Chiari Malformation Community
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Avatar universal

Pregnancy and Chiari I

Does any one have any idea why I have symptoms that appear worse when I get pregnant? And if not any idea why sometimes I can go months with out symptoms than be bed bound for a week.
10 Responses
1098999 tn?1276790867
Welcome to the Chiari Community!

When I was pregnant with my second child, I did not know yet that I had Chiari, but I was bed ridden at 3 1/2 months until I delivered him. There were days that absolutely horrible for me. I mean to the point of not being able to walk. My whole left side would go numb and my OB thought I was having a stroke. Every time that happened I landed up at the hospital to make sure everything was ok. So my entire pregnancy was spent home in bed or on the couch. My OB finally induced me at 38 weeks because he couldn't handle seeing me in pain anymore.
During that time, they thought I had sciatica, so I saw an Osteopathic Doctor who readjusted my back and my pelvis. There's this bone that is in the shape of a upside down triangle at the base of your spine, I can't think of the name of it right now, but that would always pop out on me so I would go up to 4 times a week to have it put back in. It would last for a few hours or a day at most and I was back to being in bed.
My headaches were horrible while pregnant. There was not much I was able to take for them, so I was told to deal with them because I was pregnant. They said they would go away after I delivered. Little did they know, it did not help. They got worst and my symptoms they thought were pregnant related also stuck around.
I know now, this was all chiari related. Why did they heighten during my second pregnancy? I have no idea.
I wish you the best of luck and will keep you in my prayers!
847512 tn?1272570662
I have never been pregnant but one thing I know for sure is around my menstrual time for about a week before and during my period the symptoms flare up big time for me. I wonder if it is due to the fluctuation of hormones?
620923 tn?1452919248
HI and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Like Shelia has mentioned all types of things can increase when pregnant.And u know u have chiari so all the pressure that is added to ur spine from the extra weight and the baby moving and pressing on nerves ect....can add to any woman during a prgnancy...but one with chairi I think it is expected.
I had one pregnancy without knowledge of my chiari....I did have difficulties, but I was told I had migraines....and I had a CSF leak from the epidural.

U deff need to talk to ur OBGYN and be sure they know about chiari and a C section is the best way to go when u know u have chiari.

And to ask ur last question chiari symptoms can cycle so that is y u may have periods of debilitating symptoms and then times u can manage.

So glad u were able to find our chiari family here, but sorry for the reason u had to seek us out.

Avatar universal
I will give you guys a little more info about my background. All my life my mom was concerned that I had MS. Most of this is because I was very clumsy, had frequent headaches, and other symptoms that go along with CM1.
When I became pregnant with my 2nd child, who is now 17 months old, I wound up in the hospital with "a Migraine" and was DX with a Chiari I Malformation. I believe that conception about 1 week before I wound up with the headache. This weekend I feel the same way that I did when I was diagnosed and everyone thinks that it is because I am pregnant again (i am not aware that I am)
Any ideas???
Avatar universal
I'm 26 in the beginning of my 2nd pregnancy and went to the e.r. with dizzy spells and a very bad headache, and they diagnosed me with chiari 1, i'm not sure what it is, what it does, and i'm concerned, does this get worse, is it life threatening? i cannot find much about it. Any advise? please someone explain this to me?! thank you all, and God Bless!!
620923 tn?1452919248
Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Chiari is when the cerebellum is forced down onto ur  brain stem....many times it can also cause a blockage to our CSF flow this creates HA's...and can cause all types of symptoms with the compression of the brain stem...such as drop attacks....blurry vision, vertigo, tinnitus...chiari symptoms can get worse, especially if u have a CSF blockage...it then can cause a syrinx to develop.
Treatment is a posterior fossa decompression...surgery to make room for the CSF to flow....this is not a cure or a fix....it only helps slow progression and aids to help avoid perm nerve damage.

This is a life altering condition....and it has related conditions...u need to get to a true chiari  specialist....more tests will also need to be done.

We have a list of drs that u should research...u may have to travel.''

MOST IMPORTANT- u will need to have ur child by C-section....no straining as it can make ur condition worse. There are books on Pregnancy and chiari by Dr Oro and Diane Mueller.

I know how frustrating this condition can be...and finding a dr that understands it too.....take one day at a time, try to relax as stress makes all health issues worse.There r many of us, myself included that have had the surgery and are doing well. Not 100%, but better than b4.


I am happy to have u join our little family here, so sorry for the reason u had to seek us out.


Avatar universal
Ok I'm new here... A few years ago I got into a car accosted and had blurred vision and all sorts of symptoms because of shattering windshield with my head but we found I had chiari which explained a lot of things that have been going on since i was very young!! I have had three children and three epiderals and no problems... I am 37 Weeks with my fourth child and my neck pain and headaches are much  worse right now but I've never had complications before and now am terrified. I cannot do a c section. I have a 15 month old to take care of also and DH is out of town for weeks at a time ... Why is it so risky to have a vaginal delivery?
620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

Those with Chiari can cause more issues with straining....so a BM can make things worse so it is advised if u have bowel issues to use a stool softener....
Many have had children not knowing they had Chiari...I had one DD natural birth....but I had a slew of issues after having her...and I had always had issues since I was a child...but could not find answers.

The fact that ur symptoms r worse then b4 is more of a reason to have a C - section to help prevent straining.....

  I would suggest u talk to a NS and then to ur OBGYN and explain what is going on. and see what they suggest for u..,...see if u can get a family member to help u after the birth just lifting the children u have now is not advisable.....teach them to climb up onto ur lap while u sit.....

  Learn to listen to ur body rest when u feel like u need to as it will take longer to bounce back the more u push urself.

  Hope this helps : )
Avatar universal
hey i have chiari mm1  and i am 6 months pregnant doctor said i might have to get a section was wondering if any you lady's had to have one thanks x
620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi and welcome to the Chiari forum.

When we know we have Chiari it is advised a C section is done to help prevent from straining during natural childbirth.....

How u r now b4 will play a role....as to what symptoms u have been having....I too had symptoms but was not DX'd until my DD was an adult...so I did have natural childbirth and had problems....and they almost did a C section as a result...

It may be best to do the section from the start and avoid ne issues after.......being pregnant can cause ur symptoms to flare as it is a major change to ur body....so, keep an eye on ur symptoms while pregnant and go with what ur Drs suggest is best for u.
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