The book discusses issues contemplated by women and men with arthritis (and their
partners) when deciding whether to start a family. It gives insight into the physical
and psychological challenges of stopping or reducing the use of long term medications
in order to safely conceive. It discusses the fears and concerns of women and men
when they discover they are pregnant, as well as the reality of living with arthritis
during pregnancy. The book then shares the many challenges of coping through a post-birth
flare, including how it may impact on your ability to care for your baby.
Issues of breastfeeding and bottle feeding are then discussed and information is
shared to help you decide which is right for you and your baby. Practical advice
is given to remind you to care for yourself alongside your baby and others close
to you such as your partner and other children during this often difficult time.
Finally, you are invited to look closely at your own experience on your path to
parenthood to help you prepare to "do it all again".
ABOUT THE BOOK
TOPICS COVERED INCLUDE
To parent or not to parent
Reducing or ceasing medication - the physical and psychological challenges
The post-birth flare
Breastfeeding (nursing) or bottlefeeding your baby
Caring for you and your relationship with others
Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood guides you through each step on a
courageous journey. The very personal and intimate journey of the author is shared,
as are the experiences of other women and men from around the world.
Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood was launched on 21 March 2010, the
first day of National Arthritis Awareness Week, at Arthritis Western Australia (WA).
FEEDBACK ON THE BOOK
Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on the book. One particular letter
echoed the comments of many (re-printed with permission):
“This book is a must read.....not only is it an inspiring and practical guide for
men and women with a chronic illness and a desire to become parents, but it will
help their families and friends understand what they are going through on a daily
“Full of useful info and advice”
“It is written from the heart , opposed to the clinical medical publications which
touch on the subject of arthritis”
“It made me realise how much I have blocked that part of my life and have never really
dealt with the emotional side of it”
“Have finished book - BRILLIANT”
“Your story is truly inspirational and I’m sure will give so many people, not just
with arthritis, perseverance to keep going and hope for what they want to achieve
in the future”
“It is so beautifully written and it moved me to tears. It is a book for all people
because it has given me more insight into RA”
“I’m so pleased another mum has written a book about this battle faced by people
“I've got an inflammatory arthritis and am close to going down the baby path. Your
book is very timely!”
“Your book is so honest. It is so comforting to know that I am not the only person
feeling what I am feeling”
“I have read your book with a great deal of interest; it is so real and pertinent
for women with young children or those contemplating pregnancy. ....It would certainly
have been handy to have such a great resource at my fingertips”
“I really enjoyed reading your story, as well as the other's stories and knowing
that I am not alone in my journey makes it all seem more bearable”
“I have only just gotten through Part One of your book, your story, and I cried within
the first line! ”
“I received your book today, and I can’t begin to tell you how much your book has
changed my life within 20 minutes!”
“I wanted to take the time to write to you and say a big thankyou for writing such
an inspirational, heartfelt book.
I tucked into bed at 8pm the other night, was in tears by page 23 and later turned
the last page in what really was an amazing book. It was like someone had taken some
of the fears and questions out of my head and written them down on paper. It's so
easy for doctors to say, just go off your medication and get pregnant, but they have
absolutely no idea how terrifying that prospect can be for someone with RA. The sheer
length of time needed to go without meds make it's a very scary proposition. The
uncertaintly of not knowing what my health would be, let alone whether I would be
well enough to look after a brand new life so dependant on my own.
My heart was breaking for you when I read of your diagnosis and the way it was handled.
I can still remember the world tilting on it's axis 6 years ago when I too, alone
in my doctors office was given the news (albeit in a nicer fashion) but to hear the
way you were told made me so mad for you.
Reading your book and hearing of the experiences of you and other Mum's have made
me realise that I had been putting off thinking about children for fear of going
off my medication. To tell you the truth, I think that fear is probably bigger now,
knowing that I might not have the elusive pregnancy remission so commonly spoken
about, but I really believe that reading your book has helped me approach the whole
thing with a different perspective. I can take action to put into place the tools
and help that I will need embarking on such a huge journey. While I may not be ready
for a year or so yet, I know I can spend that time focussing on improving my health
and attitude so when the times comes, I will better prepared, both physically and
I know this sounds dramatic, but I really believe sometimes in your life, there
are things that make you draw a line in the sand so to speak, and there is before
that time and after. I really feel like your book has made me draw a line in sand,
and now I can go forward with a positive attitude regarding motherhood. I know it
won't be easy, but I see the strength and determination of women such as yourself
and those in your book and I know it can be done!
Thankyou so much for sharing your experiences. I only hope you realise that your
selflessness in sharing an emotional and private time in your life really has helped
other women out there. You really have inspired me to take a more proactive approach
to my illness and the possibily of one day becoming a mother too.
Thanks again, and I wish you and your family much health and happiness.”
Some of the many other comments received are as follows: