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Can You Have A Healthy Pregnancy If You Are Suffering From MS?

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November 1, 2018 0 2 minutes, 41 seconds read
Dr Manoj Khanal - Max Hospital
Principal Consultant & Unit Head
Neurosciences, Neurology
Uma Vaidyanathan - Max Hospital
Principal consultant
Obstetrics And Gynaecology

Also known as MS, Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately, in cases of many women, the diagnosis comes at a stage when they are about to plan a pregnancy. Several studies have shown that pregnancy, delivery, and rate of congenital disabilities are no different in women with MS when equated to those without MS. The good part is that there are no substantial evidence of MS causing infertility.

In the past, women with MS were advised not to start a family as the condition may keep them away from giving proper care to their newborn baby. In addition, it was also presumed that pregnancy might worsen the symptoms. 

So, if someone is fighting hard with MS and wishes to plan a pregnancy, the advice is to seek consultation from the best neurologist in Gurgaon to better understand the chances of having a healthy pregnancy. 

Living with MS While Pregnant

Luckily, the picture today is somewhat different. Multiple studies have shown that pregnancy reduces the chances of relapse and this mainly happens in the third trimester. However, if someone has unrecognized MS, they are more likely to start having symptoms during pregnancy. The incapacitating effects of MS may make it substantially hard to carry a pregnancy without any complications. Coordination problems and muscle weakness may surge the likelihood for falls. Furthermore, fatigue may worsen. With fatigue, wheelchair dependence may increase and so the risk of encountering UTIs. 

Keeping the above things in mind, during pregnancy, women need regular and close monitoring to keep track of the condition and overall health of the baby. They may also require recurrent prenatal visits. Though, no standard treatment modifies the course of MS; there are medicines such as steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs that may help. 

During pregnancy, rehabilitation and supportive treatment become especially important. Rehabilitation differs depending on the symptoms, but may help in: 

  • Performing everyday activities
  • Getting the family involved
  • Being independent
  • Using canes, walkers and other assistive devices
  • Enhancing motor skills
  • Refining communication skills in those having trouble speaking caused by weakness or lack of coordination between face and tongue muscles
  • Dealing with bowel or bladder incontinence

Will There Be Any Complications in Breastfeeding?

Multiple Sclerosis does not carry any obstacle in breastfeeding. However, because it is still not clear whether disease-modifying drugs are passed in breast milk, most neurologists advise not to resume therapy until the time someone is breastfeeding. However, there is always an option to resume therapy and formula-feed the baby. Neither of them is right or wrong, as in the end only the mother can decide what is best for them and the baby.

The Role of Neurologist While Pregnant

The neurologist plays a significant role when someone is trying to conceive and that during pregnancy. They also have an opinion about therapy options that will work well in having a smooth pregnancy and prevent relapse after the delivery. Thus, the need of seeking consultation from the best neurologist in Gurgaon. Furthermore, some neurologists also prescribe intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) immediately after childbirth to significantly reduce the risk of postpartum relapse. On the other hand, some neurologists may recommend one or several doses of intravenous corticosteroids for the same purpose. 

 

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