Monday, June 24, 2024

HEALTHIER YOU: Pregnancy and lupus

April 30, 2023 by  
Filed under Health

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

In recognition of Lupus Awareness Month, I want to focus on those who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant while living with this autoimmune disease.

When someone has lupus, their body attacks its own cells and organs — including skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys, and brain — because it can’t differentiate between healthy cells and foreign germs or viruses.

Women with lupus can safely get pregnant and most will have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. However, all women with lupus who get pregnant are considered “high risk.” This means that problems during pregnancy may be more likely for women with lupus; it doesn’t mean there will definitely be complications.

If your disease is under control, pregnancy is unlikely to cause flares. However, you will need to start planning for pregnancy well before getting pregnant.

Your lupus disease should be under control or in remission for six months before getting pregnant. Being pregnant with active lupus could result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or other serious health problems for you or your baby.

Pregnancy is very risky for certain groups of women with lupus. These include women with high blood pressure, lung disease, heart failure, chronic kidney failure, kidney disease, or a history of preeclampsia. It also may include women who have had a stroke or a lupus flare within the past six months.

Mothers who have lupus who want to breastfeed can possibly do so. However, some medicines can pass through your breastmilk to your infant. Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether breastfeeding is safe with the medicines you use to control your lupus.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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