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Pregnancy and Lupus

(continued)

Managing Delivery and a New Baby continued...

While most mothers and babies do well, lupus often flares after the delivery, and other problems, including the following, can occur:

Breastfeeding difficulties. Babies born prematurely may not be strong enough to suckle and draw out breast milk. Mothers who deliver prematurely or are taking certain medications may have trouble producing breast milk. Also, some mothers need to take medications that can pass though the breast milk and are advised not to breastfeed. Most of these issues can be resolved. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns about breastfeeding.

Neonatal lupus. Neonatal lupus is not the same as lupus in the mother. About 3% of babies born to women with lupus will have the condition. Most often it's transient, which means it will pass. The condition consists of a rash and abnormal blood counts. By the time the baby is 6 or 8 months old, the condition usually disappears and never returns. In rare cases, babies with neonatal lupus will have an abnormal heart rhythm that is permanent and may require a pacemaker.

After the delivery, it is important to see your doctor regularly to monitor the changes in your body as it returns to the way it was before you were pregnant. Although you will be focused on caring for your new baby, remember it's important that you take care of yourself.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 21, 2013
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