A Teacher: Kate Mara and Nick Robinson star in trailer
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Kate Mara is perhaps best known for her role as the fearless journalist Zoe Barnes in House of Cards. But the Hollywood actress admitted she was far from fearless prior to an emergency caesarean section she had in the past due to a health complication.
She was given a caesarian at 36 weeks pregnant in May 2019 after testing positive for a condition called Cholestasis, which has the potential to cause babies to be stillborn.
Talking about the ordeal with Dr Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy podcast, she said: “I was genuinely terrified of what that meant and what could happen and all of these things.
“And then of course just being tired made me that much more scared, I think.”
She added: “I was just super sad. I remember that moment very clearly because I burst out crying and was like, ‘I’m scared.’”
Cholestasis, which occurs in one in 140 pregnancies according to the NHS, is a liver condition where bile acid builds up around your body.
This bile acid normally moves from your liver to your gut to support digestion but it is believed by scientists that pregnancy hormones affect this process.
Because it has the potential to cause stillbirths, pregnant women with the condition may be given caesareans to save the baby.
During Mara’s caesarian, she experienced “terrible shakes” due to her medication.
“I thought my teeth were going to pop out, my jaw was clenched so tight from the shakes, and then I thought, I definitely can’t hold her because I can’t move. My arms were locked.”
Although it is not certain, researchers believe cholestasis of pregnancy causes stillbirths because the high acid levels affect the child’s heartbeat and makes it stop working.
This is known as heart arrhythmia.
Despite the caesarian, the birth was a success and Kate Mara and the actor James Bell had a baby daughter.
However, as well as her caesarian, the actress had to go through a miscarriage before eventually having the baby.
She revealed on the same podcast that she had a blighted ovum, which is where the early embryo stops developing and fails to implant.
Symptoms of cholestasis
As well as itching, which Mara experienced, the symptoms of cholestasis of pregnancy are dark urine, pale poo, and sometimes jaundice.
According to the NHS, to diagnose you with Cholestasis, your doctor will try to exclude other causes and may try blood tests.
These tests will help them find out how your liver is functioning and check whetheer the bile acid levels are regular.
If you are diagnosed with the condition, your GP will give you regular tests to monitor the condition.
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