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5 Tips to Manage Cystic Fibrosis and Pregnancy

May 09 - Cystic Fibrosis and Pregnancy

Although cystic fibrosis is a lifelong condition with no cure, it is still possible to live a full and happy life whilst managing the disease. Additionally, it is also still possible for those with cystic fibrosis to have a healthy pregnancy and this article is going to look at the relationship between cystic fibrosis and pregnancy in more depth.

Eat the right stuff

When managed and prepared for correctly, it is possible to experience an uncomplicated pregnancy. One of the most important parts of managing any pregnancy is to maintain the right nutrition. Your body will begin to demand a different balance of nutrition and so you may be advised to take nutritional supplements.

For women who suffer from cystic fibrosis, it may be that you're not able to get enough nutrients from food – or even supplements – and in these scenarios, you may need to go to hospital for an IV line.

Be aggressive with respiratory infections

When you're dealing with cystic fibrosis and pregnancy, it's important that you're as healthy as possible as often as possible. Respiratory infections can be extremely dangerous and harmful to your unborn child, so it's important to treat them aggressively and minimise the amount of damage that can be caused.

Once the first symptoms of a respiratory infection appear, it's important to get antibiotic treatment as quickly as possible to prevent the condition from getting out of hand.

Be prepared to go into hospital

Due to the higher risk, it may be that those balancing cystic fibrosis and pregnancy may need to be hospitalised for observation or treatment. Normally a precautionary step, this is more likely to occur during the final three months of the pregnancy when it becomes a more demanding strain on the body.

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Decide if you want to breastfeed

Breastfeeding is possible even if you have cystic fibrosis. The milk you produce will still contain sufficient levels of protein and sodium, however it's vital that you speak with a nutritionist to develop a plan to ensure you're having enough calories whilst you breastfeed.

Similar to maintaining the right levels of nutrients in your body during the pregnancy, if you're thinking about breastfeeding, then it would be worth making the decision prior to giving birth in order to prepare appropriately.

Plan for the future

Although people living with cystic fibrosis can still have happy and fulfilling lives, it is a degenerative and life-shortening disease. As horrible as it may be to think about, the fact that you can expect a shorter life span as a result of the condition means that it's more important than ever to plan for the future and consider the possibility that you may not see your child through to adulthood.

It's incredibly important that you discuss this with your partner and that you both understand the implications this will have on your baby's life.

Dealing with cystic fibrosis and pregnancy can be difficult but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Combine these five tips with regular discussions with your doctor to determine the best course of action for you to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Resources:
http://www.marchofdimes.org/complications/cystic-fibrosis-and-pregnancy.aspx  
https://www.verywell.com/planning-for-pregancy-and-cystic-fibrosis-998295 

Read more tips for pregnant women

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