Post preganancy RA

kav84 Member Posts: 6
edited 1. Oct 2015, 01:42 in Say Hello Archive

My name is Amy and I have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after pregnancy. My little boy is 10 months and the pain started when he was around 5 months. I have started taking sulfasalazine today and I'm nervous about the side effects, but I will just have to wait and see what happens. With an active baby and going back to work soon I'm just hoping it's not too bad. Would love to hear from any other mums who have experienced this?

Thanks :)


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Amy

    Welcome to the forums from all of us on the Moderation Team. If you have any problems using the boards please do send us a PM.

    I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, with a young baby it must be extra difficult to cope with.

    Fortunately you have come to the right place for advice and support. The forum members here have lots of valuable experience, which I am sure they will happily share with you.

    Do please join in anywhere you wish.

    Best wishes

    Moderator AC
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's lovely to meet you but I am so sorry that you have had to find us. I know that pregnancy not an unusual trigger for RA but it must have come as a shock to you. I have a different kind of auto-immune inflammatory arthritis and have been on sulph for many years (plus other meds). I have a friend who has the same kind as me and he is wonderfully controlled by sulph - I hope you join his gang rather than mine. :) When I first began it in 2002 I had tremendous bruising but after six weeks or so that faded. I still bruise easily but I'm used to it. Others experience headaches and nausea but just because a side-effect is listed is not a guarantee it will happen. I am now on that plus far stronger meds and have no trouble at all. Have you been advised to have regular blood tests? Mine were every fortnight in the early days.

    I knew from an early age that I would not have children due to other auto-immune rubbish that plagued my childhood. I struggled on with work for, on reflection, too long and I don't regret stopping for one moment. I am much older than you, my husband is still in full-time work and our financial future is secure so I am in a very fortunate position. For you young 'uns times are much harder and I feel for you having to deal with RA on top of everything else.

    There are other young mums on here but, thanks to demanding lives, they don't post too often. I know of one who has two year old twin girls and she has had real struggles but has come through. Please post again on the Living with Arthritis board on here, more people tend to look in on there and will hopefully also say hello.

    I wish you well. DD
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00

    I just wrote a long reply and it vanished so here's to a second attempt. Welcome from me. I'm a mum of toddlers and I have arthritis. It is possible, it just requires some adaptation and doing things your own way, for instance, when mine were your sons age I didn't bath them daily. They seem to have survived that and still don't smell too badly (mostly). Going back to work after mat leave is scary for all mums so it's no wonder that the prospect of that is putting you on edge a little more about arthritis, meds etc.

    In terms of sulpha I have used it in the past with no side effects other than dayglo wee :shock: The problem with lists of side effects is they are often frightening and often very long but the important thing to remember is that they are potential - not everybody will get all of them and hopefully, the only effect you will have from it is it helping control your arthritis.

    If you have questions then Living WIth Arthritis is a great forum full of helpful last bit of advice I would give is that if anybody offers help then take it - even if it is just somebody offering to make a drink. I try very hard to focus all my energy on my girls and me, washing, cooking, brew making - if somebody else is offering then take it and even occasionally let them take your gorgeous baby whilst you have a relax - congratulations by the way.

    PS I'm the twin mum DD mentions above
  • kav84
    kav84 Member Posts: 6
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks so much for your replies. It's nice to know other people are out there feeling the same, although I wish none of us had to of course. I had a steroid injection about 5 weeks ago and that really helped with the pain. Although I can feel it slowly returning each day, I'm still nowhere near as bad as I was. I couldn't even pick my baby up at one point. I'm hoping I'll see a difference with the treatment in the coming weeks, although I know it can take a while to kick in. Feeling teary about it all today so thank you for coming back to me. X
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's so normal to feel teary and lonely. Arthritis can be an isolating thing and living with pain is horrid, especially with tiny people to care for. I didn't find this forum for years after my diagnosis but it was like coming home, not to sound too cheesy but it was great to know other people who understood how things were. Being a new mum is very hard work, being a new mum getting used to arthritis turns you into supermum in my book! How much have you had to learn and cope with in the last year?! Steroids are good for a short hit but hopefully the sulpha will help. It's fine to see your gp for pain relief too although it never removes the pain just gives you a fighting chance.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,429
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Amy and welcome from me, too. It's perfectly normal to feel teary and lonely when you're a relatively new Mum. (Heavens, I still feel like that sometimes and my two are in their 40s now :wink: ) It's also normal with arthritis, especially a recent onset of arthritis so no apologies please. We all understand where you're coming from. It's tough and scary. End of.

    I got RA when I was 15 but it still flared very badly after both my sons were born. In those days (70s) it was just a matter of a quick burst of steroids and gold injections plus NSAIDS. I got by with the help of my husband and Mum but it wasn't easy. I improvised a lot. I sometimes scared my mother-in-law :lol: But now they are grown men and great Dads. It can be done.

    I hope the sulph kicks in properly before the steroids wear out but you will have a rheumatology helpline number so use it if you need to. And use us too. We understand. We sometimes rather wish we didn't but we do and are here for you :D
  • Sharon2960
    Sharon2960 Member Posts: 329
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Amy, and welcome. Congratulations on your little boy. I've been diagnosed 3 years and I too take Sulph, along with Naproxen and pain relief when needed; I've not suffered any side effects (so far!), hopefully you'll find the same. I don't have anything to add to the comments from others - they're very helpful people who always have wise words; I don't often comment on the forum, but look in most days to see what's occurring! It's a big help, when you're feeling scared, lonely, frustrated etc, to know that you're not the only one (even tho you wouldn't wish it on anyone!). Good luck, enjoy your little boy, over time you'll adapt and prioritise, and not worry about everything else!