Pregnancy can be magical time but also has its challenges; especially when living with a chronic disease. For patients with arthritis, it is important to discuss various issues with your rheumatologist, from planning a pregnancy, preparing for flares that may occur over the 9 months, medication choices, etc.. Some medications may need to be stopped up to 3 months before family planning.
While many women (approximately 70-80%) with inflammatory arthritis will go into remission by week 12 of pregnancy, 90% may flare in the postpartum period. Dealing with a newborn and accompanying lack of sleep becomes a greater struggle when a parent is not well. Drawing on the experience and ideas presented in the below mentioned blogs/websites may be just the resource a new mom needs, providing ‘life hacks’ for such daily necessities as using infant car seats, dressing a baby, or changing a diaper. Protecting the baby when one’s mobility is limited, understanding the need to maintain one’s own wellness, and knowing when to ask for help are all addressed. It is helpful for the new parent to know they are not alone and that there are creative solutions for many daily tasks.
Janice Maretzki is a pharmacist at Charlton Health who recently attended the Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting in Montreal.