People who suffer from fibromyalgia and want to become pregnant should be aware of their condition and how pregnancy will affect their pain levels.
It is surely possible for people with fibromyalgia to get through a pregnancy, although they should be prepared for an increase in pain and symptoms.
This can be managed but people should be aware that they will likely experience greater amounts of fibromyalgia pain and flare-ups during pregnancy.
Some of the symptoms for fibromyalgia and for pregnancy are similar, including fatigue, pain and depression. However, people with fibromyalgia will likely experience these to a greater degree due to their condition.
Fibromyalgia generally causes women to experience fatigue, along with pain and depression. With pregnancy, there are a lot more hormones circulating through a woman’s body than are regularly present. Pregnant women experience weight gain and other body issues.
One study has shown that people with fibromyalgia had more pain symptoms while pregnant than those who did not have fibromyalgia. This makes sense, as pregnancy can easily exacerbate the pains of fibromyalgia.
The first three months of pregnancy can be the most difficult, as women experience more fatigue and nausea. On top of fibromyalgia symptoms, this can seem overwhelming. However, the pain generally gets a bit better after the first three months.
Stress is a great indicator of fibromyalgia pain, as high stress levels can trigger flare-ups. Pregnancy is generally a high stress period in a woman’s life, as the woman is now caring for and worrying about their baby and themselves.
Also, it is not safe to take pain medications or antidepressants when pregnant, so women will need to deal with their mental and physical pain in different ways.
The recommended ways to deal with pain include light physical exercise and massage, including yoga, rest and meditation, and other relaxing activities. It is also recommended to try exercising in a warm pool, doing gentle aerobics or swimming. This can ease muscle pain and loosen tight muscles and stiff joints. Water should be warm but never hot. Hot water immersion is not recommended during pregnancy.
Exercise is important as it can make joints more flexible and cab strengthen muscles. It can also improve mood and can increase the release of endorphins. Serotonin the neurotransmitter that is related to fibromyalgia pain, as these neurotransmitters transmit signals between cells. Stress can lower serotonin levels, leading to anxiety and depression. Therefore, exercise can create serotonin that will ward off depression and moodiness, and will increase positive affect and energy levels.
When women have mood swings during pregnancy, and even during menstruation, it is the result of fluctuating levels of hormones. Serotonin levels can be boosted by exercise, sunlight, and certain carbohydrates.
In addition to exercising, it is also important for women to get plenty of rest during pregnancy. People should plan rest periods and breaks into their day, as napping and resting will help management of pain and fatigue. Women can also take a warm bath or shower to loosen their muscles and ease pain to a more manageable level.
Overall, people with fibromyalgia suffer from chronic pain that can be discouraging when it comes to considering having a child. It is likely true that the pain will be worse, and that pregnancy will be more tiresome, but it is definitely possible to get through it, as many women have before. There are various steps that can be taken to improve the pain during pregnancy, and there are other things that should be avoided.
Medications should be avoided, as they are not good for the baby. Tylenol or other acetaminophen pain relievers can be taken in small dose, but are only recommended in very desperate situations. It is best to avoid medications altogether. Instead, exercise is recommended to ease pain and increase serotonin levels.
Some exercise that is safe for pregnant women with fibromyalgia includes yoga, tai chi, and swimming. These are low-impact activities that can be relaxing and restorative while stimulating serotonin and other positive mood hormones.
Getting plenty of rest is also important, and pregnant women should set a schedule that is not too tiresome. Waking up and going to bed at the same time each day can be helpful, as well as taking many breaks and naps throughout the day. Even a 20-minute nap can do wonders for pain and fatigue. Warm showers can also loosen tight muscles and can ease pain.
There are many ways for women with fibromyalgia to manage pain during pregnancy. Developing a plan is the best way to be prepared for the experience.