Accessing Good Maternity Care While Living With Chronic Illness


The most difficult part of my journey was conceiving and coming off medication. It was a testing time coming off methotrexate and reducing painkillers. I had a supportive rheumatologist who respected our decision to have children and she supported me to reduce medication. She also referred me for further tests with infertility specialists and I was referred to pre-pregnancy counseling.

At the time, I underestimated the importance of the pre-pregnancy counseling, it helped put a plan in place for when I did get pregnant and they made it clear that I would be consultant-led with regular hospital appointments and check-ups.

At first, my maternity care was based with the Community Midwife as my GP arranged the first appointment. I had made it clear to her that I would be consultant-led and asked about the referral process to the consultant in question. She was very dismissive of this and instead I was assessed by a consultant at the Health Center who deemed me as “green” pathway and not a high risk. This didn’t sit well with me and my gut instinct told me I would have to push for more support.

I chased up the hospital referral for pre-pregnancy counseling and after many phone calls, I finally was given an appointment for the consultant at the maternity unit and was prescribed a low dose of aspirin as required for pregnant women with chronic conditions.

This was a turning point for me during my pregnancy and I’ve been seen every four weeks by consultant and midwife with regular growth scans. The maternity support I have received has been consistent with an assigned midwife and consultant who are aware of my conditions. I’m now 29 weeks pregnant with a clear plan in place with the view of being induced at 37 weeks.

woman taking a selfie and showing off her pregnant belly

If you are pregnant with a chronic illness, have a plan in place and ensure you receive the right support and don’t be afraid to ask for more support.

Image Credits: Leann Kelly

Follow this journey on Arthritis Fighter.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Psoriatic Arthritis

arthritis and pregnancy

How I'm Managing My Arthritis During Pregnancy

The most difficult part of my journey has been conceiving and coming off medication. It was a testing time coming off methotrexate and reducing painkillers but ultimately it was worth it. I’ve been lucky that during my early stages of pregnancy my symptoms had reduced and this is due to the surge in hormones. The [...]
illustration of a woman blowing her nose

What It's Like Getting Sick When You Live With Autoimmune Disease

This week it happened. I wash my hands with surgical scrub, I drink tea with tulsi in it every morning, I do all I can to try to stay away from ill people and germ incubators. It’s also hard to tell when I am coming down with something, since wide temperature swings, body aches, fatigue [...]
A woman vacuuming a hardwood floor.

If You're Still Trying to Get Used to the Messiness of Chronic Illness

I cleaned my bathtub the other day. Spoonies, you get how astounding that statement is. My tub is not one of those shallow rectangular trays; rather, it is an oval of what feels like infinite depth when I am cleaning it (and not quite deep enough when I’m in it). And it’s wide. Wide enough [...]
An illustration of a silhouette of a woman standing in a dark area, while it rains.

Why I Rarely Share About My Dark Moments With Chronic Illness

I’m lying in the bathtub. My mother put me there to try to make it better. “It.” We still don’t know what “it” is. What’s wrong with me? Naked. Exposed. Defeated. Moving even an inch shot searing pain through every joint…from my jaw to my swollen toes. My mother knelt down helplessly. For weeks on [...]