Women with lupus can safely get pregnant and most will have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. However, all women with lupus who get pregnant are considered to have a “high risk pregnancy.” This means that problems during pregnancy may be more likely for women with lupus. It doesn’t mean there will definitely be problems.
Yes. Women with lupus can safely become pregnant. If your disease is under control, pregnancy is unlikely to cause flares. However, you will need to start planning for pregnancy well before you get pregnant.
You will need to find an obstetrician (a doctor who is specially trained to care for women during pregnancy) who manages high-risk pregnancies and who can work closely with your regular doctor.
Pregnant women with lupus have a higher risk for certain pregnancy complications than women who do not have lupus. You may also have other problems that happen during pregnancy.
You may not be able to tell the difference between changes in your body due to pregnancy and warning signs of a lupus flare. Tell your doctor about any new symptoms. You and your doctor can figure out whether your symptoms are because of your pregnancy or your lupus. This way, you can help prevent or control any flares that do happen.
Most likely, yes. Most babies born to mothers with lupus are healthy.
Rarely, infants are born with a condition called neonatal lupus. Certain antibodies found in the mother can cause neonatal lupus. At birth, an infant with neonatal lupus may have a skin rash, liver problems, or low blood cell levels.
Infants with neonatal lupus can develop a serious heart defect called congenital heart block. But, in most babies, neonatal lupus goes away after three to six months and does not come back.
Your doctor will test for neonatal lupus during your pregnancy. Treatment can also begin at or before birth.
Yes. Breastfeeding is possible for mothers with lupus. However, some medicines can pass through your breastmilk to your infant. Talk to your doctor or nurse about whether breastfeeding is safe with the medicines you use to control your lupus.
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This content is provided by the Office on Women’s Health.