Tips & Tools for Pregnancy – Part I
We all know that each of us with fibromyalgia have our own sets of symptoms and struggles, but that is also true for pregnancies too. This double whammy makes it very hard to predict how you’ll feel during pregnancy, even just week to week. Some people notice their fibromyalgia symptoms seem to go into remission, or at least improve during pregnancy and others find themselves flaring worse than normal. Obviously, stress makes fibromyalgia worse, so how much you’re stressing about the big life changes will also impact how you’re feeling. For me, my symptoms have been worse than they are typically, but overall they’ve been mostly manageable.
I actually think that having fibromyalgia has made many pregnancy symptoms easier to handle than someone who lives a relatively energetic, pain-free life. Prior to pregnancy I’d already gotten more used to ignoring pain levels that are less than an 6 on the pain scale. I’m also used to being achy all the time, having mental fog, feeling fatigued constantly, waking up many times throughout the night and having discomfort while trying to sleep. For many pregnant women they’ve never experienced these symptoms before, making it harder to deal with. My first pains of uterine stretching felt so much like when my IBS is mildly upset, it was relatively easy to ignore too. Another bonus is that The Helpful Hubby was also already used to these scenarios, so he understood if I needed even more breaks.
Of course, there are downsides too, like not being able to take medication as needed that I’ve been using for over a decade. While I don’t take any of the 3 FDA-approved fibromyalgia medicines normally, none of them are safe to continue during a pregnancy. I’m also not always sure if a new pain is pregnancy or fibromyalgia related, which leads to more calls to my Obgyn just to make sure the baby is completely safe. Even though she a brief understand of fibromyalgia, I often have to consult with my rheumatologist as well.
Some tools that have helped me are using ice packs, heating pads, prescription compression stockings, wrist braces, a Bellaband and a Snoogle Body Pillow at night, which a friend had given me. I was surprised, but the Snoogle helped me a lot more than a regular pillow between my knees or a regular body pillow. For more ideas, read Tips & Tools for Pregnancy – Part II.
What tips & tools have helped you in pregnancy?
*Image Credit: from www.flickr.com by mahalie.