In a recent analysis of 2001 to 2011 data from Australia, pregnant women with rare autoimmune diseases had a higher likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertensive and bleeding disorders and required longer hospitalization at delivery than other pregnant women. Infants whose mothers had a rare autoimmune disease were at increased risk of needing the neonatal intensive care unit and of developing life-threatening conditions. Of the 409 births to 293 women with rare autoimmune diseases, 202 (49%) delivered by cesarean and 72 (18%) were preterm.
"Many women with these rare disorders are very concerned about their future. These data are reassuring to the point that they suggest more than 90% can have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby," said Dr. Lyn March, senior author of the Arthritis & Rheumatology study. "However it is important to recognize that the risk of complications for both mother and baby are higher than other women and that careful monitoring throughout the pregnancy, delivery and post-natal phases is important."