A LOCAL mum will be taking on two competitive races every month throughout 2018 to raise awareness of a condition she experienced during pregnancy.

Jenny Hastings, from Reading, was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), a liver disorder which affects around one in 140 pregnant women in the UK every year. It usually starts around week 28 of pregnancy, with the first sign usually itching, anywhere on the body, but mostly on the hands and feet. It can have serious consequences, including the risk of spontaneous premature birth, fetal distress and stillbirth.

Jenny was diagnosed with the condition during both of her pregnancies, at 34 weeks with her son George, now five, and 32 weeks with her daughter Phoebe, who is now 15 months.

She said: "I felt like I had flu, run down and really under the weather.

"I was itchy, but I thought that’s just how you felt in pregnancy. I was so scared – I’d researched the condition briefly and just saw the words “premature” and “stillborn”."

Having researched the condition, Jenny made contact with the charity ICP Support, but was surprised at the lack of awareness of the condition. She said: "So many midwives seemed unaware and I overheard one of them having to ask what it was. The medical profession need to educate themselves more."

Since her first contact with the charity, Jenny has taken part in research into the condition, and raised more than £2,500 by hosting afternoon teas and taking part in competitive running events. She is now a trustee of the charity and the charity's Running Manager, organising the running events taken on by supporters of the charity under their campaign ‘Itching to Run’.

She said: "We need more answers into this condition, as while I am lucky to have two healthy babies, some women aren’t so lucky. I know there’s also a strong likelihood that Phoebe will suffer with the condition too."

Jenny will be taking part in the Southampton Half Marathon this Sunday (22), and the Great South Run in October.

To follow Jenny's progress, visit her blog at www.icpsupport.org.