Before you conceive consider the following recommendations:

  • Take high dose folic acid 5mg for at least 3 months prior to pregnancy and during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Discuss the medications you are taking with your general practitioner or rheumatologist*

During pregnancy:

  • You will be cared for by an obstetrician, your general practitioner and a rheumatologist during pregnancy.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis usually improves during pregnancy, especially if your disease is mild at the time of conception.
  • At your first hospital visit you will have blood tests performed, blood pressure measurement and urinalysis, and ultrasound scan.
  • Tiredness is common during pregnancy.
  • Consider taking a multivitamin, such as pregnacare and iron supplementation, such as galfer from 16 weeks of pregnancy.
  • An anomaly scan is performed for all women at 20-22 weeks.
  • A test is usually performed at 28 weeks of pregnancy to check for diabetes in pregnancy, especially if you are taking steroids.
  • Most women with rheumatoid arthritis will have a vaginal delivery. Rheumatoid arthritis is not an indication for caesarean delivery.

Medications that are used in pregnancy and breastfeeding:

  • Paracetamol
  • Prednisolone
  • Sulfsalazine
  • Plaquenil (hydrochloroquine)
  • Azathioprine
  • Mercaptopurine 
  • Infliximab 

Medications to AVOID in pregnancy and breastfeeding:

  • Methotrexate or Cyclophosphamide

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Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication that affects about 10% of first time mums. It usually happens after 28 weeks gestation and close to the end

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Gestational diabetes (GDM)

Gestational diabetes means diabetes diagnosed for the first time in pregnancy and resolving after delivery. It affects about 15% of women. Screening for gestational diabetes

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Ectopic pregnancy

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