Health Advice for Rheumatism during Pregnancy

Though rheumatism can be a challenge during pregnancy, it can be effectively managed through cautious obstetric management and counseling. Most women, who have their rheumatism under control for at least 3-6 months before pregnancy, have successful pregnancies.

Effects of Rheumatism on the Birthing Process

The female body goes through various physical and emotional changes during pregnancy, which may be aggravated in the event of rheumatism during pregnancy. However, managing the condition can help to reduce the severity of these changes.  

During pregnancy the ligaments tend to become lax (more so in the third trimester) as this is the body’s way of preparing for the birthing process. This laxity very commonly results in lower back pain and sometimes this pain may be misdiagnosed as arthritis pain. A definite diagnosis is essential before you start any form of treatment.      

Undoubtedly many problems (such as joint limitations) can arise during pregnancy, which would require a C Section, but this can be predefined and planned by the doctor after thorough examination and evaluation. Though mechanical problems associated with rheumatism can make the birthing process challenging, it does not mean that it will cause medical complications.  

In many cases, pregnancy has a positive effect on rheumatic diseases. In many cases, pregnant women notice that their arthritis goes into remission or becomes less active, starting from the first trimester and then continuing till delivery. The main benefit of this remission is that it allows the woman to reduce her intake of medicines during her pregnancy.

Effects after Child Birth

There are no long-lasting adverse effects of pregnancy on rheumatism or on the child. There is no need to worry that the child too may develop rheumatic diseases.  

The only major problem that women may face is that the arthritis which had become less active during pregnancy, returns soon after child birth. In some women, it may return within hours of delivery, but normally most women develop it by the 3rd-4th month. The flare up of arthritis usually subsides back to the pre-pregnancy state in about a year.

This flare-up is a problem for women who wish to breastfeed. Preferably women should not take medications during pregnancy and the lactation period, since the chemicals in the medicines can be passed on to the baby through the mother’s milk. However, the consequences of not taking drugs needs to be weighed as this could further aggravate the condition. After proper consultation with the gynecologist and the rheumatologist, only the most essential drugs should be taken.



answered by G R

The basic urge of motherhood remains the same , irrespective of any condition. The task of motherhood in your case is challenging, but surely possible. Avoid drugs, unless necessary. Consult your physician for further advice. Long-term risks of the child developing arthritis depends on the genes irrespective of pregnancy related concerns and the individual patient's diagnosis. But, the problems of joint limitation may require acaesarean delivery.

answered by r k

Warning: does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
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