Pregnancy in autoimmune rheumatic diseases remains a real challenge in clinical practice due to complex interplay between disease activity, pregnancy and drugs, and account for potential influence of pregnancy on rheumatic condition and the impact of disease on pregnancy outcomes. Indeed, innovative and successful therapies have dramatically improved the quality of life in immune-mediated rheumatic conditions and, subsequently, allowed more patients of reproductive age to plan a pregnancy/to conceive. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss emerging data about the interaction of pregnancy and systemic erythematosus lupus (SLE) focusing on modulation of the immune system by pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes in women with active lupus, biomarkers of adverse pregnancy outcomes (APO) including predictors of pre-eclampsia, predictors of obstetric complications in SLE, the influence of autoantibodies on fetal health, and, finally, evidence about rheumatologic and obstetric follow-up. There are still unmet needs in this new field of reproductive rheumatology and it becomes crucial that researchers, physicians (rheumatologists, specialists in maternofetal medicine, obstetricians) and midwifes share their knowledge and expertise in counseling women with SLE wishing to conceive, assisting pregnancy and managing different issues related to APO as well as drug optimization in preconception, during pregnancy and postpartum period.
Part of the book: Empowering Midwives and Obstetric Nurses