“According to Healthline, psoriasis does not affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.”
Will I experience a flare during pregnancy?
There is no way to know that for sure, since we all have different experiences and circumstances. Research has implied that that around 55% of women with psoriasis see an improvement in their psoriasis symptoms during pregnancy. The other 45% experience either no change or a worsening of symptoms. This is different from person to person and can even vary within your own pregnancies. Changes in the hormonal and immune systems during pregnancy may change the way psoriasis affects someone at this time.
Can I still treat my psoriatic disease?
Talk to your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options during pregnancy and postpartum. There are still ways to treat psoriasis but may require a change in medications. This is a personal decision to be made with guidance from your healthcare team. If you’re under treatment for psoriatic arthritis, it may require a different treatment plan to ensure you’re managing your joints.
I opted to go off Humira when I started family planning. I went back on it when I was finished nursing my second daughter. My girls are only 20 months apart. I went from pregnant to nursing, to pregnancy AND nursing, to just nursing again. 1,267 days in a row spent pregnant and/or nursing!
During both pregnancies, my skin cleared to about 95%. After both my girls were born, my skin started to flare. It was only 2 weeks after my older daughter, Reece was born, and approximately 8 weeks after my little one, Nico was born. The circumstances of their births couldn’t have been more different. Reece was a stressful, emergency c-section 2 days before her due date in a snowy, freezing January and Nico was born on her due date with an uneventful, calm vbac on a sunny, warm day in September.
I hypothesize that the stress of Reece’s birth, longer recovery, and my grandmother passing three weeks later may have contributed to the shorter timeframe for my flare. Stress has always been the major contributor to my psoriasis flares.
Will my child have psoriasis?
There is no way to know if your sweet baby will also have psoriasis.
“According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) if one parent has psoriasis, there’s approximately a 10 percent chance of the child developing it. That increases to 50 percent if both parents have the condition. Even then, it doesn’t automatically mean your child will develop psoriasis. People also need to be exposed to specific factors that trigger their particular genes to cause psoriasis. About 10 percent of the population has one or more of the genes that predisposes them to psoriasis, but only 2 to 3 percent of the population develops it.”
My grandma had psoriasis, but none of her children did. Then I was the one out of her ten grandchildren to get it. Lucky me!
So far, neither of my daughters have shown any signs of psoriasis. If they do, I will be equipped to help them manage their journey, both mentally and physically.
How to manage psoriasis symtoms
The below suggestions can help make your symptoms more comfortable, but again talk to your doctor if more aggressive treatments may be needed.
- Topical Treatments: I relied very heavily on coconut oil while both pregnant and nursing. I used it on my body, face, and especially on my scalp.
- Fun TMI fact: Not only did I get to experience the fun of cracked nipples during breastfeeding, I got psoriasis where the skin was injured. Thank you Koebner Phenomenon! My pediatrician confirmed that the coconut oil was safe for the baby, but always double check before using any treatments.
- I love the Buddhify app and would use it while nursing or attempting to get some sleep. If your flare is stress-induced, trying to stay as relaxed as possible can help.
- Psoriasis causes inflammation in your body
- Introduce more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet
- I created a list here that can get you started
- Move your Body: with clearance from your doctor, of course!
- Start by taking that sweet baby out for long walks and work your way up from there
- Bonus if the baby sleeps! Reece would only nap in the stroller, so we covered most of Manhattan by sidewalk in her stroller.
- Get Outside: It’s common for psoriasis patients to have Vitamin D deficiencies. Even a few minutes a day can get some of that much needed Vitamin D
Most of all, enjoy this special time even with a psoriasis flare. Make yourself as comfortable as possible, and overdose on baby snuggles.