Considering Pregnancy 

What I Wish My Rheumatology Team Had Told Me Before I Got Pregnant - in Rheumatology Nurse Practice
The patient perspective from multiple mothers about what would have been useful to know before initiating a pregnancy while living with rheumatoid arthritis.

Is Rheumatoid Arthritis Hereditary? - on NewLifeOutlook RA

Genetics only slightly increase the risk of developing RA. Instead, scientists believe that environmental factors are likely to play a much stronger role. While I've addressed this issue before, this article includes some updated statistics from the American College of Rheumatology.

Is RA Hereditary? – on
Is RA hereditary? A genetic component that influences susceptibility is not the same as a disease being hereditary.

New FDA Pregnancy Labeling Standards - Not As Boring As It Sounds! - on
The FDA has new rules concerning how medications are labeled for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding!  

Biologic Use During Pregnancy Doesn't Increase the Risk of Infection in Infants - on
If you end up needing biologics, there is some exciting new data to support the use of biologic medications to manage RA during pregnancy.

“Fertility and Rheumatic Disease” at the 2015 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting  – on
When I was diagnosed with RA at the age of 25, one of my first fears was how the disease might limit me from one of my major life goals – starting a family.

Pregnancy and Chronic Illness: What I Learned - in Women Magazine
Important things to keep in mind when considering a pregnancy while living with a chronic illness. 

CONCEPTION: Getting Pregnant In The First Place – on
If you have RA and are thinking about starting a family, here are some things you should consider and some tips that might help.

Life Without RA Medications – on
Being a parent is all about sacrificing your own needs for the needs of your children. It’s a challenge that every parent faces. But, for those of us living with chronic illnesses like RA, there are all sorts of extra sacrifices, difficulties, and doubts we have to face.

Starting A Family When You Have A Chronic Illness – on Mango Health
Deciding to start a family is always a big decision. But it can seem even more daunting when one partner lives with a chronic illness, or even both do. Here's five considerations - from pregnancy to baby gear! 

What You Need To Know About Pregnancy With Rheumatoid Arthritis - on NewLifeOutlookRA
RA can certainly make pregnancy a bit more complicated. Whether you are thinking about your first pregnancy or considering expanding your family, if you’ve been diagnosed with RA you probably have a lot of the same questions that I had. 

It's Complicated: Starting a Family With RA - on Clara Blog
I share my own experiences with research and explain why I think it's so important for all of us!

American College of Rheumatology Issues Guidelines for Reproductive Health - on
In October 2018, the American College of Rheumatology presented brand new clinical guidelines addressing contraception, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. 


The exciting news is that the trend seems to be moving towards more and more safe options for women with RA who want to get pregnant or breastfeed their babies! So if you’re considering a pregnancy while living with RA, make sure you know all your options.

November 2017: Biologic Use in Pregnancy Does Not Increase Infant Infection Risk - on Rheumatology Network
New evidence is reassuring for women with rheumatoid arthritis who need treatment with a biologic throughout pregnancy.

TNF Inhibitor Use in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding - on
When I first started thinking about becoming a mom after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, one of the biggest challenges was figuring out my options for keeping my RA under control while pregnant and breastfeeding.

“Pregnancy in Rheumatic Diseases” at the 2015 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting – on
The approach presented is a useful way for women with RA to evaluate themselves before deciding to start a family.  

As soon as I started thinking about getting pregnant for the first time, I immediately started researching how living with RA was going to impact my pregnancy (and my chances of getting pregnant in the first place). I was very happy to find this book!

My Second Pregnancy Begins – on
I am excited to share stories from my second pregnancy on I can’t promise that my story will always be uplifting, but I can promise that it will be honest. And though it may not be an easy task, I can promise that I will show it is possible (& wonderful!) to start a family while living with RA

Morning Sickness and Other Unpleasantness – on
Life with RA can sometimes feel like a constant Catch-22, a paradoxical set of circumstances where you find yourself forced to make a decision where it feels like you lose no matter what option you choose...In a strange way, I think these experiences make women with RA uniquely qualified to deal with the completely bizarre things that happen to your body while you are pregnant.

The Magic R-Word – on
Despite more than five years of living with RA, sometimes the R-word still seems too magical to say/type! But if you’ve ever read anything about RA and pregnancy, you’ll have read some statistic about the possibility of going into remission while pregnant.

Pregnancy-Safe RA Relief – on
I'm finding my symptoms to be even more frustrating because there are so few options for addressing aches/pains while pregnant. I've been brainstorming what I can do instead & wanted to share my ideas.

Sometimes Being Pregnant With Arthritis Is Hard – on
Unfortunately I don’t think it can be denied any longer: my RA is officially flaring. I'm also waking up with the most extreme morning stiffness I have ever experienced – it feels like I have been run over with a steamroller. And the fatigue (combined from the RA flare, difficult pregnancy, and chasing a toddler) is beyond soul crushing.

Balancing Acts & Difficult Decisions – on
Life with RA can be a near constant balancing act. You balance the benefits of medications against the potential risks. You must balance exercise & continued movement against pain and fatigue. You even have to balance your desires & dreams against your realities & capabilities.

Pregnancy and Parenting with Arthritis Study by the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance – on
Though I had a lot of friends who were new mothers also, none of them could relate to the specific challenges I was facing because of my RA.

Pregnancy & Parenting with Arthritis – An Interview with Laurie Proulx - on
Laurie shares her own experiences with arthritis and pregnancy/parenting, as well as the resources she's worked to develop for other parents. 


Birth Positions – on
The birth instructor kept talking about “using what nature provides” to make the birth process easier, and I couldn’t stop thinking about how unfair it was that nature had provided me with a bunch of inflamed joints and the ability to get fatigued more easily than other women, which wasn’t going to make the birth process any easier! 

The Post-Birth Flare – on
It is common to experience an RA flare postpartum, but there are several things one can do to make this period of time easier.

The Birth of My Second Baby – on
It is time for me to go back on the methotrexate because at this point I have been living with partially treated RA for FOUR years. Though I must say it has been totally worth it for my two beautiful boys.


The exciting news is that the trend seems to be moving towards more and more safe options for women with RA who want to get pregnant or breastfeed their babies! So if you’re considering a pregnancy while living with RA, make sure you know all your options.

Making The Most of Breastfeeding – on
Women with RA can find breastfeeding to be challenging for many reasons. Here are some tips to help you make the most of breastfeeding!

TNF Inhibitor Use in Pregnancy & Breastfeeding - on
When I first started thinking about becoming a mom after being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, one of the biggest challenges was figuring out my options for keeping my RA under control while pregnant and breastfeeding.


6 Things Mothers With RA Wish You Knew - on Rheumatology Network
A wish list for doctors from patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are—or who want to become—mothers.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Having a Chronic Illness - on Mango Health
Five ideas to help you navigate talking to your kids about your chronic illness.

How To Entertain Kids When You Aren't Feeling Well - on Mango Health
Keeping kids safe, clean, fed, and entertained can be exhausting – even when you are feeling your best. So how do you manage when you’re sick?   

Mamas Facing Forward - A Community to Help Mamas Facing Chronic Illnesses Move Forward – on and
When I realized that there seemed to be no resources addressing the unique challenges of motherhood with a chronic illness, I decided to start one of my own.

5 Tips on Parenting With Chronic Illness – on Mango Health
Parenting is never an easy job. But raising kids can be even more complicated when one parent (or both) lives with a chronic illness.  

Being a parent can bring such joy to your life! Here's how to manage all the challenges that come along with parenting with rheumatoid arthritis. 
RA Friendly Baby Gear – on
Buying the right baby gear can be overwhelming for anyone, but even more so if you're also dealing with RA. In this article I share my recommendations to make life as a parent with RA a little easier. 

Babywearing For Parents With RA – on
After more than 4 years of wearing both of my boys, I honestly can’t imagine motherhood without the benefits of babywearing. 

Strength isn’t about being the strongest. Sometimes strength is about getting back up when you fall down.

24-Hours In The Life of An RA Mom – on
Being a mom is hard work…being a mom with a chronic illness can be even more of a challenge. I chronicle an ordinary day in the life of an RA mom.

Talking To Your Kids About Having A Chronic Illness – on
“My rheumatologist suggested bringing my kids to an appointment with me. That really helped them.” And other tips for talking to kids about RA

Managing Stress About Giving Your Kids Your Chronic Illness - on Mango Health
Raising kids is stressful enough. But parents living with chronic illnesses may face the added concern of passing their own diseases on to their kids. I share my own perspective and the insights of four other moms living with chronic illnesses.


Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering how you found your RA after baby #2? My rheumatologist tells me that the literature says that the disease changes/is more active after each pregnancy? My first pregnancy was tough-no remission until about 20 weeks and even then I flared occasionally. Considering baby #2 now but scared my RA will be even worse afterwards. Did you find that the same meds you were on before having baby #2 worked the same after baby #2? Im on Enbrel and Plaquenil. Thank you so much for this site btw!

~Mariah~ said...

Hi Anonymous ~

After baby #2, the bad news is that the Enbrel - which had been a miracle medication for me for many years - basically stopped working all together. So I had to go back to square one in searching for the right combination of medication. But the GOOD news is that I found one that worked better than anything else I had ever experienced! When I was on Rituxan I was doing so well that last September I was able to do that crazy bike ride. So while pregnancy #2 certainly did seem to impact my RA, my rheumatologist and I were still able to fight back. So I'd say that if a second baby is something that you really truly want, you should definitely make sure you've got good communication with your rheumatologist so you will be ready and able to address whatever may come. Also, my two pregnancies were SO DIFFERENT - which really surprised me because I thought I more or less knew what I was getting into the second time around! My point being, you might have a completely different experience.

If you'd like to get some input from other women in a similar situation, I'd recommend requesting to join my private Facebook support group for moms living with chronic illnesses!