Baby Thoughts

A forum to talk about the general challenges of daily life with MS.

Baby Thoughts

Postby Julia » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:09 am

Hi,

I am new to the forum. I found this site & forum while trying to do a lot of research.

My question is, has anyone out there had a baby after their diagnosis of MS. I would like people's thoughts. My neurologist gave me the go ahead, stating that you feel better during the time of pregnancy, but I guess my fears are this:

1. Is it fair to bring a child into the world knowing that you have a disease that could make it difficult at times with energy and mobility.

2. Is it fair to possibly pass on a disease like this to your child (knowingly).

My husband and I were in the process of beginning our family (I am 28 ) and then I was diagnosed. I am still reeling from all of this, but this is the biggest concern that I have currently.

Thanks!
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Postby jimmylegs » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:06 pm

Lots of ppl have babies after diagnosis. Don't let it stop you.
There are lots of things you can do to optimize your health and that of a developing baby.
Pregnancy is protective against relapse for a variety of reasons, but you might have a chance of relapse post-partum.
There are many knowns about early childhood and risk factors for ms development. You can take preventative measures.
My personal angle on dealing with ms (or anything else) is figuring out what is going on to the best of my ability, then optimizing body function via nutrition.
if this sounds interesting to you, or if you have any questions, just ask away.

JL

PS my signature links, below, will take you to a variety of ms-related sources of nutrition information
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Re: Baby Thoughts

Postby NHE » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:21 am

Hi Julia,
It's impossible to know in advance what the natural course of your disease is going to look like in the future. You might go 10 years or more without too much acquired disability and there are things you can do to help hedge your bets on this as well (diet, exercise, supplements like omega-3 fish oil, etc). My own personal experience is that I went 8 years between my first symptoms and my second attack without any treatment. I then started Avonex and went another 8 years before my walking became noticeably impaired. My suggestion, live your life to its fullest! The challenge of having MS and raising a child seems small compared to having such a large "what if" hanging over you for so many years. I know one mother with MS with two young boys and I can't imagine that she would trade them in for a little extra convenience in managing her MS symptoms.

NHE
Last edited by NHE on Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Julia » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:04 am

Thank you both for those comments. It is good to hear positive feelings on all of this, I think in my heart that is what I was leaning towards, but with so many unknowns it all seems very scary.

Thank you for the exercise and diet tips, I am already researching some of these things and I am sure I will have many more questions.
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Postby zinamaria » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:15 pm

Hello Julia, just want to support you and say that fear is fear, not reality. Also diet is essential and I would get on it right away by getting a book, called Healing MS, Ann Boroch... it will do you and your baby a great deal in the way of maintaining overall health...good luck.
peace,
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:42 pm

Hi Julia and welcome to the board.

I had a baby 10 years after diagnosis (dx age 25), at the age of 36. I am so happy - 0% regrets :D . My son has brought me & my husband so much joy. I did have a relapse about 6 months after I gave birth but it wasn't any more severe than normal, and I suspect my very low Vitamin D3 levels may have contributed to that. My MS story is complex enough and I don't want to go into the whole speil here but I'd have a few suggestions for you if you decide to go ahead:

1) try to put aside as much money you can into an account. Only use this if there's an MS-crisis. We saved enough for a one-year fulltime creche place for our son, and help in the home, and a years' worth of mortgage payments, should I get bad.

2) get your vitamin D3 levels checked now and get them into an optimal range before you get pregnant. Jimmylegs on this board is brilliant on this info! Get them checked again immediately after birth and supplement if necessary. Also research the issue of D3 supplementation in newborns - discuss with your GP see the info here:http://www.fsai.ie/assets/0/86/204/bd98b833-f7ec-48df-8989-0c60619bb552.pdf - this will reduce your risk of passing MS on to your little one.

3) Accept help. If people offer to help with a newborn, take them up on the offer. Each time you can rest, especially when you're dealing with sleeplessness, will help you get through. If you're going through a period of bad fatigue, hire a cleaner for 2 hours a week. If you don't feel up to shopping, get the shopping online. When your baby sleeps, you sleep too and ignore the mess. Things like this really help.

Regarding the fairness of knowingly bringing a little one into the world given our possible limitations, and the risk of transmission - I'd just say this. I think if you are a resourceful person who accepts help, who's open to finding solutions for the problems that MS throws at you, and who is determined, then I think it is fair. Other poeple have no idea what life will throw at them in the future either. You can be a great Mother and have a disability.
Hope that helps and best of luck in your decision.
I have never been so happy in all my life as now. I love being a Mum!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Postby Julia » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:12 am

Thanks for the information, just a few questions.

get your vitamin D3 levels checked now and get them into an optimal range before you get pregnant. Jimmylegs on this board is brilliant on this info! Get them checked again immediately after birth and supplement if necessary. Also research the issue of D3 supplementation in newborns - discuss with your GP see the info here:http://www.fsai.ie/assets/0/86/204/bd98b833-f7ec-48df-8989-0c60619bb552.pdf - this will reduce your risk of passing MS on to your little one


I have been on on Pre-Natal vitamin's for the past 4 months (like I said we were trying before my diagnosis). Would that be good enough to raise my D3 levels? Or should I still get them checked. I have had 12 vials of blood removed in the past couple of weeks, but D3 was not checked (go figure).

try to put aside as much money you can into an account. Only use this if there's an MS-crisis. We saved enough for a one-year full-time creche place for our son, and help in the home, and a years' worth of mortgage payments, should I get bad.


Wow, a year's full of mortgage payments and enough to have help, you are wonder woman! I hope that we can start saving more, but with a baby that seems difficult, especially because money is so tight. The lottery seems like a good choice...hehe.

Wonderfulworld - since I have only had two flair ups, would I expect the flair up to be fairly rough or minor (or does it depend like everything else in the MS world)? :D
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:40 pm

julia, i would advise still getting d3 levels checked.

i HIGHLY doubt pre-natal vits intended for healthy people are adequate to support an ms patient's more rigorous needs for regular day to day life, let alone as an expecting mom.

there are a bunch of nutrients and similar indicators that you can reasonably ask to have checked when you are dealing with ms. especially important when planning for a family!

if you get d3 checked as for this test: 25(OH)vitaminD3.
**[not to be confused with 1,25(OH)2vitaminD3]**

some other 'usual suspects' in ms include:
-vitamin b12
-zinc (REALLY important for expecting moms, especially ones with MS!!)
-uric acid

there are more, and WW might have something to add here - but the above is probably plenty to get you started!

if you have any questions, just say :)

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:35 am

Hiya again Julia
I also second Jimmylegs...definitely get your D3 checked now. I was taking additional D3 for a few years and good prenatal vitamins for quite a while. I neglected to get it checked before I had my son, and it was only after I'd had him I got the test for D3 levels done and I had insufficient levels, despite all the prenatal supplements. He inherits my D3 levels, so with that in mind, it would be better to get your D3 up to at least a normal range before you conceive a baby.

Also you should probably just take the prenatal vitamin once you conceive, rather than additional vitamins. Taking extra vits when pregnant is not advised by obstetricians, so if you do have to mega-dose, at least if you get it over and done with before you conceive then it's one less worry to deal with.

Re. the relapse, I found it to be about the same as normal. It was just much harder because you're coping with a little one and lack of sleep too. Thankfully family all helped out and my son had a great 3 weeks of visiting aunties and grandparents.


Wow, a year's full of mortgage payments and enough to have help, you are wonder woman! I hope that we can start saving more, but with a baby that seems difficult, especially because money is so tight.
:oops: Oh no, I'm just a worrier and I felt much better knowing there was a 'cushion' behind me. Do you know, the whole baby/money thing....you manage no matter what. Money would not put me off having another. I didn't mean to make it sound like it was an absolute neccesity...but I DO hope you win the lottery too!
Best of luck.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Concussus Resurgo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Copaxone, Cymbalta. EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily, Cal/Mag/Zinc, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle.
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Postby Julia » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:05 am

First off JimmyLegs and Wonderfulworld thank you! I am glad to get a few more tips.

I will go ask my doctor about a few more tests. I was already low in my B12, but Zinc and D3 levels were not looked at. I cringe at having more blood drawn, but it is worth it.

Oh no, I'm just a worrier and I felt much better knowing there was a 'cushion' behind me. Do you know, the whole baby/money thing....you manage no matter what. Money would not put me off having another. I didn't mean to make it sound like it was an absolute neccesity...but I DO hope you win the lottery too!
Best of luck.


No worries, I am impressed with your ability to save! You are a great role-mode!l :D I am lucky in that I randomly signed up for long -term disability insurance for my job (about 2 years before I was diagnosed) so hopefully that gives me some cushion to fall back on, but you are right, I should make a bigger effort to save.

if you get d3 checked as for this test: 25(OH)vitaminD3.
**[not to be confused with 1,25(OH)2vitaminD3]**some other 'usual suspects' in ms include:
-vitamin b12
-zinc (REALLY important for expecting moms, especially ones with MS!!)
-uric acid


JimmyLegs can you explain the difference? I always like to know what I am talking about when dealing with doctors.
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Postby jimmylegs » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:04 pm

ok sure, d3 goes into your skin via sunlight as cholecalciferol.

then gets hydroxylated once in kidney to 25 hydroxycholecalciferol - aka 25(OH)D3.

next, vitamin D3 it gets hydroxylated again, mainly in the kidneys, to 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol - aka 1,25 (OH)2D3.

25(OH)D3 is what you measure to determine your status in terms of skeletal and immune system health.

25(OH)D3 is a measure of your body's stores of ingredients for making 1,25(OH)2D3.

1,25(OH)2D3 does not change as much over time, because the levels are pretty tightly controlled.

25(OH)D3 is affected drastically by many factors including latitude, season of the year, skin colour, age, amount of skin coverage by clothing, dietary intake, supplement intake, etc etc etc.

to avoid rickets, levels should be above 50 nmol/L. to avoid osteoporosis, be in the 70s or 80s.

people with 25(OH)D3 levels above 100 nmol/L have been shown to have the lowest risk of MS.

the latest 'normal range' is 100-250 nmol/L. above 250 nmol/L you run the risk of hypercalcaemia. recently published medical research has stated that less than 100 nmol/L is insufficient.

my personal target, and that of a few others here and scattered out there in the professional nutrition community, is 150 nmol/L.

final note, in foods you can get 25(OH)D3 naturally in things like fish, or in fortified things such as milk. in milk, the fortification might be D2 not D3. D2 is for plants, and it does not act as efficiently to raise vitamin D levels in humans, compared to D3.

hope that clears things up!

JL
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Postby jimmylegs » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:33 am

Nutrition–hormone receptor–gene interactions: implications for development and disease
M. J. Daunceya1 c1, P. Whitea1, K. A. Burtona1 and M. Katsumataa1
a1 Developmental Genetics Programme, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge CB2 4AT, UK

Abstract

Nutrition profoundly alters the phenotypic expression of a given genotype, particularly during fetal and postnatal development. Many hormones act as nutritional signals and their receptors play a key role in mediating the effects of nutrition on numerous genes involved in differentiation, growth and metabolism. Polypeptide hormones act on membrane-bound receptors to trigger gene transcription via complex intracellular signalling pathways. By contrast, nuclear receptors for lipid-soluble molecules such as glucocorticoids (GC) and thyroid hormones (TH) directly regulate transcription via DNA binding and chromatin remodelling. Nuclear hormone receptors are members of a large superfamily of transcriptional regulators with the ability to activate or repress many genes involved in development and disease. Nutrition influences not only hormone synthesis and metabolism but also hormone receptors, and regulation is mediated either by specific nutrients or by energy status. Recent studies on the role of early environment on development have implicated GC and their receptors in the programming of adult disease. Intrauterine growth restriction and postnatal undernutrition also induce striking differences in TH-receptor isoforms in functionally-distinct muscles, with critical implications for gene transcription of myosin isoforms, glucose transporters, uncoupling proteins and cation pumps. Such findings highlight a mechanism by which nutritional status can influence normal development, and modify nutrient utilization, thermogenesis, peripheral sensitivity to insulin and optimal cardiac function. Diet and stage of development will also influence the transcriptional activity of drugs acting as ligands for nuclear receptors. Potential interactions between nuclear receptors, including those for retinoic acid and vitamin D, should not be overlooked in intervention programmes using I or vitamin A supplementation of young and adult human populations.
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Postby lyndacarol » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:28 pm

FYI, folks, insulin is a polypeptide hormone...!
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