Hi from a new mum

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vixali
vixali Member Posts: 5
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hi everyone, I’m a recently diagnosed RA sufferer. Mum of 2, almost 6yr old and a 6week old. I need lots of advice! At this stage I’m not on any long term medication. I’ve just had a reducing-dose course of Prednisolone to manage a post-pregnancy flare, but it’s not really working so I’m struggling to breastfeed my baby, especially during the night and first thing in the morning due to the pain in my shoulders and wrists meaning that I can’t get out of bed easily or pick her up out of her crib 😥
I’ve been taking ibuprofen and paracetamol (sparingly) as I don’t want it to pass onto the baby and tried Voltarol but not sure that helps.
Look forward to hearing your tips.
V

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi vixali,
    Welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    I'm sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis and the impact it's having upon caring for your new baby.

    You say you 'need lots of advice', well you've come to the right place. You should find plenty of useful information on our website perhaps starting here: https://www.versusarthritis.org/search?query=Rheumatoid+arthritis+(RA)

    In addition, I'm sure other forum members will be able to offer you advice based upon their own experiences. I would encourage you to fully interact with other members who are here to help.

    Finally, if you feel it would be useful to talk to someone about your RA then you can call our helpline on 0800 520 0520 which is open weekdays 09:00 - 20:00.

    All the best
    ChrisB (Moderator)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi vixali and welcome from me too. Sorry about the delay in replying - a heady mixture of Christmas, an annoying virus and my sister's visit :lol:

    Arthritis plus kids is a tough one. I flared badly after both mine and quickly decided two were enough. More than enough at times :roll: but now they have kids of their own so it's payback time :wink:

    How to cope? Well, I only managed to breastfeed my elder son for six weeks before giving in and getting back to medication. And quite how I'd have managed withóut the help of my Mum and Dad (not to mention a good husband who was, unfortunately, at work most of the time) I don't know. Number two son ónly got the colostrum. I was having an even tougher time and knew what was coming so he went on the bottle. He was fine.

    I'd say get back on the DMARDS for a start. I'm a big believer in the health benefits of breastfeeding babies but not if it means a stiff, aching, exhausted Mum.

    Secondly, accept all help offered. And don't be afraid to ask. Just someone to brew up can be an enormous help.

    Third - cleanliness is good: tidiness is impossible. Don't try to stick to impossibly high standards and definitely don't try to get others tó help you do so. A frazzled husband, just home from work, doesn't need to be asked to do a spot of ironing. I hardly ever iron. I don't think anyone has noticed.

    If you have questions just ask away and I'll try to help but I do feel you need to start with DMARDS and bottles. Other stuff might then sort itself out.

    As for other young Mums with arthritis - they tend not to linger round here. Far too busy, I'd guess. I hope one or two show up.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi vixali,

    Welcome from me too. I'm sorry that, not being a mum myself, I can't help with mum-related matters. But I'm pleased to see that stickywicket has shared her experiences with you.

    In case this helps... I've just had a look at the Versus Arthritis website and I've found some information about coping with arthritis after the birth. Here's the link: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/living-with-arthritis/pregnancy/ -- the page is titled 'Pregnancy and Arthritis', but if you scroll down you'll find a section titled 'After the birth', which might be useful for you.

    Best wishes,
    Phee
    PsA (psoriatic arthritis) and other things since 1990. Happy to help when I can :-)
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,489
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Aw Vixali

    Being a mum with young ones is really hard anyway without n RA flare ((())) so difficult when you want breastfeed so medication options are limited.

    All I can say is the usual really; rest when baby does - take all offers of help from family and good friends and keep in touch with your medical team. I hope you cope until you are ready to stop feeding him/her and send you much ((()))

    best wishes

    Toni xx
  • vixali
    vixali Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks everyone for your replies. The links were particularly helpful to get me directly to the right places on the website. I was worried about taking NSAIDS whilst breastfeeding, but after reading the links and talking to GP/Pharmacist I am happy to keep taking ibuprofen, which helps.

    I get the comment about ‘young mums’, which I am not! Wishing I’d not left it until being 41 to have my second child!

    My next consultant appointment is not until 20th, which can’t come soon enough. I don’t know who I should contact in the meantime as I’ve only seen the consultant twice.

    Looking to help manage the symptoms through diet as well, so I’ll have a look at threads on that.

    Just need to get through the next couple of weeks until I see the doctor again.

    Thanks again,
    Vikki
  • Jackie47
    Jackie47 Member Posts: 108
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi. So sorry to read your story and I send out good wishes to all Mums with young children. It must be so hard. I have RA plus other things that come with it. I hope you have a good support system around you and also you get through this as quickly as possible. Take care
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    vixali wrote:

    Looking to help manage the symptoms through diet as well, so I’ll have a look at threads on that.


    Don't bother with any diet fads. Basically, eat healthily and keep to a healthy weight. Here's all you'll need https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/diet/
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Vikki,

    I'm glad you found the links helpful and that you're happy to keep taking ibuprofen, after talks with your pharmacist and GP.

    Re. contacting people in the meantime, does your rheumatology department include a rheumatology nurse? That's the person I've tended to be in contact with in between appointments, when things were getting a bit tough. I've also been in touch with my consultant's secretary. In both cases, the consultant has arranged for me to receive a steroid injection from my GP, just to tide me over. So that might be worth a try.

    Re. diet, I've always felt the Mediterranean diet is best for me, but of course I'm not an expert :)

    Best wishes,
    Phee
    PsA (psoriatic arthritis) and other things since 1990. Happy to help when I can :-)
  • vixali
    vixali Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Managed to get in touch with the rheumatology dept and got myself a course of steroids, thank goodness. They aren’t making the pain go completely but it’s much more bearable and will keep me going until my appointment.
    Also got in touch with The Breastfeeding Network as advised by the Health Visitor - they have pharmacists who are knowledgeable about what drugs it is safe to use, and advised that I can take ibuprofen and use Voltarol as well.
    Thanks again everyone.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Ibuprophen and Voltarol are the same dog albeit on different leads so be careful when using both. With oral steroids you should hopefully not be needing either of them and it may be worth checking that, if you are breastfeeding, it is safe to do so: sometimes docs forget obvious contraindications and prednisalone is powerful stuff when it comes to disguising what is going on, it's one of the best medically-sanctioned con artists out there.

    Auto-immune arthritis requires powerful medications and one should always exercise caution and be prepared to go without rather than cause further harm. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You're welcome, Vikki. Sorry I've only just seen your latest post (work's a bit intense at the moment!). Very best wishes for your appointment x
    PsA (psoriatic arthritis) and other things since 1990. Happy to help when I can :-)