Cystic fibrosis (CF) can complicate pregnancy. To manage cystic fibrosis during pregnancy, the patient’s CF needs to be carefully monitored to maintain her health as much as possible during the added stress of pregnancy. Nutritional intake needs to be controlled to be certain that the patient is gaining sufficient weight and providing adequately for the development of the fetus. Respiratory infections need to be avoided as much as possible or treated immediately if they develop. All of these potential issues can be monitored and handled better when a team, comprised of cystic fibrosis doctors and obstetricians, works together to care for your cystic fibrosis during pregnancy.
Prior to becoming pregnant, you will need to establish a team of doctors, composed of your CF doctors and obstetricians, who can work together to maintain you and your baby’s health and prevent any interference of cystic fibrosis during pregnancy. This team should evaluate your medications to be certain they are all safe for the baby during pregnancy. If any of the medications are a threat to the baby during pregnancy, your doctors should recommend appropriate alternatives. It will be essential to monitor your cystic fibrosis during pregnancy by seeing your CF doctors about every two weeks. You will also need to be vigilant about taking your pre-approved cystic fibrosis medications and doing any therapy which controls your CF.
Pregnancy places greater nutritional demands on your body and if these demands are not met, your body may not support a healthy pregnancy and your cystic fibrosis may worsen. A member of your team of doctors should be responsible for tracking your nutrition by helping with dietary planning, monitoring and ensuring appropriate weight gain occurs, and advising you on vitamin supplements. If nutrition is deficient, you may periodically need to take a supplemental intravenous nutritional aid known as total parenteral nutrition. Cystic fibrosis during pregnancy will sometimes lead to altered glucose levels and cause gestational diabetes. Glucose tolerance tests should be run at least once during each trimester.
Respiratory infections can severely complicate the symptoms of cystic fibrosis during pregnancy, causing stress on your body and the baby. There are several antibiotics which can be taken for a respiratory infection during pregnancy. If an infection occurs, it should be treated immediately. Towards the end of the pregnancy, your team of doctors should evaluate your health and determine the best possible time and method for your delivery. Delivery should take place when you are at your healthiest and strongest.