thread: Bells Palsy during pregnancy

  1. #1
    Melinda Guest

    Bells Palsy during pregnancy

    Hey everyone,

    I'm just wondering if there is anyone else out there that has suffered from Bells Palsy whilst PG.

    Some of you may have read the thread 'pregnancy rash' where I mentioned I'd broken out in a rash on one side of my wasn't visibly rashy...more that I looked flushed, and that my face there was very hot, tingly, itchy etc and that I couldn't have anything touching my face because of it, and no creams etc have really helped.

    After seeing my OB today, he is concerned that perhaps I MAY get Bells Palsy. Apparently sometimes before it comes on, you can get these weird and wonderful symptoms, and the fact that it has affected one side of my face in particular is the concern. He told me that if I woke up one morning with my face drooping, dribbling out of the side of my mouth and unable to close my eye (on the side of my face that's been affected) that I shouldn't freak out, as that's what it will be (yeah right...easier said than done). Apparently I would then need to go on a high dose of steroids in order to reduce the risk of long term paralysis to my face, and the side effects of the steroids include weight gain and fluid retention (just great considering I am carrying extra weight anyway). It can last for between 6 - 8w, sometimes longer, and simply needs to run its course, but is of no danger to the baby, which is obviously the main priority!

    I'm understandably petrified of this happening....not just about the physical aspects of one side of my face being paralysed and looking awful, and excessive weight gain, but how these physical aspects will affect my emotional state of mind!!

  2. #2
    Pietta Guest

    You must be so worried, you poor thing. I havent ever hear of Bells Palsy before, but if the doc says it should be okay then thats good news. Understandably you would not be able to not freak out if your face dropped. It seems as though you have an honest and good OB there so maybe just try and keep in regular contact.
    I will pray for you that it doesnt get to that stage. [-o<
    Keep positive.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    I only read about Bell's Palsy when I was looking up pregnancy rashes on the net, and basically I never thought of it again!! I'm sorry Tootie! Cailin did mention something to me about itchiness and how it could be a symptom of something else a few months ago... but I didn't think about it when you said rash, I immediately thought of what I had! Well... I hope you have the same rash I did!!


  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

    I hope it's the same kind of rash as yours too Christy....I'm petrified of having one side of my face paralysed - temporarily or otherwise, plus the steroid factor is frightening too, considering the side effects.

    I keep having these horrible images of myself etc - I know it hasn't happened yet and there's no guarantee that it will, it's just frightening to be told that's a possibility and maybe the reason for why I'm having the symptoms that I'm having! I thought Bells Palsy was just something that came on suddenly, but the OB said sometimes you can get these weird little symptoms......

    The main thing is that it's of no harm to the baby, but to think that I could look so physically different is the worst part.

    Here's hoping that I don't get it!

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Feb 2004

    Sorry to pop into a thread where I don't really belong....

    My friend's sister got Bells Palsy when she was pregnant with her 2 1/2 year old. She had no signs beforehand, just woke up one morning with a droopy face.

    This is what I know about it... Rose carried Jamie to term & he was born perfectly fine, no effects from the Bells Palsy at all.

    She hasn't fully recovered from it & the doctor isn't sure if she will (sorry if that alarms you). BUT looking at her you wouldn't be able to tell anything is wrong. When she gets tired, her right eye tends to droop a little and that's it. She hasn't put on any excess weight.

    It's not real clear, but I have a photo of her taken in February at about 10pm, so she was kinda tired and a little drunk (it was her sister's wedding). I just thought it might help to see that it doesn't necessarily mean your face will look hugely different. She's on the right holding Jamie.

    I hope that gives you a little comfort Tootie.

    Best of luck

  6. #6
    Melinda Guest

    Hey Sarah,

    Was your sister's friend on steroids to try to avoid long-term paralysis? This is what the OB has told me I should do as he thinks it is far better for me to take a high dose of steroids than to risk permanent damage. It is the high dose of steroids that causes the weight gain. I think I too would prefer to take the steroids than risk permanent damage to my face, although I am extremely concerned about weight gain.

    You're right about the baby though - the OB reassured us that it poses absolutely NO risk whatsoever for him, nor does taking the steroids believe it or not - he said that what he would be prescribing is PERFECTLY safe.

    I actually knew of someone last year who was PG and got Bells Palsy can you believe - I don't know her personally, but have seen her and a photo of her and I can honestly say that you COULD tell that there was something wrong with her - I guess it's that image that I had in my mind all along and I guess with everything there are degrees and extremes, so I'm hoping if I end up with it I won't look too bad. It's just such an awful worry to think that you might get it and look different IYKWIM....

    Thanks for your help anyway Sarah - I appreciate you sticking your head in here to give me some info and support!

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Feb 2004

    Tootie, I know Rose was on a lot of medication for it, but I'm not exactly sure if it was steroids or not. Sorry.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Aug 2003
    Melbourne, Australia

    Tootie can't help with the Bells Palsy through pregnancy, but I have had Bells Palsy. I got it at the end of year 12. I just woke up one morning with my right eye not blinking. Actually I didn't even notice, my mum did. By the next morning the right side of my face just dropped. At 17 y.o it was very embarrassing. At the time I was told there is only a 5% chance of this being permanent. I do remember taking something at the time, but just don't remember what it was. I think it lasted about 6 weeks or so. I hated anyone making me laugh, because only one side of my face looked like it was laughing LOL!

    I hope that you don't get it.

  9. #9
    Melinda Guest

    Thanks for the info Lara. I can only imagine that yes, it would have been very embarrassing for you. I feel the same way, in that it would be very embarrassing. I'm petrified of getting it, but keep trying to tell myself whenever I think about it (which is quite frequently considering I'm still itchy etc!) that it's just something else and it's going away. It's awful though because I think about it especially at bed time and worry about going to sleep and how I will wake up etc!! It's totally messing with my mind!! Eeeeekss!