Arthritis after pregnancy...

Hi, I just need a little advice or hopefully some positivity! I have recently had a baby, almost 4 months ago now, I was in remission through pregnancy so wasn’t taking any medication I felt amazing and have done up until now.. I started a new medication Cimzia and since that have had the worst symptoms iv ever experienced in the joints in my body I referred to as ‘my good joints’ I am obviously feeling really low and feeling like I am going to fail as a mother because of this.. Has anyone suffered like this after having a baby? I’m scared of getting worse and worse every day, do we recover from this? 😞 I just want the pain to lessen and be a good mum to my son I feel like I’m in a panic and I don’t know what to do.


  • Shell_H
    Shell_H Member Posts: 548

    Hi @Kdo272 - welcome to the online community!

    You've recently had a baby (they're 4 months old! Amazing! How are they doing?) and while you were in remission during your pregnancy it's gotten worse again and you've started new medication. You're worried about how you can cope with having arthritis and looking after your baby.

    You've said our medication is new to you, so have a look here at some information on it so you know how it works. It can take up to 12 weeks before the medication starts actually working for you, so my first advice would be to have patience and to give it a chance to work.

    I also remember from having babies myself that it is one of the most tiring things to do - babies wake up throughout the night, and you need to feed them and pay attention even when you yourself have little to no reserves. This can make your arthritis worse, as fatigue itself makes your tolerance of pain much less. If at all possible you need to try to make sure that you have some chance for you to rest up and get the sleep you need, or your arthritis will get worse solely due to fatigue. You haven't said if you have a partner to help, but if so you need to work out a way for you to have some uninterrupted sleep - even if you're breastfeeding. You can express to give yourself some time to relax, or you could wake up at night, your partner gives you the baby just to feed, then takes baby off again to deal with changing and putting baby back to sleep as soon as feeding is done. Whatever you can do consider, as arthritis and pain cause fatigue themselves, so without having a chance to catch up this may be harder. There is some more information on managing fatigue here:

    The other thing I'd say is please talk to your doctor, regularly. I know appointments are difficult at the moment, but you are in a position where you need support. Having a chronic condition and a new baby is a very difficult situation to be in. Talk to your doctor about your worries about if the pain is being managed. Also talk to them about your worries about coping - they can refer you to someone who could help with talking it over if they feel necessary. You can also call out helpline - 0800 5200 520 for free (Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 8:00pm).

    With your pain, you can also paracetamol. It's safe for breastfeeding, so don't be scared of doing what you need to do. You can talk to a pharmacist to find out if there's anything else you can take which suits your circumstances and your other medication.

    Just remember you will not fail this. What your baby needs most is someone who loves them. They don't care if you're perfect, if you manage to do all the games or things that other people do, if you can crawl o nthe floor with them, if you need to take a break every now and then, none of it matters. What matters is that you love your baby and show them you love them, and the fact that you are here asking shows me that you love them. Don't worry so much. Babies are very resilient. Cut yourself some clack. Remember that everyone struggles when they have a new baby, no matter what face they put on the outside, and that you're doing great. You are a good Mum. You care, that's all that matters. Just be you, do what you can do, and don't worry about the rest. I promise you, it will be enough for your baby. They love you. Just do your best, and keep looking after yourself. You are just as important as your baby - where would they be without you?

    I'm sure the others here will be able to give more advice. If you want to talk at all please feel free to message me, I'm here if you want to talk about anything. Take a moment to look around the community and remind yourself that while people may struggle, we also preserve and make it through, and find things we enjoy despite being in pain and finding things difficult.

    It's lovely to meet you,


  • lindalegs
    lindalegs Member Posts: 5,391

    @Kdo272 Hello there. I'm here for reassurance because I've been through what you're experiencing right now.

    My rheumatoid came out of nowhere the day my 2nd son was born! Admittedly I did to have the odd joint pain during pregnancy but it didn’t stay in the joint for long and when I asked my doctor what was happening he said I would be fine once the baby was born. I wasn't!

    I remember kneeling down to my two-year-old son on the day of the birth and wondering why my knees felt stuffed with cotton wall. That was the start and over a period of three weeks my joints all stopped working and I had to be readmitted to hospital with my newborn baby. The hospital helped to mobilise me again but that was just a start, my husband and I I had to learn to cope with arthritis, our 2 year old toddler and our new born.

    I was 27 at the time and now I am 62 so it was a long time ago. My sons are grown men with their own families, they are aware of disability and always keen to offer a helping hand when they see it's needed to friend, family or stranger.

    Your arthritis might not be as aggressive as mine and with modern medication I'm sure your joints won't get as damaged as mine have. Rest assured though that your child will grow up knowing mummy as she is and will have no ideals of what a mummy should be. You're you and they love you for who you are. You are already a good mum because that's what you want to be.

    I couldn’t get on the floor with my children so I played with them on tabletops, sofa, beds etc and I was always around. If they played outside and they wanted me around I would sit with them joining in verbally! I left floor play to daddy or friends who visited as I did with games which involved lots of physical activity and/or running round.

    My main advice is to accept help offered and ask for help too, because what you might struggle over doing and waste energy it would possibly take another willing person a few seconds to complete. Enjoy your baby and remember that lovely things still happen even when you have to endure the pain of arthritis.

    I wish you all the best.

    Love, Legs x
    'Make a life out of what you have, not what you're missing'