A mum-to-be who erupted in an incredibly painful rash all-over her body at 30 weeks’ pregnant, learned that she was ALLERGIC to her unborn baby.

Summer Bostock’s ‘allergic reaction,’ occurred virtually overnight a month-and-a-half before her first child, Izaiah, was due, reports The Mirror.

She is believed to have had an extreme case of the pre-natal condition, pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), while harmless to mum and baby, it caused Summer, 29, agonising pain.

Starting on her belly, the painful, red blotches spread up her back and down her legs, soon covering her entire body – only to vanish within hours of Izaiah’s birth.

“The doctor said, ‘You’re basically allergic to your baby,’” recalled full-time mum Summer, from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. “Since having Izaiah, I’ve seen other examples of PUPPP, but none as bad as mine.”

One morning at 30 weeks, following a normal pregnancy, she noticed new lines on her expanding stomach.

Initially unconcerned, she said: “I woke up to heaps of stretch marks. I just thought it was normal – but pretty unfair.

“Then, suddenly, there were more lines. They started to raise and a rash appeared.”

The marks began itching and desperate Summer headed to her GP, who provided a soothing cream and mild steroid.


When that failed to work, she took a bath in porridge oats – knowing that oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties and has long been used to treat skin conditions, like eczema.

Sadly, Summer’s porridge bath proved fruitless.

“That didn’t do anything either,” she said.

So, four weeks later, she returned to her GP, who gave her more ointment, which again failed to stop the itching.

“It had really flared up,” she said. “It was so, so itchy. I was in agony.”

Her concerned 59-year-old mum, Kym Holwerda, who relocated from Portsmouth, Dorset, to Brisbane, suspected PUPPP, after researching her daughter’s symptoms online.

Doctors confirmed the diagnosis, but said there was little they could do – advising that the condition would clear up on its own.

“By this point, I couldn’t even have showers, because the touch of the water against my skin was too much,” continued Summer. “I would vomit, the itching was so intense, and at night I couldn’t sleep, I’d just cling to Daniel’s hands.”

By 37 weeks’ pregnant, the pain was so intense she was admitted to Redlands Hospital in Cleveland, Brisbane.

“The medical staff crowded around me, as they hadn’t seen a case so bad before,” she laughed. “They looked after me, but were also fascinated

Four days later, on January 20, 2012, Izaiah – now five – was induced.

He arrived by caesarean, because his heart rate started dropping during labour, although this wasn’t linked to the rash.

“As soon as he arrived, weighing 7lb 60z, the rash started to clear,” said Summer. “By the next day, it had virtually gone. So, yes, I was actually allergic to my boy.”

Despite her negative experience, she fell pregnant again, with another boy.

Although it is believed that PUPPP is more common in expectant mums carrying boys – as there may be a link to testosterone – she was fine with both her subsequent sons, Elijah, now three, and Josiah, now one.

“I freaked whenever I had stretch marks, though,” she laughed.

“The cause of PUPPP is unknown. Previous studies have suggested a link with increased maternal weight gain during pregnancy, increased birthweight and sex hormones, but these are not proven.”

Have you or someone you know suffered from PUPPP? We would love to hear from you.

Share your comments below

Image via The Mirror

  • wow i have never even heard of this but her condition looks rough


  • Hadn’t heard of it before – terrible to happen with the first pregnancy but so good it didn’t reoccur.


  • How awful for that poor woman! The third trimester sucks enough without chucking that in too.


  • Yes I had a mild case of PUPPP when I was pregnant with my son, it was so itchy and reading up about the rash I got concerned. I went to the GP and got an ointment prescribed as well and in my case it certainly soothed the itch.


  • I thought I read somewhere that bad itching on your stomach could be dangerous.


  • It would be scary to have that happen, particularly during a first pregnancy.


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