Eat this, not that. Take this vitamin, not that. Drink water, not coffee.
Women are inundated with information about what to do and avoid when expecting. But when you have chronic health condition such as PAP, these recommendations go a step further to keep mom and baby safe.
However, having a chronic disease does not necessarily mean that you can’t have a healthy pregnancy. A good rule of thumb is to make sure to seek care from specialists to ensure the condition is managed carefully during pregnancy.
At this point, doctors do not know exactly how a pregnancy may affect your condition. According to Dr Cliff Morgan, physician at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital in England, the impression is that PAP may get worse during pregnancy. And it can be more difficult to treat because of the increased metabolic demands and increased oxygen consumption during pregnancy.
During a pregnancy your doctor will need to look after your PAP very carefully as insufficient treatment of PAP with low oxygen levels in the blood, as well as medical treatments or procedures, may affect you or your fetus in a negative way. For example, you may need to use extra oxygen supplementation during the pregnancy.
Dr. Cliff Morgan says:
So far, in 30 years of treating PAP, we have looked after two patients who became pregnant. In the first, she got pregnant after getting into remission from PAP after a series of lavage treatments. The PAP relapsed and she needed oxygen. We considered various options but she remained oxygen dependant but stable and underwent controlled delivery at 37 weeks. The PAP immediately went away again and she remained well thereafter. The second is due for delivery by C section early 2016. She is quite breathless and on a lot of oxygen but holding out.
Thus, based on your disease progression and overall physical condition, you and your doctor should be able to discuss your possibilities including the potential measures that may have to be taken related to a pregnancy.
If you have breathing problems, you may be concerned whether it will limit you to an extent where it influences your parenting. But remember that parenting is not only about running around playing football or climbing trees. Parenting is also about love, intimacy, solicitude and much more that you can give your children regardless of your condition.
You should also remember that in the eyes of your children you are Mummy or Daddy. How to be the best mom or a dad to your children is not predefined and there are no instructions telling you how to ensure that your children will have a good life. In contrast, children grow up under all sorts of circumstances and with all sorts of parents.
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