by the Wiser Pregnancy team
If you're concerned about your ability to take care of a newborn, ask yourself the following questions before becoming pregnant:
• Am I ready? Do I have the strength and endurance to take care of a newborn?
• Try the following exercises and note your level of difficulty or if you have increased pain in your hips, knees, hands and/or feet:
- Lift a 10 lb. bag of potatoes from the height of your bed
- Hold a 10 lb. bag of potatoes in one arm while sitting for at least 10 minutes
- Go up and down the stairs while carrying a 10 lb. bag of potatoes
- Screw the top on and off a baby bottle
- Push a diaper pin through a thick diaper
- Put your chin to my chest without problem as if you were holding a baby close and looking down at it
• If I'm worried about caring for a newborn, can my partner and I work out a childcare plan?
• Are there friends, family, or someone else I can call when I’m not feeling well?
• Is this a good time personally, emotionally and financially to have a baby? Will I be able to deal with my arthritis, manage the stress of having a newborn and handle the other responsibilities of having a baby?
Ask your doctor these questions about managing arthritis and pregnancy:
• How will pregnancy affect my arthritis?
• What diet or exercise changes will I need to make to stay healthy during pregnancy? Can I make them with my arthritis?
• How will my arthritis likely affect me in the long term? How will this likely affect my ability to care for a child?
• Will I be able to take medication during pregnancy to prevent or treat arthritis flares?
• What are the risks of taking arthritis medication during pregnancy? While breastfeeding?
• How will any changes in my current treatment affect me during pregnancy?
• Will my child inherit my arthritis?
• What can I do to plan ahead for pregnancy and taking care of a newborn?
• Where can I get more information about being pregnant and a parent with rheumatoid arthritis?
These questions are based on research published by publicly available and private medical information sources on the topic.
Copyright © Wiser Pregnancy. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.