Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia – A Good Mix?
A woman with Fibromyalgia may be concerned about getting pregnant. There are many questions that you might have in this situation, and many factors about which to worry. It is important to understand how your Fibromyalgia may influence your chance of getting pregnant, your experience during pregnancy, and your life with your child after you’ve delivered.
Getting Pregnant with Fibromyalgia
As long as your Fibromyalgia is not completely debilitating, there is no reason not to consider having children. There is no negative effect on your baby just because you have Fibromyalgia and no reason to think that you wouldn’t have a healthy child. Your main consideration is whether or not you feel that your body is strong enough to handle a pregnancy, and whether you feel that you are emotionally, mentally and physically ready for the stress that comes with a new baby.
If you do decide to try to conceive, try to give yourself half a year to a year to build up your strength before you actually try to get pregnant. Reduce your stress level as much as possible during this time period and try to conceive at a time when your symptoms are less severe. Maintain a healthy diet and try to continue with moderate exercise. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are now taking and make sure that they are alright to take while pregnant.
Fibromyalgia During the Pregnancy
Once you become pregnant, there is, unfortunately, no telling how you will feel with your Fibromyalgia. There is conflicting evidence about what pregnancy does to women with Fibromyalgia, as not enough research has yet been done. One of the only studies was conducted in 1997 in Norway. There were a small number of pregnant women observed who had Fibromyalgia, and a small number observed who did not have this condition.
The overwhelming majority of the women with Fibromyalgia did report a drastic increase in the severity of their symptoms while pregnant. They said that the third trimester was, by far, the worst and that their symptoms generally lasted for a more intense state for up to three months after delivery. The babies, however, were born at full term and were completely healthy.
In contrast to this study, many doctors say that pregnancy helps to lesson, or even eliminate, the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia. There are many pregnant women who said that they felt much better while pregnant than they did before their pregnancies. Doctors speculate that this could be due to the extra amount of the ovarian hormone relaxin in the body during pregnancy. Relaxin may help to ease the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
Care During Pregnancy
Obstetricians and rheumatologists do make a number of suggestions for pregnant women with Fibromyalgia. They are most concerned, during the pregnancy, that the woman is eating well and sleeping consistently. They encourage women to eliminate as much stress from their lives as possible during this time, and to use pre-natal magnesium supplements to relieve symptoms.
Doctors recommend a diet that is high in serotonin-producing levels because depression is often present in women with Fibromyalgia, and anti-depressants can’t be used while pregnant.
Life with Your Baby
It is certainly important to discuss your future with your partner before deciding to have a baby. Babies change your life a great deal and require constant attention. This is not to say that a woman with Fibromyalgia can’t have children. It is to say, however, that a woman in this situation needs to think about the impact that a baby will have on her stress level, her energy level, her sleep and her pain management. Pregnancy is certainly within your reach with Fibromyalgia!