Comments on the pains of Rheumatoid Arthritis during and after pregnancy

On the subject of pregnancy, it seems like a lot of you ladies started experiencing really bad flares after giving birth. Has this been the case with most of you? I'm a newlywed, and already have 2 amazing older kids, 15 and 10. My husband and I had decided not to have anymore, as the fear of my flaring badly is forefront in our minds. However, I'm having second thoughts. He's Mexican, and family is so important to him. He always puts me and my needs first, though, and seeing me in pain kills him. I know everyone is different, but I'd love to hear your experiences.

Shanan Light
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I definitely feel like I was in more pain during pregnancy than right after.

Alexandria Cormier

I was on 5mg twice a day after the first trimester and still am until I’m done breastfeeding

Alexandria Cormier 3 years

I did not have a flare after giving birth thanks to my rheumatologist. I was diagnosed during my pregnancy and she put me on a low dose of prednisone. I received a stress dose of steroids via IV during an otherwise unmedicated labor. Then I went up to 60 mg of prednisone about a week after birth and quickly tapered back down to a low dose... Then a slow taper to get off it completely. No flare whatsoever. In fact I felt pretty invincible in the first couple of months of my daughter's life. I'm lucky that I tolerated the prednisone well compared to some. I wouldn't want to be on it long term, but it allowed me to be the mom I needed to be at the time my daughter needed me most and it was totally worth it.

Tara James

This is awesome. Did you breastfeed? Did it affect your milk supply?

Danielle Burgos 3 years

I am still breastfeeding. My daughter turns two in a couple of weeks. My supply started out low due to baby coming 3 weeks early, but with lots of pumping and a little formula supplementation in the first 3 weeks, my supply caught up quickly and I had the chubbiest EBF baby you've ever seen.

Tara James 3 years

I should also add that of the lactation consultants I talked to during that time (there were several) only one thought the prednisone might have negatively affected my supply. All the others, including several doctors and nurses said there's no correlation.

Tara James 3 years

I got diagnosed with RA 2 months after having my 2nd child..

Tiffany Dorsey

I had a huge flare after giving birth it was awful. Get ahead of the flare and I think that will help.

Tamara Parr

Yup that happened to me!

Candice Rosa

Wow. I'm not having kids because of a "cultural practice." I was explaining that family is important to him.

Shanan Light

My husband is also Mexican but he would’ve been happy with just one child, we have four. He always left it up to me which sounds like the case for you too. And if you did want to have kids for “cultural practice” then who cares? Your body, your family.

Alexandria Cormier 3 years

I understood what you meant - certainly, it's a personal decision between the two of you.

Caroline Abel 3 years

I did not flair with either of my pregnancies. Pregnancy sent me into remission, and I had minimal pain for 5-6 years.

Jess Schneider

Yes I’ve heard this from other moms, that pregnancy can put you in remission.

Alexandria Cormier 3 years

Alexandria Cormier I know it doesn’t happen to everyone, but my husband and I joked that we should have another baby for this reason, but I think 3 is our limit! (Obviously we wouldn’t have a baby for that reason ). Hormones seem to play a big role in my RA. I’ve noticed that birth control has had a positive effect in the past for me.

Jess Schneider 3 years

It didn’t happen to me but I hoped it would!

Alexandria Cormier 3 years

I didn't have any pain or flares while pregnant and for about a year after. Good luck!

Holly Koehler

I had an awful flare after pregnancy, even with taking prednisone. It took over 3 years to find a medicine to help me, as what I had taken pre pregnancy didn’t work post pregnancy.

Devan Dahl

Yep happened to me. I felt like death for years after. Still figuring out how to feel my best. Felt awesome pregnant though.

Deana Banks

Diagnosed 5 months postpartum with my first child. Went into remission during second pregnancy and then it came back with vengeance again 5 months postpartum.

Sabrina Park

I did not even know I had it until 12 months after giving birth. Pain pain pain (this also happens to be when she weaned) ... She just turned two and I’m finally seeing a rheum after trying to treat my symptoms as regular aches and pains and realizing it was more than that.

Machelle Lockett

I was diagnosed after the birth of my 4th child. Although as I look back at my symptoms I may have had it before but because if my weight, most drs blamed my weight before everything else.

Carmelita Donovan

No babies here, but there is definitely a correlation between hormonal changes and autoimmune disease.

Liz Tyson

Yes I had a horrible flare after my son was born. Parts of my upper and center spine got inflamed and make it so I couldn’t breath because my rib cage wouldn’t expand. I got admitted for two weeks. It was horrible. I got on BC till we could schedule a for my hubs. But I got pregnant again. And honestly I’m so scared.

Ana Fisher

I got diagnosed after giving birth to my second child. I was on prednisone and plaquenil for about 6 months and weaned off of it. I was doing pretty well managing my symptoms w lifestyle changes. I’m now pregnant with my third child and surprisingly, I haven’t had any flare ups during it. (Knock on wood)

Christina Poole

After my youngest was born I breastfed for a year. I felt great during my pregnancy and breastfeeding. About a year after I stopped breastfeeding I started having pain worse than ever and it's progressively getting worse since then. About 8 or 9 months now. I was diagnoses 2 months ago but had some symptoms before my last pregnancy that went away during pregnancy. I told my husband about pregnancy causing remission, we joked about it saying we will not have another just for that!

Ashley Hedrick

I was diagnosed after 1st baby. Pregnancy with 2nd didn’t cause remission but definitely felt a few twinges starting about 3 months post partum. I’ve been more strict with my diet over the last month and I’m back to basically no pain with no meds at the moment. Will see how it goes once I stop breastfeeding.

Hay Earl

I am newly diagnosed, and did not have this illness during my pregnancies. However, approaching the typical menopause years at 51, I'm wondering if hormones are at play in my case as well.

Caroline Abel

I was diagnosed about a year after having my first, but started having symptoms about 7-8 months after having him. I’m expecting my second in a week, if not sooner, and have been feeling really good pretty much this whole pregnancy. I’m very nervous for how I will feel after delivery, especially since I will have to go back to work just a few short weeks afterwards and stress plays a big part in it all. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Gabrielle Brand

I think it’s because it’s a very stressful and traumatic event.

Lisa Saunders

I was not officially dx in 2014 when I had my son but had all the symptoms. Pregnancy was great most of my symptoms went away. Breastfeed until he was 2. Symptoms slowly started to return.

Tanya Alvarado

Hormones definitely affect this disease. To me, it’s not worth the risk, especially knowing we can pass this on to them as well. But of course it’s your decision.

Virginie Morgan

I believe the same. I had reactivated Epstein’s Barr virus three months after my son was born and this started a matter of weeks later.

Kimberly Sinclair 3 years

Many viruses feed on hormones

Kimberly Sinclair 3 years

I found I bouncing back after 1 was fine. It took a couple months. Number 2 was way harder on my body.

Serena Crowe

I was only able to breastfeed a couple weeks because my RA came back.

Serena Crowe 3 years

Yes I’ve been in a flare up since I had my second and he is almost a year old

Rachel Delaney