Thursday, 24. of July 2014
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Healthy Baby Boy

I am pleased to say that despite being on life-long anticoagulation therapy, I had a very good pregnancy and straightforward labour, the result of which was a healthy baby boy called Malachy!

I had an initial consultation with my haematologist to discuss the management of my pregnancy. She advised me that as soon as I found out I was pregnant I was to come off warfarin and transfer to heparin which is administered by injection. Unlike warfarin, heparin does not cross the placenta and is therefore safe to take whilst pregnant. The other difference is that you do not need to check your INR levels.

The haematology department showed me how to self-inject, which I did twice a day for the duration of the pregnancy. I got used to the needles and found that varying the injection site minimised the bruising. My husband also helped, as injecting in the upper arm is not easy to do on your own!

Marianne with her baby having transferred back to warfarin six weeks after the birth of Malachy, I found that it took several weeks to get the right dosage and put this down to my hormones affecting my INR. I am now back on my pre-pregnancy dose and once again self-testing.

I did have more scans then is usual during the pregnancy – and what felt like endless midwives' visits – but was so delighted to have a totally natural and drug-free labour.

Incidentally, it is worth knowing that you can breastfeed whilst taking warfarin.

Marianne G. (Dec. 2008)