Pregnancy can bring out many challenges and concerns for women with rare autoimmune diseases. However, while women in the past were frequently counseled against conceiving, more and more women today can enjoy healthy pregnancies due to advancements in monitoring and treatment. At Rosenberg Maternal-Fetal Medicine, we specialize in providing comprehensive care for pregnancies affected by these conditions to ensure the best possible outcomes for both mother and baby.
How Women With Autoimmune Disorders Can Enjoy Healthy Pregnancies
Autoimmune disorders are conditions with an ongoing, self-directed immune system response. These conditions are five times more likely among women. There are many ways that pregnancy and autoimmune disorders can interact. Depending on the type of autoimmune disorder, pregnancy may profoundly impact the autoimmune disease. However, autoimmune disorders often interact with pregnancies in these ways:
- Pregnancy can trigger the development of an autoimmune disorder, such as type 1 diabetes.
- A pre-existing autoimmune disorder can impact the pregnancy and cause potential harm to the fetus.
- The mother’s antibodies can enter the fetus’s system, affecting its growth and development.
Women with autoimmune diseases often face disease flare-ups and potential impacts on fetal development. Most often because the antibodies and antigens that develop within the immune complex can clog and filter the placenta, causing a decrease in nutrients the baby can receive. In later stages of pregnancy, mothers must also be aware of placental dysfunction, as a poorly functioning placenta can develop into placental vasculitis, an inflammation of the capillaries, which increases the risk of preterm delivery and smaller infants.
It’s highly recommended that women with autoimmune diseases achieve remission at least six months before their pregnancy, as it can substantially reduce their risk of preterm delivery and symptom flare-ups. However, women currently experiencing pregnancy coexisting with an autoimmune disease should know that solutions are available to manage their condition and experience a healthy pregnancy.
Fetal medicine specialists are crucial in managing pregnant women with autoimmune diseases, providing specialized care that focuses on their unique health challenges. At Rosenberg Maternal Fetal-Medicine, our specialists can offer comprehensive support and guidance for your pregnancy journey through these services:
- Preconception Counseling: During preconception counseling, they assess the woman’s overall health, review her medical history, and discuss the potential risks and considerations associated with pregnancy. This allows for personalized planning and optimization of the woman’s health before conception, ensuring the best possible outcomes for both mother and baby.
- Risk Assessment: Our fetal medicine specialists can assess the severity of the condition, its current activity level, and associated complications. This risk assessment helps identify potential challenges and tailor a management plan that addresses each patient’s needs.
- Medication Management: Many women with autoimmune diseases require medications to manage their condition. Our fetal medicine specialists work closely with these patients to review their current medications and make necessary adjustments to ensure the safety of both the mother and the developing baby. They have in-depth knowledge of the potential risks and benefits of various medications during pregnancy and can guide suitable alternatives or modifications to the treatment regimen.
- Close Monitoring: Regular monitoring is essential to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby throughout the pregnancy. Our fetal medicine specialists closely monitor the autoimmune disease activity, assess any potential complications, and evaluate the growth and development of the fetus. This may involve frequent ultrasounds, blood tests, and other specialized assessments to ensure early detection of any issues and prompt intervention if needed.
Contact Rosenberg Maternal Fetal Medicine Today For a Consultation
If you are a woman with a rare autoimmune disease and are considering pregnancy or already expecting, we encourage you to contact us at either Hewlett: (516) 501-9840 or Suffern: (845) 764-9880. Dr. Victor Rosenberg and our dedicated team at Rosenberg Maternal Fetal Medicine are here to support you at every step, providing expert care to help you navigate the unique challenges of your pregnancy journey. At Rosenberg Fetal Medicine Specialists, your and your baby’s health is our utmost priority.