By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
Just completed this book. It arrived the day before my holiday, courtesy of author, Suzie Edward May.
Suzie was on a cocktail of medications, including Methotrexate, Prednisone and a TNF-inhibitor, when she decided to have a baby.
This decision to become a parent is a difficult one for people who suffer with chronic arthritis, such as RA. It carries many implications.
It's something my rheumatology colleagues and I would spend a lot of time talking about & planning. And yet, that time we spend is so inadequate. It's something I was never taught and something I'm sure I can learn to discuss better.
Suzie gave birth to her son in 2007. It was a difficult journey from decision to pregnancy to early parenthood.
She discusses these openly and I am sure this book will help the many chronic arthritis sufferers who are prospective parents.
Topics which are handled honestly and practically include:
- The decision to have a baby
- Stopping or reducing medications and what this will mean
- What happens to the arthritis during the pregnancy
- The post-birth RA flare
- Breastfeeding vs Weaning to formula feeds early
- How this process will affect your relationship with others, especially your partner.
I think it's important for prospective parents to try and understand the impact the process will have on their lives, especially when they are living with a disease like rheumatoid arthritis.
This book "Arthritis, Pregnancy and the path to parenthood" is a valuable resource and one I will be recommending to my patients. You can order it here - www.suzieedwardmay.com
What are your experiences with pregnancy while living with arthritis? I'd also like to hear the experiences of doctors reading this.Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health. You should follow him on twitter here. Arthritis requires an integrated approach. We call this, Connected Care. Contact us.