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Coping with Arthritis When You Are Pregnant. 

 March 9, 2024

By  Linda Rook

Introduction.

Being pregnant and having that little fragile bundle, is overwhelming for a woman, and having to live with arthritis can be very challenging.

Planning to have a family is a major milestone for a women.  Being pregnant and coping with arthritis symptoms such as joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness, can affect women of childbearing age.

You must have so many questions that you need answering such as:

1. Will my rheumatoid arthritis cause problems?

2. Can I have children?

3. Will it be hard to get pregnant?

and much more...

I hope this blog will help you to explore how you can cope, and an overview of how arthritis can affect pregnancy.

Motherhood.

Pregnancy is the most exciting time of a woman's life, as you are starting a new chapter with your little bundle of joy.

There are guidance to help you to steer through your new life.

Below are some guide to help you, they include:

1. Prenatal Care: This first one is that it is important to find a obstetrician or midwife that you can trust.  You should keep your appointment with them as they will ensure that the baby is healthy, also they can give you information that you may need.

2. Nutrition:  It is important that you eat a healthy balanced diet, such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meat, also dairy products. You may be asked to get more iron and calcium whilst you are pregnant.

3. Beverages:  During your pregnancy it is important to keep hydrated. It is important that you drink water or herbal tea, but avoid caffeine and sugary drinks.

4. Exercise: You should also keep active, do a daily safe exercise routine, such as walking, swimming, or yoga.

5. Rest and sleep: You may become exhausted some days, particularly when you are in your first trimester, listen to your body and take breaks as needed.

scan of baby

6. Moring sickness:  Also in the first trimester you may have morning sickness.  If you develop sickness try and eat smaller portions and often, avoid greasy and spicy foods. But ginger and mint can help the sickness.

7. Educate Yourself: Attend prenatal classes, and follow reputable pregnancy websites.

8. Safe Medications and Supplements: You must see your healthcare provider or midwife if you want to take any medications or supplements when pregnant. As some over-the-counter drugs or herbs may not be safe for your little one.

9. Birth Plan: When you are in your early stages of your pregnancy, you should start thinking about your birthing plan. Discuss where you want the delivery your little bundle of joy, any pain options, also if you want anyone in the room during labour,  with your midwife or healthcare provider.

10. Changes in Pregnancy: Your body will go though different emotions, like, you will become fatigued, your breast will be tender and you will have mood swings.

11. Babies Nursery etc...: As you progress through your pregnancy, you should consider doing the nursery and essentials ready for your little one to arrive.

Remember: if you need guidance and support it is OK to seek help. The help could be through your healthcare professional, midwife, or friends and family. 

Pregnancy with Arthritis.

Always consult with your doctor if you have RA and you want to start a family. Because some of the arthritis medicine can affect your unborn child, and some medication can take some time to get out of your system.

During Pregnancy With Arthritis.

When you are pregnant, you carry more weight; therefore, arthritis can increase pain and discomfort.  The pain will be more noticeable in your knees and ankles. Adding pressure on the spine can also cause muscle spasms or numbness in the legs.

You also have more water, and this weight may cause (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) or stiffness and an increase in fatigue.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

Numb Hands
  • An aching pain in your fingers, hand or arms.
  • Numb Hands.
  • You will feel pins and needles or (tingling).
  • You may have difficulty in gripping or a weak thumb.
  • Also, you could have stiffness in the hips, knees, ankles and feet.

Things that can help you to get through your exiting journey can include:

Medication.

Always make an appointment with your doctor about taking your arthritis medication during your pregnancy.  Also, be sure to mention if you are taking any over-the-counter medicines and any dietary supplement that you are taking.  Some are safe for your baby, but some can harm your baby.

Prenatal Care.

It is crucial that you keep your prenatal care, Be sure you ask her any questions that you are worried about with your arthritis symptoms. The healthcare team will be able to assess your worries and adjust if necessary.

Physical Activity.

You should also keep active, keep your appointments with your exercise classes. keeping active through your pregnancy can help maintain the flexibility of your joints and keeping your strength in your muscles.  You could do some low-exercise which include walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga.

Pregnant lady on a balanced ball.

Rest and Self Care.

You may become more fatigued, so you should have some rest during the day and  when needed. When you have a proper rest, your symptoms of arthritis and stress can reduce. Incorporate relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation into your daily routine to alleviate anxiety and promote better sleep. 

Diet and Nutrition. 

Having a healthy, balanced diet is important during pregnancy, it can also help your pains and inflammation of your arthritis symptoms. It would help if you went for an anti-inflammatory diet that can help with your inflammation as well as it being healthy.  

Support. 

During the early months of your pregnancy and coping with arthritis your emotions will be all over the place. You may feel frustration, fear, or helplessness. When this happens you should reach out to your family, friends or find a support group near you. Talking to someone who has had similar experiences can be comforting.

Postpartum Care.

When you have delivered your baby, it is still important to monitor and manage your arthritis. During the nine months of carrying your baby your body has gone through many changes.  Some women experience their arthritis symptoms improve. However, some women experience their symptoms return or worsen after childbirth. 

Having the first cuddle of  the baby.

Two Common Types of Arthritis and Pregnancy.

There are 100 types of arthritis, but I shall explain just two, these two are the most common types. But if you click the button at the end of this blog there are more information.

1. Osteoarthritis (OA): Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and is wear and tear of the joints.  The main joints affect the weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, and spine. But, it can attack any joint in your body. It attacks Women with OA, who are pregnant could lead to an increase in the  joint, causing pain with the added weight and strain on these joints. However, having OA does not impact fertility or the ability to have a successful pregnancy. 

2. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affect multiple joints, at any one time, often including the hands and wrists. Some women experience an improvement with their arthritis symptoms during pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters. 

Conclusion.

In conclusion, the journey of pregnancy, is a new beginning for you and your baby,  But when you are suffering from arthritis, living with pain every day it can present challenges.

If you are living with either the more common osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, your pregnancy experience is unique. Some women during pregnancy may find relief from arthritis, whereas others may experience flare-ups or more pain.

A successfully pregnancy with arthritis includes a proper management, a personalized exercise plans, and adequate rest, with a well-balanced diet can help to ensure the well-being of both mother and baby.

I hope this article has helped you. Please subscribe to my website, and I will keep you updated on new blogs. Also, if you need to know anything about arthritis, please go to my contact page and leave a message, and I will get back to you.

In the meantime, if this post is informative, I would be very grateful if you would help your friends or family if they have a similar condition to tell them. So please share it on Twitter (X) or Facebook or send them an email.

Also check out my FREE PDF for more information on how to be safe for when your little bundle of joy is born.

I am not a medical professional, and this blog is for information only. If you have any worries, you should consult your doctor.

I hope this blog has helped and good luck with your little bundle of joy.

https://foodwitharthitis.com

Linda Rook

Linda is now retired and has suffered from Osteoarthritis for about 40+ years.  She struggled with her weight until she found the correct one that also helped with her arthritic pain.  Linda was in terrible pain until the physician thought her right hip needed replacement. 


Now Linda has an artificial right hip, which has left her with the left leg shorter than the right.  Therefore, her spine is now wonky, and has arthritis of the lower back, also it seems to be going all over the body, her pain is now in the knees, elbow, wrist, fingers and both hips.


Linda now spends her days writing information to help others with the same conditions, so they do not suffer like Linda.


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