Living With Lupus While Pregnant: Part 1
A few months ago my whole world changed.. I found out that I was pregnant! Even though this should be an exciting time, it was also scary for me because I have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a chronic autoimmune disease. My mind went non-stop and all I did was worry.
Since then, I have done tons of reading and research and even though pregnancy and birth can both trigger Lupus and its symptoms, those with Lupus can actually conceive normally and have a healthy pregnancy (which was good news to me!).
With more doctors now knowing about Lupus and with advancement in medical technology, patients with Lupus can safely get pregnant and even carry a baby full term. When before (up to a few decades ago), Lupus patients were actually told not to get pregnant and health care practitioners weren’t too sure about it.
It is recommended that if you do have Lupus and are trying to conceive, that you speak to your health care provider first and that you have been symptom-free or in remission from Lupus for at least six months. Of course for some, like myself, pregnancy does come as a surprise and therefore you should try to see and speak to your doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are taking medications and your Lupus has flared recently (since this can increase the risk of complications and miscarriage).
Once you are pregnant, most health care doctors will classify your pregnancy as high-risk, but don’t let this worry you! This only means that you will be monitored more closely so that you are able to have the best pregnancy possible and to ensure that you and the baby stay healthy.
When choosing a specialist, try to pick one that is familiar with high-risk pregnancies and one that you feel comfortable with. If you are uncomfortable with a doctor or don’t feel you’re receiving proper care, don’t be afraid to switch doctors. I had to switch my ob-gyn doctor and I am beyond happy that I did. I feel very comfortable with the new doctor and the nurses and they take the time to listen to my concerns.
Having Lupus and being pregnant is not the time to be passive, which I had to learn for myself. You need to be your own advocate and yes, sometimes you have to be assertive.
To read part 2 of Living With Lupus While Pregnant, click here!
**Disclaimer- This post is for informational purposes only. I am not a health care provider and this post should not be considered medical advice. If you have Lupus and want to get pregnant or have just found out that you are pregnant, please speak with your doctor and they will answer any questions that you may have.