How does lupus affect pregnancy? I have lupus and just learned that I am pregnant. What issues should I be aware of during pregnancy?
Lupus . Lupus can affect pregnancy in different ways, altough most pregnant patients under adequate care will have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. The higher risk for pregnancy complications are related to the presence of certain antibodies in blood. One type of these antibodies can cause a miscarriage, delay growth of the baby, preeclampsia or eclampsia ( a condition with high blood pressure usually at the end of the pregnancy) or premature delivery. These antibodies there are sveral types are called antiphospholipid antibodies. The other antibody that can cause problems is the anti ssa or anti ro antibody. These can cross the placenta and attached to the babies heart and cause a congenital heart block. These complications are possible but it doesn't mean that will happen for sure even if you have these antibodies. Most women will have an uneventful normal pregnancy. Your doctor most likely will check you for these and will recommend a more close follow up with a high risk obstetrician. There are several ways to prevent this complications including monitroing the babie's heart while he is in uterus and even treat him if necesary. Keep in mind that the pregancy can also make you lupus flare and the most important thing for you to do is follow your rheumatologist and obstetrician recommendations and not miss scheduled visits so early signs of a lupus flare can be easily identify and treat.