Times have changed since women with MS were advised by their doctors not to start a family.
Many women with MS now have families and whilst this is not straightforward with MS symptoms, the pleasure of enjoying children growing up makes it all worthwhile.
In fact, many women with MS describe their pregnancy as the healthiest they have felt in years however, many women also report a relapse and return of symptoms in the early months after the child is born.
During pregnancy, especially in the 3 months prior to birth there is a reduction in relapse rates but in the first 3 months following birth there is an increased relapse rate.
Vaginal delivery makes no difference to relapse rate showing that elective caesarean is not necessary and epidural anaesthetics are also safe to have.
The MS Nurse in the area can also play a supportive role alongside the Midwife to help ensure all involved are aware of MS.
It is important that the woman plans ahead in case a relapse occurs; setting up a support network of family, friends and other mums to be.
It is particularly important that family is prepared for the fact that a relapse may happen so they too can provide extra support if it is needed.
Paternity leave is now more widely available so any partner can find out in advance what additional work leave may be available. Social Services may be able to provide extra support at this time with either care or help with housework etc.
Once a woman becomes pregnant it is important to liase with both her Neurologist and Obstetrician so that they can chart her progress and both be involved and support her.