pregnancy and rheumatoid arthritis - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-23-2008, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Are there any special precautions the provider would need to take with a pregnant mom with rheumatoid arthritis? Do any of you professionals have any experience with this?
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#2 of 13 Old 02-24-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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I'm not a provider, but I have had this conversation w/ my dr. I too have RA, and there is nothing he has made me aware of that we'll do any differently, and I've asked! I am a little concerened w/ back labor since my lower back is one of my worst spots. We've discussed making sure there is a birth ball available, since it is supposed to help w/ back labor. I'm actually having one at home to help me in the early stages. One of the bonuses is that RA goes somewhat into remission for most women when pg... I really hope that's the case for you! Because I've really enjoyed having nothing more than the occasional twinge these past several months.

Hope you get a definate answer from a pro.

Wife (32) to DH (33) Mom to DS 2 and Twin DD's born 8/11
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#3 of 13 Old 02-24-2008, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks new mommy for the input.

Actually, it is my DD that is the expectant momma. This is her second and she is considering having a home birth. With her last she had an ob and she took aspirin as a therpeutic measure. I'm trying to see if that is common or what.

She felt great during her last pg and I hope it goes well for her this time.

Congratulations on your upcoming little one!
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#4 of 13 Old 02-24-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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You know, I was just listening to a medical podcast about this very subject yesterday! They said that in 80% of cases the RA symptoms will completely disappear during pregnancy and won't return until after the birth. So, I can't imagine that a woman who is not having any pain and not taking any meds wouldn't be ok for homebirth if that is what she wants.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#5 of 13 Old 02-24-2008, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by hotwings640 View Post
You know, I was just listening to a medical podcast about this very subject yesterday! They said that in 80% of cases the RA symptoms will completely disappear during pregnancy and won't return until after the birth. So, I can't imagine that a woman who is not having any pain and not taking any meds wouldn't be ok for homebirth if that is what she wants.
Would I be able to listen to that podcast? Is it still available somewhere?
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#6 of 13 Old 02-24-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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If you go to iTunes it was the MUSC Pregnancy and Childbirth podcast, look for the one that mentions RA and that is the one I listened to, it was only about 6 minutes long and really general information.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#7 of 13 Old 02-25-2008, 02:36 AM
 
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I had a patient develop RA during pregnancy. It took awhile for it to get diagnosed because the doctors all said it is unusual for it to flare during pregnancy - that usually the symptoms subside.
The women needed pain medication off and on during pregnancy and was followed by an endocrinologist as well as getting midwifery care.
She had a homebirth. Unfortunately, the medication she needed to take prevented her from continuing breastfeeding longer than 1-2 months - and her symptoms were getting worse - but she is back to work as a teacher and doing great.
Good luck...

Carla
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#8 of 13 Old 02-26-2008, 12:11 AM
 
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I've had RA for 12 years and counting... It was horrible before I got pg and it's bad again. But during pg and birth, I had no symptoms whatsoever. It was great! Makes me want to have another one...
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#9 of 13 Old 02-26-2008, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ReikiMommy07 View Post
I've had RA for 12 years and counting... It was horrible before I got pg and it's bad again. But during pg and birth, I had no symptoms whatsoever. It was great! Makes me want to have another one...
That's the glory of the whole things isn't it? This is exactly what happened to my dd with her first pregnancy.

My original question was aimed mostly at finding out what the professionals feel they need to do differently with a pg woman with RA vs one that does not have RA. For instance, last time she took aspirin until the 7th month and had specific ultrasounds to make sure baby's heart was okay. I was wondering if this was a protocol that must be followed? Or simply the providers preference?
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#10 of 13 Old 02-26-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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Was she on medications when she got pregnant or did she go off of them first? Some of them can cause problems for the baby, so I can see recommending an ultrasound to see if there were any problems. Otherwise, I wouldn't do anything different.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#11 of 13 Old 02-26-2008, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by hotwings640 View Post
Was she on medications when she got pregnant or did she go off of them first? Some of them can cause problems for the baby, so I can see recommending an ultrasound to see if there were any problems. Otherwise, I wouldn't do anything different.
She does not take any medications for the RA, rather, she copes with the pain in other non-medical ways.
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#12 of 13 Old 02-27-2008, 05:55 PM
 
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I have fibromyalgia and some kind of mystery arthritis, it mostly went away during pregnancy but I had awful hyperemesis. The joint pain didn't come back for a few months, but I was VERY worn down after birth and fatigued, I think recovery was more difficult for me and I had trouble taking care of myself. I also think that I didn't have enough stamina for my birth, so I think exercise is key, whatever she can do I think will help.
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#13 of 13 Old 02-27-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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We recently had a client with RA, which ended up flaring up some during mid pregnancy. She never took aspirin for it, though. She controlled it with herbs and supplements (sorry, I don't recall which ones) which she had used for it previous to becoming pregnant.

It didn't affect the course of her pregnancy or labor at all.

Mama to ds#1 (7) and a ds#2 (1 1/2)
Homebirth midwife
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