Are there any additional measures required in labour for cystic fibrosis?
Sometimes it may be necessary to give oxygen supplement to a cystic fibrosis sufferer in labour. Epidural analgesia reduces the requirement for this.
Are other methods of intervention used?
Yes. To avoid undue exertion in the second stage of labour, assistance in the form of forceps or ventouse is often advised for delivery.
For a cystic fibrosis sufferer, what is the advice regarding breast-feeding?
As long as the mother's general health and nutritional status is satisfactory, breast-feeding, if desired, should be encouraged.
If the mother's nutritional status is poor and she is very weak, attempts at breast-feeding will be counterproductive for both mother and baby. Bottle-feeding will be better in such a case because it will have the additional benefit of allowing her more rest, where her partner or somebody else may feed the baby.
There is concern that breast-milk from cystic fibrosis sufferers may have an excess of some minerals. Is this true?
Not at all. In the past there was some concern that there might be an excess of sodium in these patients' breast-milk (as is the case with their sweat). Scientific analysis has disproved this.
Does all this advice apply to people who are simply carriers of the cystic fibrosis gene?
Not at all. Individuals with the gene mutation that causes cystic fibrosis are perfectly healthy in every respect. A child needs to inherit the defective gene from BOTH parents to have the condition. A carrier status does not confer any health challenges. The gene mutation is quite common among those of white European ancestry.
Last update: September 27, 2013