Living With Lupus While Pregnant: Part 2
As I spoke with my doctor, he even told me that throughout his 20+ years in practice, he has never seen two lupus and pregnancy cases that are exactly alike. As a result, there is not one “correct” course of treatment during pregnancy.
This makes sense since the disease is unpredictable and takes its own path.
At each appointment, your health care provider should do a series of tests (including blood, urine sample, etc.). This helps monitor disease activity and makes sure that your organs are functioning properly.
In Living with Lupus Part 1, I told you that I had to switch doctors. I was not comfortable with the fact that he did not do tests on me for the first few appointments. Since I have a history of kidney disease (and this was listed in my chart), I knew it was time to switch doctors when he dismissed my concerns (a history of kidney disease from Lupus makes me even more high-risk).
With regular prenatal care, the chance of experiencing a Lupus flare during pregnancy is between 7-35 percent, even if your Lupus has been in remission for at least six months prior.
If you do have a flare, your doctor will work with you to treat your disease and symptoms in a way that is safest for you and your little baby. For some, including myself, this will mean avoiding sun exposure, heavy exercise, and even more rest in bed.
I have also been learning to conserve the little energy I have by working smarter, resting A LOT and drinking plenty of fluids. This also helps keep the lupus-related pain at a minimum since I am not straining myself.
The first trimester will probably be the hardest since your whole body is going through tons of changes. The key is going easy on yourself. Be kind to yourself and do not beat yourself up over unfinished housework, increased fatigue, and the need for more rest.
Listen to your body.
I will say that the first trimester was very difficult for me but thankfully, I did not have morning sickness to add to this!
Unfortunately, there is an increased risk of Lupus flares after delivery so your doctor will continue to monitor you closely for at least a couple of months.
Do make sure that you go to all of your appointments. If you miss one and go to a busy doctors office like myself, it can be very hard to reschedule one soon after.
If you’re having symptoms that you’ve never experienced before, be sure to let your health care provider know as soon as possible or head to the emergency room if needed.
Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I have had to go to the emergency room at least once or twice a month.
Living with Lupus while pregnant has definitely been a hard journey for me, especially with never having any energy and severe pain, but all of the extra doctor visits and tests have put my mind at ease since I know my health care team is taking extra precautions to ensure that I have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
To read part 1 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 article is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have Lupus and are considering becoming 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.