Swedish News Blog

Expecting the Best in Pregnancy and Multiple Sclerosis

Pavle Repovic, MD, PhD

Considering that multiple sclerosis (MS) affects primarily women of childbearing age, it comes as no surprise that for many patients MS and pregnancy often occur together. The issues to consider when discussing pregnancy and MS include:

  • How pregnancy affects MS
  • How MS affects pregnancy
  • How MS treatment should be managed throughout pregnancy

The Pregnancy in MS (PRIMS) study of 254 patients revealed that pregnancy is generally protective against MS relapses, in particular during the third trimester. In contrast, the same study found a rebound of relapses during three months post delivery, with 30 percent of women experiencing a relapse within three months after delivery. Several strategies have been proposed to avert the risk of postpartum relapse, including the use of prophylactic IVIG or corticosteroids. More recently, exclusive breast-feeding has been found to offer some protection against postpartum MS activity; however, this finding was disputed in a subsequent study.

There is no evidence ...

What were we thinking?

Jennifer Wojciechowski

When we decide to have a baby (or the idea was placed upon us by an unexpected positive pregnancy test), we start to think about the idea of what it means to have a baby. We imagine all these wonderful thoughts of a sweet baby sleeping and walks in the park with a stroller. We also start to look at our friends who have children. You know, those children who whine, complain and throw temper tantrums and the exasperated parents then just give the child what they want to quiet them down. We think to ourselves, “That won’t be us. We’ll do things differently.”

Now, we find ourselves back on our couch after the monumental event of giving birth and a way too short stay where we had room service and a nurse call button 24 hours a day.

We look at each other, then at the beautiful baby in our arms and simultaneously say, “Now what?”.

Let’s look at the changes for everyone involved to gain some perspective.

 

Changes Mom Partner Baby
Physical Yes, Labor Yes, Stress Everything changed
Hormonal Yes Yes  
Psychological Yes (now a mom) Yes (now a dad)  
Emotional Yes See above  
Disturbed Sleep Yes Yes  

 

How do we navigate the concurrently tumultuous and joyous waters that is being a new parent? How do we keep our relationship strong while enduring the impact of having a baby?

To start, we need to get back to basics:

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