Ideally, a doctor needs to be consulted before getting pregnant. It will ensure that the women are in good health and other conditions that would affect pregnancy. It is important to consult a doctor if one is already pregnant and is being treated for chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, depression, lupus or some type of allergy.
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Lupus and Pregnancy
Lupus is an inflammatory disorder that can affect several body systems. Women with lupus can become pregnant but will need careful medical monitoring as there can be some complications. During lupus anti bodies develop against her own cells leading to inflammation of the tissues. This can affect any part of the body in which joints, skin and internal organs are included. Lupus can be mild or life threatening depending on the areas that are affected and the severity of the problem.
It is important to consult a doctor if one wants to become pregnant even though she is suffering from lupus. There are more chances of a safe pregnancy if lupus is controlled before conception. There are chances of a stable pregnancy if lupus is well controlled. Women suffering from lupus may face certain problems like miscarriage, high blood pressure, excess protein in urine, premature delivery or there may be some birth defects caused by lupus. The baby born can also be of low birth weight. The symptoms of lupus may get worse during pregnancy and hospitalization may be required all through the pregnancy period. The doctor will give complete guidance of the time and risk involved in getting pregnant. Some of the medications for lupus can cross the placenta and become a threat to the baby’s health.
There is a difficulty to distinguish the symptoms of flaring up of lupus and normal pregnancy symptoms. This calls for a consultation with the rheumatologist and a specialist obstetrician throughout your pregnancy. The common symptoms of pregnancy and lupus are building up of fluids in the joints, skin rashes and hair loss after childbirth.
Pregnancy and Blood pressure
Pregnancy with high blood pressure requires constant contact with the doctor. It also requires more care and treatment. There is no reason why a healthy baby cannot be delivered in spite of high blood pressure if doctor advice is followed all through the pregnancy
This is increased blood pressure or protein in the blood (or both) during pregnancy. This condition can endanger the life of the mother and baby. It causes high blood pressure, swelling of feet and face and passing of proteins in urine. This condition can be treated and the life of the mother and baby by having an early delivery. It is also called toxemia in pregnancy.
This is a condition that usually develops after the first trimester. The fetus gets the oxygen and nutrients from the placenta. The placenta produces certain hormones that change the functioning and production of insulin that is made in the pancreas. Insulin helps the body to store sugar and convert it into energy. The condition of gestational diabetes is the problem when the insulin reaches to a high blood sugar level during pregnancy.
It is the condition in pregnancy when the RH factor of the mother and baby are different. Rh factor is a substance found in the red blood cells of most people. If this factor is not found in the blood it is termed as Rh negative. Problems can arise when during pregnancy the baby has positive factor and mother is negative. The baby’s blood cells can enter the mother’s blood stream creating reactions by producing anti bodies that can enter the baby’s blood and destroy the red blood cells.
Other problems to consult the doctor immediately
- Problems like bleeding, cramping, and extreme cases of nausea should be immediately reported to the doctor.
- If there are cases of previous miscarriage doctor needs to be consulted as soon as one is pregnant.
- A pregnant woman suffering from diabetes must make frequent visits to the doctor.
- Pregnancy at the age of 35 or above involves several risks and should be carefully monitored.
- A pregnancy of twins and triplets needs to frequent checkups as complications are possible and there is also a risk of premature delivery.
- Symptoms like, constant headaches, abdominal pain, blurred vision, decrease in urine output and sudden weight gain also requires immediate consultation.
- Some women who has irregular periods will take more time to know that they are pregnant. It is better to take a home pregnancy test and it will help to confirm whether you’re pregnant or not. In this cases, the women fix an appointment before they are 10 weeks pregnant. By this, you will have had your first antenatal scan, which can detect your baby’s heartbeat, confirm whether one baby or more, see the embryo is implanted properly in your womb.
- Visit your doctor as early on in your pregnancy. It will possible help in many ways. It helps to reassure you that everything is fine. Folic acid supplements are prescribed to start taking it right away. Regular diet plan, tests and scans according to change in your lifestyle.
- Visit your doctor such as ectopic pregnancy, will be able to advice you on your options. If you have pre-existing medical condition, you require more monitoring throughout your pregnancy. Doctor will prefer to change the dose or type of medicine you take.
- Schedule your ultrasound scans and blood tests and is done to check if your pregnancy is proceeding well. Internal examination of the vagina and cervix. She may also check the shape and size of your pelvis.
- Consult your doctor while having suggested tests. Make sure to have your doctor will write a list of blood tests you need to get done. Check your blood group and rhesus status, your hemoglobin level, and immunity to rubella. Test for HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B.
- Urine test will be tested throughout your pregnancy for signs of protein, which can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a potentially serious condition. Urine test is also tested for bacteria and premature birth.
- Ultrasound scans are also suggested to confirm a pregnancy, having one in the early weeks will help check your baby’s health.
- If you or your partner have a family history of a significant genetic disorder and think either of you may be a carrier, genetic testing may be wise. Share this with your doctor, who can refer you to a genetic counselor if necessary.
[ Hindi version ]