Kardashian, who is currently pregnant with her first child with husband Travis Barker, said in a new interview with Vogue that it was an ultrasound that caught the issue with her baby that required surgery.
In early September, Kardashian shared on Instagram that she had been “rushed into urgent fetal surgery,” noting that both she and her baby, a boy, were now doing well.
“That experience opened my eyes to a whole new world of pregnancy that I didn’t know about in the past,” Kardashian, already a mom of three, told Vogue. “It was terrifying.”
Fetal surgery is a procedure performed on a fetus in utero, often to address life-threatening abnormalities or birth defects, according to research available in the National Library of Medicine.
There are risks involved with each procedure, including fetal death, complications, early labor and potential failure to treat the birth defect.
PHOTO: Kourtney Kardashian is seen on Aug. 18, 2023 in Los Angeles.
Kourtney Kardashian is seen on Aug. 18, 2023 in Los Angeles.
Mega/GC Images via Getty Images, FILE
Kardashian, who has not publicly revealed what the condition was that led to the surgery, also told Vogue that the pregnancy complication led her to learn more about what other women go through when it comes to not having access to medical care that could potentially save their own lives or their babies’ lives.
“After, I learned that insurance typically only covers two ultrasounds when you’re pregnant, I had no idea,” Kardashian, 44, told the magazine. “I’ve always been lucky enough to do more than what insurance covers, and it’s one of those ultrasounds that saved my baby’s life.”
A standard ultrasound — an in-office medical procedure that allows a healthcare professional to view the fetus inside the uterus — is typically performed at least once during a pregnancy, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
A standard ultrasound exam is one that “checks the fetus’s physical development, screens for major congenital anomalies, and estimates gestational age,” according to ACOG. That exam typically takes place between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.
Additional, specialized ultrasound exams may be performed at other points of the pregnancy if there are signs of potential complications, such as the fetus not growing appropriately, according to ACOG.
The organization notes that while there is “no evidence” that ultrasounds are harmful to a developing fetus, they should be “performed only for medical reasons by qualified health care professionals.”
Kardashian and Barker announced in June that they were expecting their first child together. Kardashian has previously shared publicly that she and her husband tried in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, prior to becoming pregnant naturally.
“I felt really pressured and pushed into doing IVF,” Kardashian told Vogue. “It went against my intuition, and I didn’t feel fully prepared for the mental or physical toll is takes.”
She continued, “We just got pregnant naturally. It was an indescribable feeling. Shock, then super-happy, fear sets in, worry, but I remembered then to have gratitude.”
Kardashian is already a mom to daughter Penelope and sons Reign and Mason, whom she shares with ex Scott Disick.
Barker is dad to daughter Alabama, son Landon and stepdaughter Atiana, whom he shares with ex-wife Shanna Moakler.