Many times, prenatal diagnosis can lead to early detection of Cystic Fibrosis. Though during the pregnancy period, the condition may get worse and cause respiratory or other symptoms. However, it is possible to get pregnant and carry the baby to its term. Read this article to know the pregnancy outcomes for a mother with Cystic Fibrosis and how to manage pregnancy health with a disciplined lifestyle and routine.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic illness that can affect multiple or all organs of the body. It often causes digestion issues, lung infections leading to respiratory failure. The inherited disease makes the body produce an abnormal quantity of thick and sticky mucus built up in the lungs and pancreas, affecting the respiratory system, pancreas, digestive system, liver, and intestines. The accumulation of mucus causes harmful bacteria to grow in the body.
There is no permanent cure for this disease, however with the improved advancement in treatment, the life expectancy of such patients continues to increase, including women who are getting into the world of motherhood.
Cystic Fibrosis is inherited genetically. Thus it gets passed on from parents to children through genes. It is caused by the mutation in a gene known as Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR). The CFTR gene makes a protein responsible for controlling water and salt movement in and out of your body’s cells. This helps in the production of thin and freely flowing mucus.
When the CFTR gene does not work properly in the body, a thick and sticky mucus builds up. This leads to infection and salty sweat. The mucus clogs the air passage and other ducts and causes Cystic Fibrosis.
A child inherits a copy of the gene from each parent. When someone inherits a mutated CFTR gene from one parent and a normal CFTR from the other, the person becomes Cystic Fibrosis Carrier. They are usually healthy. However, they are prone to pass the mutated CFTR gene on to their children. Performing carrier testing is a good idea before getting pregnant.
Cystic Fibrosis symptoms differ from one person to person and depend on the severity of the disease. The symptoms may continue to improve or worsen with time. People with CF have the following symptoms:
Pregnancy complications who have CF may differ from one person to another. The growing baby could put pressure on the lungs and make it difficult for the mother to breathe. Women often have constipation. Below listed are some effects during pregnancy:
During pregnancy, high blood pressure results in increased resistance because of harder blood vessels. This can reduce blood flow to the baby, slow down the baby’s growth, and lead to premature delivery.
Major respiratory issues, weight gain, and even poor nutrition increase the chance of premature delivery. Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy may experience infections and can have breathing issues.
This happens during pregnancy when a mother has high blood sugar. It can cause issues and difficulties in the developing baby. Diabetes can damage a patient’s eyes and kidneys.
With Cystic Fibrosis, breathing issues escalate quickly in people. It is crucial to get this symptom treated aggressively to receive the required oxygen for the mother’s body and the baby.
This can prevent the baby from growing in the womb properly. It could lead to problems in gaining weight by the mother and prevent in maintaining acceptable nutritional requirements.
There is no permanent cure for CF. Your treating doctor will guide you through the process. With the advancement in medical sciences, there are numerous treatments available to reduce the symptoms of cystic fibrosis and minimize the menace of complications. Below are some of the ways to treat cystic fibrosis.
There is a possibility of passing cystic fibrosis to a baby. It is important to get monitored regularly and be extra cautious through the nine months of pregnancy to ensure the two of you are safe and healthy. Below are some tips to follow:
Below are some frequently answered questions related to cystic fibrosis and pregnancy.
Yes, you can be pregnant if you have cystic fibrosis. Most women have healthy pregnancies, and their babies are born fine. Even in situations where CF affects the reproductive system, it prevents a woman from getting pregnant. It is better to consult your health care provider to assess and gauge any potential risks before you get pregnant.
Most women will not face any fertility issue or pregnancy complication with the presence of cystic fibroids. However, on a case-to-case basis and depending on the severity of the illness, complications like hypertension, preterm birth, gestational diabetes may show up. In case you are already pregnant, perform cystic fibrosis testing during pregnancy. This will help you find out if your fetus has cystic fibrosis or is a carrier.
Yes, you can safely breastfeed your baby without compromising their health. Mother’s milk is the best food for the baby. When you have CF, it will take a lot of energy for the body to make milk. This may lead to problems in getting enough calorie intake for you and your baby. It is important to work with a dietician for a proper meal plan so that your body gets the required amounts of calories daily.
Cystic Fibrosis does not stop you from starting a family. You will need to make an effort for that extra care and little preparation. Consult your doctor to assess any potential risk before becoming pregnant. It would help if you worked closely with your treating doctor and other care providers. It is important to take good care throughout the pregnancy period to ensure the best possible result for your baby and yourself.
This post was last modified on November 24, 2021 6:04 pm
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