After two successful pregnancies, Louise Flockhart has one simple piece of advice for other women with multiple sclerosis: “Go for it.”
The impact of pregnancy on MS has come into focus following the news reported in The Herald yesterday that Finance Minister John Swinney and his wife, the BBC journalist Elizabeth Quigley, who has MS, are expecting their first child.
Flockhart, 38, from Aberdeen, was 22 when she was diagnosed with the relapsing remitting form of MS. Like many women, she was nervous about how pregnancy could affect her illness. She knew that MS reduced the risk of relapse during pregnancy, but also that many women experienced a relapse after giving birth. She worried that it would cause a setback to her health, but she felt she would regret it if she didn’t try to
have children.
She now has two boys, Cole, three, and Kian, seven, and looking back, says: “I don’t think the pregnancies made any difference whatsoever to my MS.”
At the time of her first pregnancy, Flockhart was already in remission and stayed in remission throughout. It is impossible to know, she adds, whether the pregnancy itself prevented her from having a relapse.
What she remembers above all is being extremely tired. She was used to fatigue anyway, but this was worse.