEP) at 20 weeks (seen during her pregnancy in 2016)
The rare pre-natal condition meant she suffered from plunging blood pressure as well as breaking out in painful scarlet welts, pictured, across her legs and torso
When she finally gave birth to little Flynn (seen in 2017) in August 2016 her condition took a month to settle down, meaning cuddling or breast-feeding the little boy was ‘unbearable’
Describing the condition, Laura said: ‘It was the most painful feeling, like my skin was burning up. But I want to give Flynn a brother or a sister and I am willing to risk PEP again. Flynn is the most adorable lad, so being allergic to my baby was worth it.
‘I had a very difficult pregnancy and doctors have told me there is a 50 per cent chance of it happening again. But, if it means giving Flynn a little brother or sister, I will happily endure it.’
Laura and her IT worker husband Jack, 28, struggled to conceive due to her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis.
They underwent fertility treatment before discovering they were expecting at the end of 2015.
What is Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy?
Polymorphic eruption of pregnancy is an itchy rash that appears on various parts of the body and then clears after
The condition affects affects approximately 1:160 pregnancies. delivery.
The cause is unknown, although it has been suggested that it may be related to stretching of the skin
The newborn is unaffected.
Laura first began experiencing symptoms of PEP at the 12-week scan, when she collapsed onto the bed at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in Norwich.
When she came to, doctors explained that her blood pressure had plummeted, but said it was most likely due to stress.
Laura said: ‘[The doctors] said if I feel dizzy again, I need to lie down, no matter where I was to protect the baby.
‘So, in the following weeks, I found myself suddenly needing to lie down in the fruit and veg aisle in the supermarket, as a weak feeling came over me. It was embarrassing, but I wanted to look after my baby.’
At 20 weeks, Laura woke up to find an angry red rash covering her thighs, chest and baby bump.
She continued: ‘I asked Jack what he thought it was and he looked baffled – suggesting that, maybe, it was a heat rash.
‘It was so painful, though, I knew it was more than that. I couldn’t get comfortable at night and all I wanted to do was scratch and scratch until it was red raw and began to bleed. It felt like I was burning up. And the bigger I got, the worse it became.’
Laura and husband Jack underwent fertility treatment before discovering they were expecting at the end of 2015. Pictured, Laura during her pregnancy
Despite battling painful rashes throughout pregnancy, pictured, Laura is determined to have a second child
At her next hospital appointment Laura showed her doctor the rash and was diagnosed with PEP.
‘I’d never heard of it before, but the doctor said it was a chronic hives-like rash, which meant my body was fighting the pregnancy, as if I was allergic to my baby,’ she continued.
‘I was reassured that the condition wasn’t harmful to the baby, but I was stuck with it until after the birth.’
The pain of the rash made the final months of pregnancy ‘almost unbearable’.
‘I was honestly counting down the weeks until I went into labour,’ Laura said. ‘I was so desperate, I begged to be induced early, but I was refused.’
Finally, seven days after Laura’s due date, baby Flynn was born on August 31, 2016.
Seven days after Laura’s due date, baby Flynn was born on August 31, 2016, at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital
After long and painful first month of motherhood, the rash finally disappeared, and Laura is able to enjoy being a mum
She recalled: ‘He was the most beautiful little boy. I was relieved he had arrived safely and was finally out of me, as well as praying that my rash-hell would be over.
‘But despite it disappearing for a few days, it returned with a vengeance, and even holding Flynn for a cuddle or breast-feeding him was unbearable.
‘I was told it came back because my hormones were all over the place after the birth.’
Trying everything from chamomile cream, to antihistamines, after long and painful first month of motherhood, the rash finally disappeared.
‘I cuddled Flynn and made up for all the time we’d lost,’ she said. ‘Now I am prepared to go through all of this again to give him a brother or a sister.
‘We are in the process of being referred again for fertility. Doctors said there is a real chance I will get the rash again, but it’s a risk I am willing to take. Being allergic to my baby was worth the while.’
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