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Pregnant Mandy Moore reveals rare blood disorder that prevents her from having an epidural

The "This Is Us" actor is expecting her second child in October and will have an unmedicated birth.
/ Source: TODAY

Mandy Moore will welcome her second child in October without pain relief due to an autoimmune disorder known as immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). 

“My platelets are too low for an epidural,” Moore told TODAY Parents in an interview earlier this month. The actor, 38, noted that she had an unmedicated birth with her now 17-month-old son, Gus, for the same reason.

“It was awful. But I can do it one more time. I can climb that mountain again,” Moore said. “I wish medication was an option — just the idea of it being on the table is so nice. But we’ll just push forth like we did last time.”

According to Dr. Ashley Roman, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at NYU Langone Health, there are two main risks associated with ITP during pregnancy.

"For the mother, there is a risk of bleeding around time of delivery, whether delivery is vaginal birth or cesarean. The risk of bleeding depends on the platelet count," Roman told TODAY. "There is also a risk to the fetus. The antibodies that cause the low platelets in the mother, can cross the placenta and affect the baby’s platelet count as well. In really rare cases, the platelet count in the fetus can be so low that it leads to bleeding problems in the baby."

If the woman's platelet count is very low, Roman said placing an epidural can cause injury around the spinal cord.

On Thursday, Moore shared an update on her ITP with her Instagram followers. 

“I am fine. I just have to continue to get my blood checked — my platelet levels checked — throughout pregnancy. They’re low, but they’ve always been low,” Moore explained in part. “But I’m all good. Everything’s good.”

The "This Is Us" star announced in June that she was canceling the remainder of her “In Real Life” tour dates to focus on her health and the health of her unborn child. 

“As it turns out, being on a set is worlds away from being on a tour bus,” Moore told TODAY while promoting her partnership with OptiLight by Lumenis. “It was like trying to sleep on a wooden rollercoaster. Gus would be standing up in his Pack N’ Play while the bus was shaking — and I was like, ‘No, no, no. We can’t do this anymore.”

Moore was quick to add that she doesn’t “regret a second” of the experience. She and her husband, musician Taylor Goldsmith, watched Gus flourish during those weeks on the road. 

“He loves to travel. I’m just deeply grateful to have a malleable kid who can pretty much go everywhere — and that’s not to say we don’t have rough nights — but he was just living his best life,” she said. “That was what I was hopeful for. He just really, really enjoyed himself and came back this more communicative, happier dude.” 

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