Gemma’s Story: Battling Lupus, Conceiving & Breastfeeding Successfully

Gemma's Story: Battling Lupus, Conceiving & Breastfeeding Successfully“One year after my son was born, 2013, I was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis stage 4. I was told that I would never be able to have another baby. I was on 18 pills a day. Through medication, exercise and diet change (low sodium and no processed foods), I went into remission and convinced the doctors to switch my meds and allow us to try for a baby.

One year later we had the green light and 2 months later I was pregnant with Emily.

I was told that I probably wouldn’t be able to breastfeed due to supply issues and the constant fatigue from lupus. Lupus forced me to wean my son cold turkey three days shy of his first year birthday. I would not let this control my life or my daughters.

Gemma's Story: Battling Lupus, Conceiving & Breastfeeding SuccessfullyShe was born healthy on her due date and we have breastfed from day 1 with zero supplementing. She fought me on bottles when I went back to work but in the end she would take 1 bottle of pumped milk a day at daycare. I work as an instructor full time at Springfield College teaching Biology to freshman. I was able to nurse her on my breaks at the daycare.

She is now 15 months on Friday and I can hardly believe that this journey is still going strong. She still nurses 4-5 times throughout the day and what’s amazing is that she is keeping me in remission. The hormones that are associated with breastfeeding keep my lupus quiet. I don’t know when this journey will end but I am sure glad to be apart of it.”

Gemma, Manchester/Bolton, CT, La Leche League

 

Comments

  1. Alisha Baneck says:

    I also have lupus (a low grade). And I also have a 15month old and we’re still breastfeeding too with no sign of stopping any time soon. I’m glad that you got to have another little one and were/still able to breastfeed her. Although for me i still have flare ups but im glad lupus is quiet for you. So your pregnancy went well? I had pre term labor at 32 weeks then finally had him at 38 weeks. Then my little one had neo natal lupus. For him it affected his liver which I didn’t know that it could that till then. But now he is as healthy as he can be. Thank you for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading it.