Katherine Jenkins, 39, is a Welsh mezzo-soprano famed for her haunting voice and stunning good looks. The singer revealed a condition she suffered with when she fell pregnant. What is it and what are the symptoms?
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Katherine Jenkins burst onto the music scene after winning a singing competition when she was a little girl and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
She gained worldwide fame in 2003 when she sang at Westminster Cathedral in honour of Pope John Paul II’s Silver Jubilee.
Since then, the singer has received numerous awards and accolades including receiving the Classic Brit Award for Album of the Year.
Katherine revealed she suffered with a condition which affects around one in 140 pregnant women in the UK.
Katherine spoke to The Sun last year and said: “With my second pregnancy there was a little bit of a complication.
“I got a thing called cholestasis, I had itchy skin and at first I thought it was just stretching.
“Eventually I had a blood test and I found that my liver wasn’t working properly which can have really serious effects.”
The star was eventually told she had cholestasis which means the bile flow is disrupted.
What is cholestasis?
Cedars Sinai explained: “Cholestasis of pregnancy is a liver problem.
“It slows or stops the normal flow of bile from the gallbladder.
“This causes itching and yellowing of your skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.
“Cholestasis sometimes stars in early pregnancy but is more common in the second or third trimesters.”
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What are the symptoms?
The NHS said: “The main symptom is itching, usually without a rash.
“For many women with cholestasis, the itching is often more noticeable on the hands and feet but can be all over the body or worse at night.
“Other symptoms include dark urine, pale poo, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, but this is less common.
“Symptoms of cholestasis typically start from around 30 weeks of pregnancy, but its possible to develop the condition as early as eight weeks.”
Katherine safely gave birth to her son Xander and told the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast that the condition was deceptive.
“I had literally never heard of the condition before.
“I didn’t realise it was serious and I think its something that people should take about more.”
The singer urged mums-to-be with itchy skin to “go get a blood test.”
The Welsh singer spoke of how her biggest fear would be not being able to say goodbye to her children Aaliyah and Xander, as well as her husband Andrew Levitas.
The NHS advised woman worried about developing the condition when pregnant and said: “Wearing loose clothes may help prevent itching, as your clothes are less likely to rub against your skin and cause irritation.
“You may also want to avoid synthetic materials and opt for natural ones, such as cotton, instead.
“These are breathable and allow the air to circulate close to your skin.”
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