Pregnant women who suffer from fibromyalgia can expect to have increased issues compared to pregnant women without the disease.
Firstly the nausea and fatigue in the first trimester will likely be worse. It’s also common for pregnant women with fibromyalgia to experience more pregnancy-related pain and stress. The hormonal changes, physical changes, and the labor and delivery all increase the stress level in moms-to-be with fibromyalgia.
It’s imperative that these women find ways to destress, as relaxing can alleviate some of the exacerbated symptoms brought on by fibromyalgia. Think: a pregnancy massage, watching your favorite TV show or movie, reading a really good book, or just getting off your feet and resting for awhile.
MORE: Seven physical therapy treatments to try if you have fibromyalgia.
Tylenol is the only over-the-counter pain reliever allowed by most physicians during pregnancy to lower the risk of any fetal complications. Check with your doctor to see if the medications you currently take for fibromyalgia are safe to continue taking during pregnancy. Doctors may want you to wean off your medications until after delivery. The important thing is to have a conversation with your doctor as soon as you start thinking about getting pregnant.
If you’re thinking about starting a family, here are some great tips from the NFMCPA (National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association):
Walking and swimming are both low-impact exercises that take the pressure off your body and could bring a measure of relief. However, it’s important you talk with your obstetrician before starting any sort of exercise program.
This would be a good time to educate your family and friends about fibromyalgia. It will help them understand why you feel more fatigued and need more sleep. If they are aware of what you’re struggling with it will enable them to be more understanding and perhaps offer more help, like providing much welcomed home-cooked meals.
3) Ask questions
Ask your doctor about some measures you can take to alleviate pain and be more comfortable. Inquire about medical pressure stockings, a maternity belt later in your pregnancy, and when it would be ok to resume taking hot baths. Working with your doctor will help to ensure a more pleasant term.
4) Plan ahead
Organize some help for when you bring baby home. A good idea is to nap when baby naps so you can get some strength and energy back. Be aware that it’s possible that you make experience a flare-up postpartum. Perhaps a friend or family member can take over cooking and cleaning while you focus on yourself and your new baby.
For more tips about preparing for pregnancy with fibromyalgia, visit the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association.
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