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Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

Last post 10-11-2009 6:35 PM by RobsGirl. 6 replies.
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  • 09-25-2009 8:15 PM

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

    Hello.  Looking for some midwifery knowlege here, or, as always, experience from mommies who might know what to do. 

    I have a friend who is 6 months pregnant.  She discovered after her first pregnancy that her platelets take huge nosedives sometimes.  She was diagnosed with ITP(or idopathic thrombocytopenia) where basically her body produces antibodies to her own platelets, and at times of  high stress or illness (like a cold) they go down to lets say 80 and then rise again to a fairly normal number.  The doctors tell her it is not related to pregnancy...something she's had all along but just didn't know it.

    Question is, is there anything she can do to help her body build platelets better?  She's currently pregnant with her fourth baby.  She can't do steroids, and a transfusion if they go really low is like a bandaid for a day or so, basically, because her body will just start attacking those platelets too.  So is there something she can do to specifically help build platelets or down-regulate her immunity naturally (even that seems like it would be tricky during pregnancy).  They're currently checking her blood weekly to make sure the platelets aren't going too low.  

    She's under the care of a great doctor/midwife team and births naturally at a natural birth and water-birth friendly hospital, so she's in good hands, but I got really curious when she was talking about this and wondered if there were any midwifery strategies anyone could offer.

    Thanks.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 09-25-2009 9:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

    I have worked with quite a few women with ITP and don't know of anything that can actually reverse the 'condition'.  In my opinion this probably says something in and of itself, you know?  In the absence of a pathology (such as low platelets being part of HELLP syndrome) the rule of thumb we go by is stay home as long platelets are over 100 (have never had anyone dip lower so have not encountered deciding what to do in that case yet, but have worked with someone at 105 who was absolutely fine).  Making sure the blood volume is rich and nicely oxygenated (decent hb) and chlorophyll etc can't hurt, either.  I am not fussed by it anymore, it seems the body knows how to regulate in one way or another so that low platelets are not an issue.  Good luck to your friend!  

  • 09-26-2009 5:28 AM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

    Thanks for the info!!  I will pass on the info about keeping her blood volume rich.  My friend is currently around 80 after a cold she had, and she went down to 30 right before her second birth and had to stay in the hospital an extra day.  Funny thing is, the platelets went up to 120 a day after the birth so it does seem to rise back up fairly quickly again, so that's one thing she has going for her.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 09-26-2009 1:00 PM In reply to

    Re: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

    Her platelets were at 30 for her second birth?  What was her bleeding like?  Was her labour / birth / third stage augmented or managed at all?

  • 09-26-2009 4:07 PM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

    I believe her third stage was managed for her second birth.  I'll have to ask her specifically.  I could be getting her first birth confused with her second.  She did hemorrhage after her first birth which is probably when they discovered the ICP.  She did specifically mention that her platelets were in the 30s with one of the births, and I'm pretty sure it was with her second, because she told me how hard it was for her 2 year old to be without mommy for those extra days she had to be in the hospital, and how much she really wanted to go home but couldn't because of the platelet situation.  I could be confusing whether it was the first or the second, but I'm pretty sure it was her second, about which she's never mentioned a hemorrhage.

    I'll ask her for a few more details on her bleeding, etc.  I'm also pretty sure she's never needed any augmentation during her labors (she's a quick and efficient birther).  But I'm going to bet that if she had the hemorrhage the first time, and then discovered the ICP, they're pretty careful about third stage management.

    That is pretty shockingly low, isn't it?

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 10-03-2009 6:02 AM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

    Okay, so I talked to her again.  I was mistaken about the platelets being 30 before her second birth.  It was AFTER her 3rd birth, and they were 32.  Before that birth (she doesn't remember exactly) she thought maybe they were around 90.  She said her platelets never go up to normal, but they get to 120 or so a fair amount of the time. 

    They used active management with only one of her births, she said the other times they just watched her.  Good for her that she hasn't had a hemmorhage since her first birth. And good for that hospital and her doctors for being ready, but not freaking.

    I passed on all the suggestions.  I do wonder about using chlorrophyl in people with auto-immune system disorders (because the source is usually alfalfa), since it seems that often many auto-immune disorders come hand in hand with others.  Alfalfa seems to trigger Lupus in some people, so I'm wondering if caution there is wise.  I was recently introduced to a blood boosting supplement called Hema-Plex.  It looks great and its not that expensive.  It does have chlorophyll as one of the ingredients, but it appears to be a very small amount.

    Edit:  I called the company that makes the Hema-Plex (Nature's Plus), and the chlorophyll in this supplement is from alfalfa but it is in a very small amount.  It's added for color and not a therepeutic effect.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 10-11-2009 6:35 PM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia

    Another update on this mama.  I just saw her today and her platelets have not risen.  They were 89 a couple of weeks ago, they rechecked a week or so later, and they're still holding around 87.  They figured they would go up, since she had had a cold, but they didn't, so now they're more concerned about the platelets staying low.  They want her to see a maternal-fetal specialist for monitoring of the baby for intracranial hemmorhage.

    I'm praying for this mama and baby, she is the sweetest woman anyone could ever meet and such a great mommy.  Any other suggestions or thoughts would be welcome.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


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