Earlier this year, actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra and her husband businessman Raj Kundra welcomed their second child, a baby girl, via surrogacy. In an interview with Pinkvilla recently, the actor had shared that while she always wanted her son to have a sibling, she suffered from miscarriages, because of an auto-immune disease called APLA, or the Antiphospholipid syndrome, because of which the couple decided to opt for surrogacy.
“After Viaan, I did want to have another child for the longest time. But I suffered from an auto immune disease called APLA and that came into play every time I get pregnant. So I had a couple of miscarriages so it was a genuine issue,” she said, adding: “I didn’t want Viaan to grow up as a single child, because I’m also one of two, and I know how important it is to have a sibling. Coming from that thought, I did explore other ideas as well, but that didn’t pan out well. At a time when I wanted to adopt, I had put in my name and everything was underway. But then, the Christian missionary shut down because they had a tiff with CARA. I waited for nearly four years and then, I was so irritated and we decided to try the surrogacy route”.
The actor became a mother for the second time to baby girl Samisha in February 2020, and she shared the news on her Instagram account.
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||Om Shri Ganeshaya Namah|| Our prayers have been answered with a miracle… With gratitude in our hearts, we are thrilled to announce the arrival of our little Angel, 🧿𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐚 𝐒𝐡𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐲 𝐊𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐚🧿 Born: February 15, 2020 Junior SSK in the house😇 ‘Sa’ in Sanskrit is “to have”, and ‘Misha’ in Russian stands for “someone like God”. You personify this name – our Goddess Laxmi, and complete our family. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ~ Please bestow our angel with all your love and blessings🙏🏻❤ ~ Ecstatic parents: Raj and Shilpa Shetty Kundra Overjoyed brother: Viaan-Raj Kundra . . . . . . . . . #SamishaShettyKundra 🧿 #gratitude #blessed #MahaShivratri #daughter #family #love
But, for those of you wondering what this auto-immune disease is all about and if there is any reason for an expecting mother and those planning to start a family to panic, here is what Dr Anuradha Sadashivamurthy, Senior Consultant Gynecologist and Obstetrician, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Malleshwaram has to say.
“APLA is an auto-immune condition wherein the body recognises certain things, even its own tissue, as foreign and develops an immune response to it. Like how you would fight a virus infection. Why it becomes significant during pregnancy is that during this period, there is an immuno-modulation that happens in the body. The father tissue is alien to the mother’s body. Ideally, what the placenta does is that it mutes the response from the mother’s system and allows the fetus to grow. But, for people who have this kind of auto-immune disorder, their body kind of reacts to the foetus, and tries to destroy anything alien coming to the body,” she tells Express Parenting.
Dr Sadashivamurthy explains that when the platelets in the blood are destroyed as a result, blood clots tend to form inside. “This either cuts off the supply to the baby, or reduces the blood supply, and affects other organs of the mother as well,” she says.
While APLA affects both men and women, it is more common in women, she says. “With pregnancy involved, it comes to light; in the late 20s and 30s, people may show symptoms. Any auto-immune disease, though you are born with it, gets triggered when there is an onslaught of something, like stress. In a woman, it shows up more because she is capable of pregnancy,” she explains, cautioning people to not panic because it is not that common.
How should a pregnant woman deal with APLA?
If already pregnant, a woman will be put on a blood-thinning injection for the entire duration of the pregnancy, mentions Dr Sadashivamurthy. “They will have to take this injection every day. They are more prone to a pre-term labour, and sometimes there is an unexplained intra-uterine death, which could happen because of a cardiac condition for the baby. These women have to be screened more often; it will be a high-risk pregnancy,” she concludes.
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