Addison's Disease Support Group

Addison's disease (also known as chronic adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism) is a rare endocrine disorder. It is estimated that it affects about 1 to 2 in 100,000 people. It occurs when the adrenal glands, seated above the kidneys, fail to produce enough of the hormone cortisol and, sometimes, the hormone aldosterone

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Pregnancy&Addison's

Those who have had successful pregnancies do you have any tips or pointers to give? Obviously hydration will be a big one and I've read that the 1st trimester is often the roughest for people with Addison's because of the amount of stress the body is going through in creating the living environment for baby and so on. Did you have a pregnancy before being diagnosed with Addison's and one with Addison's? If so, what was different between the two?

My honey and I are currently trying to conceive our 2nd child. Our daughter was born Jan '10 and I was not diagnosed with Addison's then, in looking back I probably has adrenal fatigue or something else going on but my body crashed about 6 months after pregnancy. All things considered I had a pretty simple/regular pregnancy with no complications. The first trimester was spent hugging the toilet because of bad "morning sickness", I had some water retention the last couple weeks of pregnancy, but my blood pressure stayed good and everything else was peachy...It did end in a cesarean-section because baby was tilted and I was not progressing past 4cm dilated. I've read stories of women having very normal successful pregnancies with Addison's and I've read the horror stories. I know because I will be taking steroids my baby may be a bit smaller and baby may run a higher risk of cleft pallet. Are there any vets in here that would be able to lend any advice?

Thanks a million!

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deleted_user
deleted_user

I have had a prego non AD and one having AD. I did have some functioning adrenals left with my last pregnancy, whereas now I have none, so I think if I were to do it again, it would be a bit harder??

I had good prenatal care and my biggest problem was migraines and low amniotic fluid, but everything else was just fine. My daughter was born 4 weeks early and weighed 6.5 pounds and was very healthy!

I actually think the first year with a newborn was harder then the pregnancy because of very little sleep and physical stress/emotional stress of having a new born and a 5 year old! I was on more steroids for one year after and it did help. My Endo did understand the need for more steroids, thank God!!

Just make sure you have a good prenatal care and a good Endo to help things along. And yes you can take anti-nausea meds for the morning sickness form the start, so don't let that frighten you.

Good luck, it can be done, and is so worth it!

Tanya
deleted_user
deleted_user

kristen,

where did you read that about the cleft pallet? i must be honest, that scares the $hit out of me. have you heard of any other risks like that? aauugghh!

xoxo,
misa
deleted_user
deleted_user

My Perinat. told me of the cleft palet also, but she wasn't concerned about it.

Tanya
deleted_user
deleted_user

Tanya - I can totally see the first year being harder on a person rather than the pregnancy/delivery. Shoot the first 3 months of my daughter's life was the roughest I can remember simply because of how little sleep we were functioning on. Now adding a toddler in the mix will probably be even more of a struggle lol. But in my daughter's defense she is a darling toddler who is a great listener so far and doesn't get into too much trouble *so far*. I had terrible migraines the first trimester and I'm not looking forward to them again. Did they relate your low amniotic fluid with having Addison's? I've know a few perfectly healthy women who had low amniotic fluid and had to deliver early or be put on bed rest for long periods of time because of it.

Misa - I can't remember exactly where I read it because I've been reading so many documents lately on our disease, but the percentage of developing a cleft during a regular pregnancy is like 1%, if I remember correctly and the risk of a person using corticosteroids during their pregnancy, like us, raises up a few percentage rates. So needless to say it's rare, but still a chance.

Other risks are: high risk of gestational diabetes, hypertension, and fluid retention. I don't know what the percentages are, but these were some of the things my endo rambled off at our last appointment. He emphasize hydration, hydration, hydration during pregnancy. He said if your Addison's is well managed before pregnancy and you are a healthy person you should be A-OK. :)

Like Tanya said good prenatal care is key.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I was pregnant with addison's. I gained a lot of water weight, had gestational diabetes the last half and delivered 5.5 weeks early due to pre-eclampsia. Other than these issues I really enjoyed the pregnancy. I exercised regularly until month 6.5 when i started to feel tired, but that when a lot of the complications started.

I recommend youhave an emergency injection on standby for delivery day and talk to the head nurse when you're admitted. You need to clearly emphasize the importance of them giving you a stress dose of HC during delivery because you can quickly deteriorate without it.
deleted_user
deleted_user

They were not sure why I had low amniotic fluid a few times, and never mentioned AD as why?? I was monitored very closely because I am also type 1 diabetic and had to make sure I tried to rest and drink plenty of fluids so I managed to stay out of hospital a
and no bed rest, thank God!

Tanya
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deleted_user

hmmm.

this all sounds very hard and complicated.

plus the whole pain part ...

can't someone just give me a cute baby girl, please?

it would be *much* appreciated.

curly hair preffered, but hey, i can always perm it. :)

xoxo (& lol),
misa
emma112
emma112

My daughter was born with a cleft palate, and after the initial horror and guilt, I dealt with it. A cleft palate is totally inside the mouth, so you can't see any problem from the outside. Cleft lip (or as they used to call it, "hare lip") in which the lips and surrounding area are affected, is what most people are thinking of. With cleft palate the baby has to be fed with a special bottle because she can't breast feed (so get out the breast pump) and kept upright while eating and not fed solid food until after the palate is repaired. Nowadays the repair is done very early--9 or 10 months--and often in one or two operations. I'm not saying it's a picnic, but you get used to the feeding routine and being careful about not letting anything go up through the opening, where it can cause ear infections. If you're lucky, you have an otherwise healthy, amazing baby, because the real eye-opener is going to the cleft-palate clinic at a children's hospital and seeing all the problems that kids can have in addition to a cleft palate. You feel like you won the lottery.
When I finally got pregnant with my second child (again with the help of infertility drugs and treatments) I declined the ultrasound at seven months to check for cleft palate because I figured I'd been through it once and I could do it again. He wasn't born with a cleft palate, just with a dash of the lunatic from day one.
deleted_user
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emma~

your 'dash of lunatic' line made me laugh. you crack me up.

i'm sorry that happened to your daughter! thanks for sharing that, i really appreciate knowing more about one of the risks we face in pregnancy.

how long have you had addison's? did your doctors think that it might have been the cause of the cleft palet? i certainly hope that your guilt wasn't over having AD - there's nothing you could have done to prevent it. there's nothing you could have done to prevent your child from having a cleft palet in *any* situation! i suppose that's what most
of us women do, however - feel guilty about things out of our control, and i can't even imagine how your hormones and feelings are when you've just had a baby, especially your first (although i'm hoping to know very soon!)!

does she have any lasting problems/issues with her palet? i hope not.
i love your gratitude and positive outlook - seeing the other children and realizing how much worse things could have been - many women
wouldn't have been able to see that, they would have been souly focused on what THEY were going through. and here you were going through something awful, but were still thankful that it was only that. it says a lot about you. =)

thanks again for sharing!
xoxo, misa
emma112
emma112

No, my daughter is OK now, except for really minor hearing loss in each ear. There can be some associated problems, such as with teeth and speech, but she was so lucky. She had to have speech therapy for a bit to learn how to talk with a roof in her mouth. That's the part that enables you to say things like chocolate chip, a very important phrase in my book. And she also has right now an odd tooth growing beisde the regular molar, but that can also be fixed easily. She is 16 and still everything I could ever wish for in a daughter. I do hope you get pregnant soon. It's so worth it. Anything you have to drag your body through is worth it; and adoption was a strong possibility for me too because it took so long to get and stay pregnant. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. The best thing I can say about pregnancy if you have a kind of rocky one is that there is a reward at the end: someone who will drive you crazy for the rest of your life because you love them so much.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I found pregnancy no problem until the final trimester.

In the first trimester I was exhausted and had bad morning sickness, but I didn't attribute that to the AD.

In the final trimester my standing blood pressure dropped to 70/20 so I needed to increase both my hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone and then I was fine for the rest of the pregnancy.

I got AD when I was 14 so I have nothing to compare it to.

My son was born by emergency caesarean at 39+3 (failure to progress in the pushing stage) and weighed 7lbs14. Throughout the labour I was given 50mg hydrcortisone in a drip every 6 hours and 100mg on delivery.
deleted_user
deleted_user

My niece had Addison's. Both of her two pregnancies went fairly well. However, her disease got worse after her second child was born. Both kids were healthy.
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I can so understand how AD can get worse when you have kids! Actually, the pregnancy was the easy part(I also had a toddler), it is the year after their birth that is so hard, with the loss of sleep, stress and so on. My kids are totally worth it, but my health is a lot of work now!

Tanya
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Fortunately, for me, I had a great support system...my husband, inlaws, etc., so I could rest. Kristen is so right, the 1st semester was very difficult.

It was as neausous most of the nine months with my second child. I was so afraid of vomiting because we all know where we end up with vomiting and
AD...in the hospital.

One thing I noticed is after I was off work, waiting for the big day, I was able to get a lot more rest. Boy, what I difference in how I felt. For reference I gained only nine pounds the first seven months of pregnancy. I gained the nine pounds during my nineth month,(Not supposed to gain any weight the nineth month),just because I was able to rest.

"Funny" story-during my 1st labor, my endo didn't think that I needed the 100 mg of HC, because childbirth was not a "crisis" situation! HA!
deleted_user
deleted_user

I had a successful pregnancy with no problems whatsoever - my son is 2 now and I've has addison's for 18 years. Throughout my pregnancy I had regular visits with my endo, my OB, and a high-risk OB. I felt well taken care of. My only complaint was that I was in labour for 48 hours, getting IV fludro the whole time, so by the time I delivered my son I was horribly swollen. My endo told me to stop taking fludro and take a little extra prednisone until the fluids were out of my system and it worked. I had an epesiotomy which healed much faster that I thought.

I miscarried a few months ago at 13 weeks, but was assured it had nothing to do with my addison's.

I have never heard anything about the cleft pallet or babies being smaller because of the steroids.