June is Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy Awareness Month – a month where we honor and remember those we have lost and raise awareness by educating as many mothers and healthcare professionals as possible. ICP is a group of disorders specific to pregnancy that cause bile acids to build up in the blood creating a high risk to unborn babies. Luckily, our amazing community of mamas is there to support and lift each other up! Nothing is better than seeing a new mom and baby come across the ICP Facebook group feed!
My journey with ICP started 7 weeks before meeting my daughter Sutton. After almost 2 weeks of no sleep from the pain of itching, I discovered the ICP Care website and called my doctor the next day. Although it took another 2 weeks to be diagnosed, my doctor and his team decided to treat me for ICP while waiting for my elevated bile levels. Sutton was born at 37 weeks thanks to a successful induction from my doctor who listened when I spoke up about ICP and treated my symptoms when he knew it was the right thing to do. I will always contribute her healthy delivery to the education and guidance I received from ICP Care and support I found within our community. As soon as I was diagnosed, I made a goal to let every woman I knew who was expecting or dreamed of getting pregnant know how important it was to listen to their body and advocate for their baby. My little itch just turned 1 at the start of this ICP Awareness Month and I decided to celebrate this milestone by joining the ICP Care board.
Through awareness, we can save lives. June is dedicated to us all doing our part to save as many lives as possible. Here is how you can help educate and spread awareness:
- ICP Virtual Walk/Run to Fight the Itch: Create a team with family and friends or join an existing team to help Fight the Itch. This June virtual event helps ICP Care get donations to continue to raise awareness.
- Social media: Start a fundraiser in honor of your little itch. Or/and add an ICP frame or cover photo for your friends to see. Share blog posts. I like to include links to ICP Care’s social media pages to allow for even more education.
- Get creative! Plan a bingo night or a trivia night, Kahoot is a great site for virtual games. Encourage older children to have a read-a-thon or a virtual lemonade making stand. Partner with local business, most local branches will donate a gift card, experience, or donate proceeds to a non-profit.
- Share your story: In my experience, speaking with family and friends about your experience with ICP and the importance of awareness to help fight the itch will give a better understanding as to why fundraising is important.
- Partner with a local business or restaurant: Many local businesses and restaurants have certain nights where they donate a portion of their proceeds to a non-profit. This is an excellent way to raise awareness while raising funds and can still be done during quarantine times.
- SHOP! You can set ICP Care up on Amazon Smile (learn how to sign up here) and fundraise while you shop! Café Press also has some super cute merch for the whole family and proceeds of your purchase go towards ICP Care.
If you have any ideas or fundraisers that you need help with planning, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anytime you share a post, buy something using smile.amazon.com, or share your story, you could be SAVING A LIFE!
Kaitlan Terry, Lexington, KY
ICP Care Board Member