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Thread: Bells Palsy after pregnancy

  1. #1
    Ginny Guest

    Default Bells Palsy after pregnancy

    Was wondering if anyone can help me with a problem that my 26yo daughter has developed. She gave birth to her second child last Monday, 26.11.07 and on day 5 awoke to one side of her face paralyzed. Initially we thought she had had a stroke as she had had a c-section. Her doctor has advised that she has Bells Palsy, very rare condition which can occur in late pregnancy or soon after childbirth. She is unable to blink or close her eye and her mouth droops down making it very hard to eat. When she smiles or laughs, this is totally lopsided. She has been put on quite a heavy dose of steroids, doc not sure if this will help tho, but worth a try. This dose will decrease gradually every five days. Is there anyone who has experienced this or knows of anyone who has??? She is very distressed and really doesn't want to go out or laugh or smile. My heart goes out to her, but I feel so useless....Docs not sure how long this will last, could be 5days, 5 weeks, 5 mths....Any info would be greatly appreciated.....


  2. #2

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    Just moving this to Your Body after baby and Post Natal Issues...

  3. #3

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    Hi Ginny
    It is not really known what causes this however it is suspected that something has caused the 7th facial nerve to swell causing the paralysis. The following is suspected of increasing your chance of getting Bell’s palsy, Pregnancy, Diabetes, Exposure to cold temps, Upper repertory infection. There is no known treatment but steroids can help. In most cases there will be a full recovery but this can take quite a few months. In a small number of cases there may be some residual weakness of part of the face.

  4. #4

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    omg your poor daughter i hope it mends itself very soon my uncle had bells palsy a few months back , i think he had accupuncture for it andit seemed to take a month or so to go completely back to normal but all better now !

  5. #5

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    Hi there,

    So sorry to hear about your daughter - what a stressful time
    An opinion from an ENT (Ear Nose & Throat Specialist) is often the usual
    thing with Bell's Palsy patients.
    Steroid treatment is the usual type of treatment so it does sound like
    they are doing the right things there


    All the best
    AnnaBelle

  6. #6
    Ginny Guest

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    Thanks all for the info and for transferring into correct section as this is a first for me.Really helps put our minds to rest that this will eventually dissapear. Luckily her obstretian was in theatre with an ENT surgeon who advised her ob about the steroid treatment. She is on day five now of treatment with no improvement but have all of our fingers crossed. Thank goodness she has an angel of a bub who is feeding well and sleeps over 23 hrs per day so she doesn't have any added stress.

  7. #7

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    Hi Ginny
    I am 33 and have had 2 cases of Bell's Palsy, both unrelated to pregnancy. I had one when I was 15 and it lasted about 14 days with the same symptoms as your daughter. It was awful at the time as no one knew what it was and I was very self conscious about my face. Then a few years ago, I got it again! Again, it was treated with cortisone (I think) and it did end after about 5-7 days. It is quite distressing especially as it doesn't disappear overnight. People who get it, usually only have one episode in their life. However, for some it recurs (me) and for a tiny percentage (1%?) it is unfortunately permanent. My sister's sister-in-law had an episode of it as a teenager and still has the palsy in her 50s. I think a neurosurgeon would be the specialist to see regarding medication and treatment as opposed to a ENT specialist. I saw one in Perth at Charles Gairdner as I was in the country at the time and that is where I was sent. I have also had neuralgia (nerve pain) in my face, so that matches what Alan has said about the 7th facial nerve. Hope this has helped you a bit! Feel free to ask me anything else.

  8. #8

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    Ginny,

    I have had one case of Bells Palsy, as a teenager (early 1980's) (Not related to pregnancy).

    I was given a LOT of facial exercises to do in front of a mirror to speed up the improvement.

    I was deemed 'too young' at 13 to utilise the steroid medication, and so stayed off school for around 2 weeks and spent, literally, every minute, doing "face physio".

    I am not sure if this is deemed an appropriate "cure" these days but worth asking the ENT about perhaps?

  9. #9
    Ginny Guest

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    Thanks ladies, I will let my daughter know. She has had very small improvement ie, an occasional blink and now she is having pain in the side of her face which I see as a good thing. Still completely lopsided. She is now on day 10 of having Bells, so hopefully will go very soon. Hopefully before Xmas so I can take some photos of her smiling with her bub!! Up till now, she has not permitted anyone taking any photos of her, understanderbly so I suppose. Will get back with any questions she might have, thanks again.....

  10. #10
    nicolelburt Guest

    Default Bells after pregnancy

    Hi Ginny,

    Please let your daughter know there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    I too got Bells just 6 days after an emergency c section. All that you explained about your daughter is a mirror image of what I started to go through 7 months ago and it is a very scary thing to go through (as if the birth wasn't enough). I had a course of steriods within the first week, recovery started about 6 weeks after Bells hit me. Now 7 months down the track I am about 85% back to normal. It is a very slow process but she will get there in the end. She needs heaps of rest as I found my recovery halted when I was overtired, stressed or ill.
    Atleast she has her bundle of joy to help put life into perspective. I know having my baby boy has helped me through my journey so far. I think the hardest thing was not being able to smile back when my baby first smiled at me and not being able to smile in photos of him and me. If you have any further question please reply to my thread and I would be more than happy to answer based on my experience.

    Nicole.

  11. #11
    Ginny Guest

    Red face

    Thanks Nicole, appreciate the feedback and totally agree with you about the tiredness aspect. Bub is now 13 weeks old and my daughter is just about there. Finally she can smile and only ppl that know about it can see it is still slightly lopsided. She stayed on the steroids up until 2 weeks ago. Bub was putting on weight like you wouldn't believe and is totally breastfed, I wonder if it is the steroids as they can cause weight gain! It was frightening when we look back as no one could actually say whether she would stay like that......Nearly a distant memory, nearly......Thx

  12. #12
    nicolelburt Guest

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    Ginny,

    I am so glad to hear your daughter is improving so quickly.
    I never thought of the steriods causing good weight gain in bubs. Mine too is a boofa of a baby and breastfeed.
    All the best and enjoy your grandchild.

    Nicole.

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