(continued)... "I was not symptom-free for my entire pregnancy, however I will say that it came as a huge surprise that my health actually improved during pregnancy. I felt like the hormonal changes shifted things in a positive way- my skin got very clear, and certain hormonal imbalance symptoms seemed to improve greatly. I experienced LESS symptoms than before I was pregnant, and I was on even LESS supplements! Many women report this experience during pregnancy, because the immune system makes changes to aid in the body’s acceptance of something foreign inside of it. Nature is amazing, isn’t it?! Many women experience relief of infection-related symptoms, including autoimmunity and pain conditions. I fell into that category, and I believe this is one positive thing to remind yourself of, if you do decide to or happen to become pregnant with Lyme Disease. Although I overcame my initial fears of being pregnant with Lyme, I did have many come up throughout my pregnancy. Any time I had symptoms flare up (I had things come up like metals dislodging/ detoxing and some infection symptoms), immediately started to worry about the baby. I had so much fear and anxiety about it, which was so worthless and ultimately did not serve me. He was always right on schedule at check-ups, and always had a strong healthy heartbeat, plenty of movement, etc. He had all the signs of being healthy and thriving. I am sharing this for women who may experience or be experiencing the same thing. Most of your fears never come true. The adversity you experience in life is usually never what you spent your time worrying about in the first place! In the end, he ended up being really healthy and to this day is developing normally, right on schedule (or sometimes before!), and he is absolutely wonderful. I have been breast-feeding for 16 months now, and plan to continue. I have had no problems come up with either him or me during this process. I have learned that many doctors believe the benefits of breast-feeding outweigh any risks there may be for mothers with Lyme and chronic infections. This is a belief I agree whole-heartedly with. I had a healthy, normal, vaginal birth - I even did an un-medicated, all natural home birth, which is not very common for people with health challenges! That just goes to show what is possible when you can leave fear aside and let your body do what it was made to. I think we all tend to underestimate how strong we really are. I would do it again. My initial belief that I should not have children because of my illness was completely changed and is now the opposite. I hope to debunk the idea that people with Lyme and chronic infections should not have kids/will have unhealthy kids. I hope to remind people of what is starting to be discovered in the holistic medical community- that what comprises an illness is much more than just an exposure to an infection. We are all exposed to infections. Scientists have discovered that many different vectors harbor Lyme Disease all over the world, not just in the USA and it is not only present in ticks. Many people who are healthy test positive for Lyme. Much, or even most of the population has been exposed. Knowing this can change the perspective you may have developed based on what you have heard so far about being pregnant with Lyme Disease. I believe the exposures are present just by living on this earth. Whether it is being exposed in-utero or being exposed by insects, all children face the risk of exposure. I think what is most important, is to focus on doing everything in your power to minimize the risk of health challenges and to protect your child’s health, knowing that they come from a background with an increased risk for developing a chronic illness. It starts with your health and lifestyle during pregnancy, and continues as your child grows by making mindful decisions about your their diet, lifestyle, and exposures. By being mindful that your child has an added risk to develop health challenges, you can help to prevent them. Decisions about the types and quality of food you feed your children, their lifestyle, and living environment (mold, EMR, etc.), all play a role. Doing extensive research on things that are linked to triggering a chronic infection/illness, such as vaccines and exposure to electromagnetic fields, is very important. Luckily, if anything ever does come up, chances are you will know exactly how to help them. Most of us have become experts on Lyme/chronic infections after years of seeking healing. Remember, your child or future child would not want to miss out on living just because of a risk. That is the nature of this world. It is unavoidable. There are risks no matter if it is lyme disease, health challenges, or something different. I am certain they would say that being alive is worth every risk."

- Bethany C.