I have RA and pregnant, any tips or advise please?

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eyelasha
eyelasha Member Posts: 6
edited 13. Jan 2011, 17:49 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi, I am an expectant mother and suffer from chronic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and also happen to have both shoulders replaced and have very little movement or strength in my arms. I am wondering if there is anybody who has had similar experiences and could offer some advice on how they overcame their difficulties and helps or hints about techniques and equipment? thank you x

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  • julie47
    julie47 Member Posts: 6,041
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi eyelasha

    I have no idea about ra and being pregnant as my ra started straight after the birth.
    I just want to congratulate you.
    I guess all you can do is take it easy and try not to tire yourself out too much.
    As for gadgets use long handled things so you dont have to bend too much, there is a post on here that is called simple ideas to make life easier that we have all contributed to. Those tips could help you
    takecare
    juliepf x
  • eyelasha
    eyelasha Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi juliepf,
    Thank you for your congratulations :grin: we are over the moon, just want to get as much advise before baby arrives. I'm going to have a look that post "simple ideas" see if I can get any tips from there.
    Thanks again,
    eyelasha x
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Eyelasha,

    Congratulations.
    I had R.A throughout my last pregnancy. I didn't really do anything differently and did not get any special treatment, just muddled on through. I don't know how I managed, to tell the truth! Luckily my hips were not bad at that point (7 years ago) so had no problems having natural birth but if you have mobility problems in that area do let them know. Also straight after the birth I had issues with breathing as I find the effort extra difficult and this was baby no.5 so I knew it had been different with my others.Losing that weight in one go is not great for our already aching bones.
    Most of my problems started after the birth when the R.A had a masive flare so be prepared with an appointment with your rheumatologist team soon after the birth incase you need an increase or new medication.
    Try to rest as much as you can as I was mega tired throughout the 9 months.
    Let us know if you need any more questions answered as there are a lot of recent mums on the forum.

    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • suncatcher
    suncatcher Member Posts: 2,174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Congratulations to you how wonderful. Mine started when son was six months old. My arm stopped working for a while so. Daughter who was 11 took him down stairs put him in seat for me. We taught her to make feeds and she did what she could till school time.
    I had son in travel cot next to bed as this could be hight adjusted i think cots can be hight adjusted so we don't bend to far hurting backs. It helped me. I changed him on high mat which came with travel cot when young. I had to suffer when he was a little older.
    don't know if a sling would help you or not.
    :idea:
    Disabled parent net -work are a good source of info for moms.
    Or NRAS The national rheumatoid arthritis society
    or arthritis care. they might have leaflets for you.
    sorry cannot be more help Joanne
    Joanne
  • eyelasha
    eyelasha Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Elizabeth,

    Thanks for your reply, really appreciate it. I must say the exhaustion is hitting me hard already and I'm only 9 weeks!! only meds i can take through out are prednisolone, so weight gains inevitable unfortunately. I've been told its after birth that it hits most women, bit scary, but sure I will get bk on the anti TNF as soon as babies born.

    Sure we will speak again, thanks again.

    Aisha x
  • eyelasha
    eyelasha Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Joanne,

    That must of been hard with a 6 month old, but there's always a way, isn't there?! How are you now with your arms? Im very lucky I've got a great support network and my mums going help me bring the baby up, don't know if i could do it with out all my family helping me.

    The travel cot adjustable height is an excellent idea, for right next to the bed, will look out for one. I've been looking at these hip harness/seat things, might give one of those a whirl, to take to strain n weight off my arms, when baby gets older/heavier!!

    Thanks for the links will definitely check them out.

    Aisha x
  • cathhankin
    cathhankin Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Congratulations Aisha !
    Unfortunately i'm no help as not had any children yet - though we get married this year so plans may be made.
    However, can you let us know how you cope ? im terrified of how im going to feel as i'll have to come off most of my meds - i need to be off Leflunomide 2 years b4 i even get preganant :( the whole idea of it is a bit frightening. Plus i have had my hips replaced so don't have a clue how they will cope with birth

    Keep us updated on how you're coping etc, it will be helpful for me :)

    Good Luck x x
  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,393
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Eyelasha,

    I had a toddler of 2 and my RA kicked in straight after the birth of my second son with a massive flare so I know what it's like to struggle.

    I used to change my baby on the sofa or the bed and when he was very little we kept his moses basket on a coffee table so I wouldn't have to bend and lift ...though as he got bigger this wasn't an option. He learnt at a very. very early age that Mummy couldn't pick him up and he adapted by putting his arms around my neck as I bent over him so all I had to do was wrap my arms round his body and straighten up. He would also climb up onto my knee as I couldn't lift him.

    You'll find that when he/she's very little you'll be able to manage, it's when he/she learns to escape and he/she gets heavier that you'll have to have your wits about you. You will both adapt and adjust as you go along and I think you'll find your baby will become more independent than other babies at an early age.

    My sons are now adults and very fine men indeed, my RA made them more caring human beings, I feel.

    Congratulations to you and your partner.
    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'
  • cthornley
    cthornley Member Posts: 627
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Congratulations

    I've had RA almost 13yrs....I also now have a very bouncy 2.5yr old son :smile: , not always the best combination but most of the time its definitely worth it :roll:

    I'm not going to lie to you it will be hard work, having a baby is hard work full stop, the added complication of arthritis doesn't help, but I will say you will get through it and it won't be terrible
    and your little bundle of joy will make it all worth it

    I hated the steroids but they did get me through it yay...
    whilst I was pregnant as well as working closely with my GP (not my Rheumy as he was cr*p...another story)I was also referred to a specialist obstetrician who kept an eye on my progress....had my neck x-rayed (precaution if you have bad RA....in case they need to sedate you for an emergency c-section, they know the condition of your neck so they can act appropriately, its rare but they covered every eventuality), they ensured it was recorded in ALL my notes that I was on prednisolone so that I they could ensure that I was put on a steroid drip during giving birth (otherwise you can go into shock)....make sure that this is noted as it apparently is easy to overlook, they also reffered my to the maternity physio who was brilliantly helpful and also organised an appointment with the OT to assess my needs as a new mum - she showed me the best way to pick up , carry etc and sorte d out some aids etc for me from the loan service (all of which I still use)

    I also learnt a lot by trial and error - a wonderfully helpful lady at my local independent nursery store was infinitely more helpful than a large national baby retailer (MC)....she went out of her way to help find a suitable buggy and car seat (a mine field for many people with RA)...I ended up with a bugaboo bee which is sturdy enough for me to use for support but so easy to use without effort and added bonus I'm still using the same buggy we got at birth and my son is a very big lump of a 2.5 yr old

    I had a clingy new baby but carrying him caused me huge amounts of pain - a friend suggested I try a sling called a close baby carrier - it its relatively easy to put on but holds the baby very close to you which makes it not feel so heavy on your shoulders and back, whilst freeing up your arms and with some practice you can even breast feed them in it - It was an absolute godsend and gave me my sanity back

    Baby changing table - great for me no bending and everything to hand, cot-bed with drop side - godsend, a certain amount of co-sleeping - personally found it very helpful (no getting up and down) and after much deliberation didn't think our baby was at risk, baby bath that sits on the bath with a cradle thingy in it so I could bathe my son on my own, although limited his bath to only on wend when his dad was around which apparently is also better for their skin , lockable medicine cupboard + small lockable box by bed (for everyday) - essential once they can move but good habit to get into in advance

    OMG I think i'm having verbal diarrhoea sorry - loads I can suggest as its still all very clear :roll: and still having to be a bit more creative as a parent :grin: as the challenges just change as they get bigger

    Any specific questions just give me a shout only too willing to help

    Somebody has said that your child might end up being more independent and I would agree - my son was quick to walk, climb and do things for himself, he also was quick to potty train and clean his teeth... I don't know how much of that is a blessing sometimes as he can now get anywhere and anything he wants :roll: and I'm not sure how much of that would have happened anyway but it certainly helps on the days that I'm not doing so well

    Also 'kisses to make mummy better' now are my best ever medicine

    Good luck and keep us posted
    Chrissie

    sorry for going on so long :oops:
  • eyelasha
    eyelasha Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Chrissie,

    It made my day when i read how much help and advice you've given me, thank you soo much for spent the time to tell me your experiences, thank you, thank you, thank you... I really do appreciate it :grin:

    Had my Prof Emery appointment yesterday, and I seem to pretty lucky so far to have been pretty much pain free, touch wood.. so far, which un-nerves me slightly as to what a lot of ladies have told me, when you've given birth it come back with avengance.. gulp! not looking forwards to that bit!!! Not got away with the morning sickness, but to be honest, I'm quite glad I have it, at least I know everything working. Steroids aren't great, piled on the pounds already :(

    I'm still waiting for my first scan appointment to come through, just 2 more weeks to go and hopeful will be in the all clear.
    Lets keep in touch and I will keep you posted.

    Take care, speak soon.

    Aisha x
  • suncatcher
    suncatcher Member Posts: 2,174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have just been given some interesting guides on pregnancy and birth etc from the disabled parent net work. There is four new guides out i asked for all. It covers rights getting help etc.
    You sound like you have loads of support which help. This is good i hope all goes well and enjoy it all. from joanne
    Joanne