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PREGNANCY AFTER STROKE

I AM A 29 YEAR OLD STROKE SURVIVOR I HAVE LEFT SIDED WEAKNESS NO USE OF MY LEFT ARM AT ALL.I HAVE NO CHILDREN AND I'M WONDERING WHEN AND IF IT WILL EVER BE OK TO THINK ABOUT HAVING THEM AND WHAT STEPS WILL I NEED TO TAKE
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Avatar universal
I survived a stroke 2 and a half years ago at age 32, no cause discovered. I had 2 healthy pregnancies prior and have 2 precious daughters.  I would also like to become pregnant, as my only "career goal" in my life was to mother and raise 3 or 4 children.  I very much enjoyed being pregnant and don't really want to consider adoption.  I can't seem to get any of my doctors to say if I it would be okay or not...they only say I would be at more risk, simply because I have already had a stroke.  I would love to hear from some others that have gone through pregnancy after stroke.
Avatar universal
Hi there!  I too am a young stroke survivor with left side weakness.  The arm and hand are very frustrating, aren't they?  Thankfully,I had my 2 daughters before my stroke, but my youngest was only 13 months when it happened.  It took awhile for her to get used to me, but with some practice I eventually was able to change diapers, bathe the girls, and now 2 1/2 years later with some more progress under my belt, I can carry my 3 year-old to bed or short distances if I need to.  The most frustrating thing to me is that I can't fix their hair.  I would like to have 1 more baby - I'm sure it would be more difficult than the first 2, but I think I could figure it out.  I think you would be able to find ways to care & adapt for your child.  And your baby would know that you are it's mommy.  Now, whether it's safe to become pregnant...I am having a hard time getting answers myself.
Avatar universal
I had trauma induced stroke 2 years ago.  My baby was 3 months old when it happened.  I am very blessed in that my weakness is very minimal and doesn't effect my daily functions unless I don't get enough rest.  I talked with my neurologist and my ob/gyn who both agreed I could become pregnant again.  Their only stipulation was that I had to have a C-section.  They did not want any strain on my neck.  My stroke was due to a trip to the chiropractor who dissected both of my vertebral arteries resulting in a brain stem stroke.  I am now 9 weeks pregnant again and very nervous about it.  I drink lots of water to keep my veins and arteries plump.  Both doctors assured me that I should do just fine.  I'll feel better when it's all over.  It was such a traumatic thing for me until I now suffer from anxiety attacks.  So of course I worry about everything.  Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
As you've probably read on this site, Pregnancy IS a risk factor for Stroke!  Thus, as survivors we must consider ourselves high risk pregnancies, and our best bet for honest answers to these questions would be to seek them from a specialist, ie, High Risk Obstetrician.  I have also found that my PCP and regular OB/Gyn dodge this subject with vague answers that don't say yes or no with any particular explanation.  I've since scheduled a visit with a High Risk Ob to address these issues for myself.  However, sharing my doctors answers to me will not be the answer for you.  Each case is individualized.  We all had strokes or TIA's for different reasons, our ages differ, our medical histories differ, and so forth.  The old adage stands, you must compare apples with apples.  And when it comes to stroke, heart disease, etc... there is NO such thing.

Best of luck to you all!  Wish me luck, for at 40 I have been blessed with a (younger, woohoo!) man who loves me with my diminished abilities (I am NOT disabled, just dysfunctional, GRIN) and wants to marry me and have children together, if possible, our own.  A far cry from the man I initially married as a medical student and who then left me when I had my strokes at 30.  God works in such mysterious ways!

Sincerely,
FLCricket in Tampa Bay
Avatar universal
I wanted to say that I am also a stroke survivor. I was 27 years old and after two opinions, it was felt that I was the unlucky one percent to suffer a side effect of birth control pills. (I doubled up on the day I had the stroke & was getting headaches for about a year). I was able to use my left leg again but it took about 6 months to walk a block without getting exhusted. Today it feels fine but does get tired easliy when walking longer distances. The right side of my body has numbness(shoulder to tip of foot). Right now it kinda feels like a sunburn feeling. My Gyn sent me to a specialist when I informed her I wanted to have children.  The specialist had so much lab work done on me. After all that, she told me that of course I am an increased risk (about 18%). I was put on folic acid about one yr before my pregnancy. I am currently 3 months pregnant & I haven't felt better (minus the morning sickness!).
I do have to give myself a needle every day in my tummy (blood thinner),take a baby asprin every day, have ultrasounds almost every two weeks & more check ups than someone else, but it is worth it. I hope this provides some info.
1 Comments
Your story is so much like mine! I am 25 years old and had a stroke about 1 month ago. I have been told by my doctors that I might be the healthiest person to ever had a stroke (perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol, not obese,  non smoking, no risk factors) therefore we also feel tat birth control pills caused my stroke.

Since my stroke and having been cleared by all doctors as healthy, my husband and I have decided that we do not want to wait one minute longer to start a family. I will be working with my OB on a high risk pregnancy plan, that is when i am confirmed as pregnant (we have only been "trying" for about 2 weeks) although i was told by my hematologist that she wouldn't consider me a candidate for the blood thinner shots (as you have used) since my blood is reacting normally with no clotting defects.

Since I am not pregnant yet I haven't asked too many questions on the future of my pregnancy. Maybe you can enlighten me on how you decided some of these topics:

Did you choose to be on the blood thinning shots (heparin) as an alternative to an aspirin regimen? what are the different risks?

Have you been advised about natural birth? is it an option?

If you take an aspirin regimen how would that effect breast feeding?

Sorry if my questions are too intrusive, if you are uncomfortable please do not answer them. I am just encouraged seeing another young woman who is going through such similar experiences as myself! Thank you!
Avatar universal
hello, I'm am 28 years old and I had a fetal death at 10 weeks in August of 2006 and in December 2006, I was rushed to the emergency because I had a ''mini stoke '' or as doctors call it a (TIA). They did all kinds of labs and genectic testing and there was no known cause for the TIA or stoke. they did put me on Plavix a blood thinner that I have to take once a day I'm guessing for life and also taking Folic Acid. Here I am 6 months later and want to get pregnant again. I've been to my OBGYN and Neurologist and don't give me a straight answer on whether it would be save or not. All they tell me is I will be a high risk pregnancy. I read so many articles on the web.and I sometimes get scrared at what they say. All I really want is to have a baby and be a mother. Ha any one been in my situation before and if so what has been the outcome, please help!
Avatar universal
I had a stroke at 24 years old, no cause known, had some double vision which corrected itself after a couple months.  They did find a clot in a leg vein, and a hole in my heart( a very small hole, which was closed via open heart surgery, and figured the clot broke loose and traveled through the hole to reach my brain) but they don't know why I had the leg clot.  I am now 32, and would like to get preggers, but am *scared* because the whole stroke thing was terribly scary and i go out of my way to avoid anything that might up my chances of it happening again.  I got the green light to get pregnant from my cariologist, and from my neurologist, now I am going to meet with a high risk OB/GYN to see what they say about it all.  What they tell me is that 'it's okay, because that hole in your heart is closed, so if you do throw another clot, it won't go to your brain' but...what I think is, 'yeah, it will go to my lungs, which can KILL you - why is that any better?!?!'  Perhaps there is something I don't get.  They also say, because it's been 8 years, and I haven't suffered any other strokes, I should be okay.  I'm still nervous, though.   I guess I want someone to promise I won't have another stroke, but I guess that's just not going to happen, LOL.

I guess that's my long answer for you - no one knows if/when any of us will suffer another stroke or not, especially if the cause of the initial stroke was unknown.
Sorry to hear there are others like you who have experienced this at such a young age.  I, too, suffered panic attacks for a few years as a result, I understand what that's like.

Avatar universal
I should add that I was not Rxed any blood thinners after my stroke because the cause was unknown and they told me that, because I was so young, the risk of hemmorage from taking thinners long-term was higher than having another stroke.  so I haven't been on any medication since.  I wonder if they'd want to put me on a thinner during pregnancy, too.  I also wonder what they do when you are full term - you wouldn't want to be on thinners when you deliver, I'm guessing...

???
Avatar universal
I had a major stroke at age 8 (almost 9), yea I know, unheard of.  The doctors were quite baffled, don't know why it happened.  It was my right cerebral artery causing left side paralysis.  I'm now 20 years old and have had no problems since, but have only a slight limp and weakness of that side.  I'm getting married in March, and want to start a family in the next couple of years.  I haven't gone to my gyn or talked to anyone about my concerns yet.  I just wanted to hear from you guys what I can expect.  I'm kind of scared about what I'm going to be told from doctors, as one of my biggest goals is to be a fantastic wife and mommy.  
Avatar universal
Finding this forum made me so happy. I have suffered from 3 strokes at ages 22, 24 and 26.  My last stroke I had while I was on Coumadin so I am now on Fragmin. I had residual side effects from all my strokes and feel different ones when I get tired but overall I'm functioning like normal. I take Fragmin now everyday and just recently started thinking about pregnancy.  I'm going to a high risk clinic to get more informaiton but am so happy to hear of other people who have experienced what I have.  I have yet to be able to find a support group even for young women stroke survivors.
I can be reached at ***@**** if anyone would ever like to talk- I know I need it from time to time-those days where you just wish things were normal for you .
Good luck and blessings with everyone.
Avatar universal
I, also, had a stroke when I was young...7 years old. My doctors, too, were baffled. They didn't know what to do or what to think. So, my life at times, I feel like a guinea pig- trying, accomodating, and adapting over and over.
I recently got married and I am pregnant. I saw the doctor for the first time and told her my story. She was amazed at the story but was not alarmed. She said because I had my stroke over 20 years ago, not to worry about the pregnancy or the delivery. We will keep an eye on it but I'm not high risk by any means.
We'll see how it goes as the pregnancy progresses.
Avatar universal
I was 29 when I had my stroke during brain surgery.  My left hand/arm is still not functional and i have bad balance. I am nervous about getting pregnant and not being able to physically take care of the baby.  Is there any books out there that have some tips/suggestions on how to hold a baby, burp a baby, change diapers with one hand?  thanks for your help! take care.
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