Summer Stockton is sharing pictures of what happened the first time she got pregnant.
Summer Bostock, a 29-year-old from Queensland, Australia, experienced pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), also known as polymorphic eruption of pregnancy, or PEP, when she was pregnant with her first son Izaiah in 2011.
PUPPP is a chronic, hives-like rash that the American Family Physician journal estimates one in 160 pregnant women will get. It's incredibly itchy, but poses no long-term risk to mom or baby.
Summer's symptoms started when she was 30 weeks pregnant. She woke up to find her abdomen covered in what looked like stretch marks, then developed red, itchy rashes all over her body. Her doctor prescribed a soothing cream and a mild steroid, but the rash got worse.
Meet the woman who is allergic to pregnancy - Summer spoke to @journoannie https://t.co/VCS41MIIvJ pic.twitter.com/FzydO1w2aY
— PA Real Life (@PA_Real_Life) May 10, 2017
"It was so, so itchy. I was in agony," Summer told MailOnline. "I couldn't even have showers, because the touch of the water against my skin was too much. I would vomit, the itching was so intense, and at night I couldn't sleep, I'd just cling to [my husband's] hands."
Summer was admitted to the hospital when she was 37 weeks pregnant, and labor was induced a few days later. Her son was delivered by a Cesarean section after his heart rate dropped (a complication unrelated to PUPPP) and Summer's rashes subsided just hours after Izaiah was born. Summer and her husband have since had two more children, but she hasn't experienced PUPPP again.
Doctor aren't exactly sure what causes the condition, according to research from Stavanger University Hospital in Norway, but it usually happens during the third trimester of a woman's first pregnancy or with twins, says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., who works at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
"It drives women nuts but it's very benign," she says. "We sometimes end up inducing labor because the mom is so uncomfortable."
Another major issue with PUPP is that it can be hard to diagnose, Minkin says, as sometimes docs are not positive exactly what type of rash the mother has. If you're concerned you have PUPP or that you might develop it, talk to your doc about working with a dermatologist throughout your pregnancy.