Managing Sickle Cell Disease during Pregnancy

Pregnant belly

Women with existing medical issues must often take special health precautions when they become pregnant. Individuals with sickle cell disease are no exception. This condition impacts the form and function of blood cells, making it more difficult for them to travel throughout the cardiovascular system and provide oxygen to the cells of the body. MountainView Hospital urges women with sickle cell disease to take advantage of our prenatal services for both their own health and that of their babies.

Maintain Healthy Lifestyle Practices

Doctors often encourage their expecting patients to establish or continue healthy eating and exercise habits during pregnancy. For women with sickle cell disease, taking care of their health is imperative for several reasons. Because of their condition, expecting mothers with sickle cell disease may experience more prenatal complications. By taking all available steps to maintain their nutrition and physical fitness, sickle cell disease patients can reduce their chances of suffering from these problems.

Consult with Your Physician Often

Pregnant women without any chronic health conditions might see their physicians about once a month until they go into labor. Sickle cell disease sufferers may want to consider making more frequent visits to their doctors. A physician can often detect subtle health changes that a patient might otherwise attribute to being pregnant. With early identification and treatment, expecting mothers with sickle cell disease can often avoid serious health complications.

Talk to a Genetic Specialist

For the health of their babies, women with sickle cell disease should also weigh the benefits of speaking with a genetic specialist. If a woman and her partner both carry the gene for sickle cell disease, their child might have the condition as well. A genetic specialist can determine prior to birth if the disease is present in the baby, and if so, what additional precautions may be necessary to protect his or her health.

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. If you would like more information on this disease, call MountainView Hospital at (702) 233-5474. Our Consult-A-Nurse representatives are available around the clock to help Las Vegas residents with their most pressing healthcare problems.