Lupus and Pregnancy: Beating it and Becoming a Mother

Lupus pregnancy is a kind of a condition which occurs to those women who are suffering from lupus erythematosus. This is a disease of the immunity system and makes the immune system fight against the healthy tissues of the body rather than providing them with protection. Lupus can affect anyone but is more likely to affect black women and females of childbearing age. It occurs in one of every 700 people.

lupus and pregnancySymptoms of Lupus

The following are some of the most common symptoms of lupus

  • The main symptom of lupus is joint pain.
  • Some of the other symptoms of this disease include fever, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, high blood pressure and kidney related problems.
  • Blood disorders is yet another symptom of lupus
  • Presence of antinuclear antibody in the body of a person is also a symptom.
  • Another common symptom of this disease is sun sensitivity.
  • Neurologic conditions like seizures or psychosis.

Risk Factor for the Baby

  • Generally, lupus pregnancy does not create complications as far as the health of the unborn baby is concerned but a woman must still be careful during and after the period of pregnancy.
  • But the main risks involved for a pregnant woman with lupus is loss of pregnancy or miscarriage and premature birth.
  • Lupus pregnancy poses yet another concern for pregnant women and that is that it can affect the heart health of the baby and may lead to a condition called congenital heart block in the baby. Thus the unborn baby may need a heart ultrasound to detect any such problems or abnormalities.
  • Another risk factor for the baby is that he/she may develop a swelling which is called hydrops. This is an indication of the fact that the baby may be having congestive heart failure. In such a case, the baby may need to be delivered prematurely.

Treatment of Lupus in Pregnancy

In order to beat lupus and giving birth to a healthy and normal baby, you can follow the given tips.

  • If you are suffering from lupus pregnancy, then the need for careful monitoring by the obstetrician is highly important. Infact, you must also get in touch with a rheumatologist to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivering a healthy baby.
  • The ideal case scenario if you are already suffering from lupus is to consult a doctor before you plan on having a baby.
  • During lupus pregnancy, you must have your first ultrasound done within the first 1-2 weeks of pregnancy or as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. After that, regular ultrasounds should follow and the ideal time period to get them done is every 4-6 weeks so that the growth and development of the baby can be monitored and assessed.
  • In the case of lupus pregnancy, the medical checkups and visits to the doctor have to be more frequent as compared to that of an average pregnant women. Moreover, you may also need a 24 hour urine testing to monitor the kidney function.

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