The Link Between Lupus And Pregnancy

Lupus and pregnancy should be discussed with your doctor before you decide to conceive. All lupus pregnancies are considered high risk, which means complications are more likely to arise compared to a pregnancy without lupus.

Most women with lupus are able to carry to full term and deliver healthy babies. Proper planning and frequent doctor visits can help ensure your pregnancy is smooth for you and your baby.

What Preparations Should I Make For My Pregnancy?

Find an obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and maintain an open line of communication between her and your normal doctor. They will be able to work together to ensure that you are not taking any medications which could harm the baby or trigger a lupus flare.

Enlist the help of friends or family members during and after your pregnancy, as lupus may make an already tiring period of your life even more exhausting. If you do experience a flare, you may especially need in-home assistance.

Keep an eye out for preeclampsia, which affects one in five women with lupus. This may necessitate an early delivery of your baby.

Make birth plans well in advance at a hospital which can provide care for high-risk patients. Some women with lupus deliver early, so have a backup plan in case of early labor.

How Can I Tell What Changes Are Normal And What’s a Flare?

Doctors recommend women with lupus wait until their symptoms have been in remission for twelve months before becoming pregnant, as this helps reduce the risk of a flare during pregnancy. Most women don’t have flares while pregnant and some find their symptoms are actually improved.

Many aches and pains, even rashes and fatigue, could be lupus symptoms of a flare or simply your body changing. Inform your doctor of each symptom, as she will be able to help you determine which you should be concerned about.

Will My Baby Have Lupus?

Lupus in infants is extremely rare and the majority of babies born to women with lupus do not have the disease.

Babies who are born with lupus may have a rash, low blood counts or liver problems, but these symptoms almost always disappear within three to six months, never to return. Occasionally heart damage is non-reversible.

Your obstetrician may be able to test for neonatal lupus before birth and have any necessary treatments ready to begin after.

Special pregnancy needs is only one way in which the relationship between women and lupus can affect your life after diagnosis.