Rheumatic diseases commonly affect women of childbearing age, when women may be contemplating pregnancy or they discover an unplanned pregnancy. Therefore, specific issues about pregnancy planning and management are commonly encountered in patients during these times. Knowledge of the effect of pregnancy on disease activity is important for counseling. This review summarizes recent data on the course of different rheumatic diseases during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are the most commonly investigated diseases. Data are increasing about spondyloarthritis. Sparse data are available for other rheumatic diseases. Despite the differences in these diseases and the various courses these disease take during pregnancy, a common feature is that active maternal disease in the months prior to conception increases the risk of flares during pregnancy, which in turn can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Therefore, maternal and fetal health can be optimized if conception is planned when disease is inactive so that a treatment regimen can be maintained throughout pregnancy.