Are you suffering from multiple sclerosis? Are you keen to start a family? Fret not! Women with multiple sclerosis can face some challenges along the path to motherhood, but they too can enjoy a healthy pregnancy by following some basic management steps.
Keep reading to know more about multiple sclerosis during pregnancy, and how you could take simple steps to have a healthy baby.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune disease that damages the myelin that covers your nerves. It leads to the disruption of the communication between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, it may affect the nerves irreversibly.
Symptoms of the disease vary widely, depending on the extent of damage and the affected nerves. Multiple sclerosis is an incurable condition. However, treatments can boost recovery post attacks, control the symptoms and alter the course of the disease.
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Challenges For Patients Of Multiple Scleros
Individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis face certain everyday challenges depending upon the severity of their conditions. Symptoms such as dizziness, muscle spasms, numbness and stiffness in certain regions of the body, problems in focusing and emotional changes can be a part of life for such patients.
However, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, it is safe to have a baby while suffering from this disease. In fact, this condition is more prevalent among women who are in their childbearing age than in any other age group. (1)
Effects Of Multiple Sclerosis On Pregnancy:
In general, multiple sclerosis does not have any harmful effects on the pregnancy. There is no evidence to support the claim that this condition could lead to spontaneous abortions, congenital malformations, stillbirths and other such health complications during pregnancy.
Many studies revealed that the instances of fetal complications, labor problems and pregnancy concerns are no different in women with the condition than in women who are not affected by the disease. (2)
[ Read: Preventive Measures To Avoid Stillbirth ]
Effects Of Pregnancy On Multiple Sclerosis:
According to old belief, pregnancy could worsen the symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis.
However, in the recent years, several studies revealed that pregnancy could reduce the number of relapses in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, particularly during the second and third trimester.
Tips To Manage Multiple Sclerosis In Pregnancy:
Taking the following steps could help reduce your possible health concerns associated with multiple sclerosis, and could help you have a healthy pregnancy.
- Consult Your Doctor: Before you decide to get pregnant, have a talk with your doctor and go for a prenatal checkup to ensure you are healthy enough to have a baby. Also, talk to your doctor about changing your medication during pregnancy to rule out any potential harm it may cause your unborn baby.
- Stay Connected: Becoming a part of a multiple sclerosis support group could be a good idea. You could also connect with other women who have multiple sclerosis and have a baby, and learn from their experiences.
- Plan Your Delivery: In most cases, pregnant with multiple sclerosis give birth just as easily as other women do. However, in some instances, muscle weakness may prove to be a concern, which may increase your likelihood of having to undergo a C-section. Also, if you experience a numbness in your lower body, particularly the pelvic region, your gynecologist may need to monitor your progress during the advanced stages of pregnancy. Planning your delivery with the help of a professional obstetrician could be helpful.
- Seek Help: Pregnancy can be an uncomfortable and overwhelming experience for most first-time moms. If you have any concerns or problems, seek help from a healthcare provider.
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Also, try to get as much support from your family and friends as possible. Make sure you get enough rest during your pregnancy and don’t overexert yourself. Follow a healthy diet and a safe exercise regimen as per your physician’s advice, and soon enough, you’ll be a proud mother of a healthy baby. (3)
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