how to manage brain fog and fibromyalgia. what brain fog is, how it manifests and how we can fight it

How to Manage Brain Fog and Fibromyalgia

There’s a pernicious symptom of living with Fibromyalgia that can fall into the background of the twin peaks of pain and fatigue. Something that affects our everyday lives and we may not even realise it is a thing.

how to manage brain fog and fibromyalgia. what brain fog is, how it manifests and how we can fight it

Brain fog, or cognitive dysfunction (a very unattractive term, but there it is.)

It can strike during any conversation, any task, any time.

I can’t do confrontations because the stress causes me to forget how to stand up for myself. All the words or well-articulated statements I’d have written down become buried in fog when I try to access them in the moment. Even subjects I’m well researched on become minefields when reaching through my memory for the information. Which is part of why I write everything down.

There’s been a thousand conversations where I’m reaching for simple words that blew away a moment before I want them. There have been even more times when I say one thing when I mean another.  Sometimes I know I’ve done it, but often I don’t. Occasionally I’ll realise later.

As someone who loves words and writing it’s more than a little upsetting.

Brain fog was thought to be another thing that is all in our heads, however, “a 2015 study in Arthritis Care and Research found that fibro fog is a real issue. In a study of 60 individuals – 30 with fibromyalgia and 30 without fibromyalgia – researchers found various impairments of attention and memory in fibromyalgia patients when compared with healthy controls. What remains unclear is what is causing the cognitive challenges.” Reference: Fibro Fog: Sleep, brain dysfunction likely culprits for cognitive difficulties associated with fibromyalgia on Arthritis Foundation accessed here

It is thought as many as 50% of Fibromyalgia patients struggle with it, perhaps more.

Brain fog has been theorized to be caused by poor sleep, the nervous system being off-kilter, stress and anxiety, and pain severity. Though, they really don’t know the cause yet.

Here’s the ways brain fog can manifest:

  • Clumsiness/loss of spatial awareness
  • Losing words
  • Mixing up words
  • Forgetting things
  • Confusion (I’ve never experienced this but see how it could occur)
  • Overwhelm (too many competing sensory inputs)
  • Becoming easily distracted

Here’s some things that help minimise brain fog:

  • Get the best sleep you can get (something I have found and is supported by the literature – sleep really is king to managing Fibromyalgia symptoms)
  • Pace activity and rest
  • Manage pain
  • Give yourself time and understanding

These are not small things for us to do. I spend a lot of time working on good sleep and managing pain. However it’s far better to what it was when I was at my worst. I go through all of these things in my course You vs Fibromyalgia and help you make plans to manage pain, sleep and pacing, so do come and join us now (the early bird offer disappears on 18th August 2018) if you would like help in these areas.

Here’s some ways to combat brain fog and the effects:

  • Lists, write it all down – even before I was diagnosed or had any idea of why life was so much harder for me, I planned religiously and had lists upon lists.
  • Routines, automatic pilot can be useful
  • Explain it to those around you often – I often tell my family that there is nothing more dear to me than a person who mercifully adds the right word in their own head for or me or gives it to me gently.
  • Check your medicines are not the culprits – sometimes our medicines cause as many issues as they solve, it’s good to be aware of what their side effects are so we can mitigate them.

Brain fog is just one of those things that come with chronic sleep deprivation, pain and fatigue, but there are many things we can do to compensate for it.


You vs Fibromyalgia eCourse my research your plans to fight chronic pain chronic fatigue and insomnia

This is an excerpt from my eCourse You vs Fibromyalgia: Helping you Fight Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia – do come along and join us to if you want to learn to fight.

The early bird special offer is open until the 18th of August – it includes a super special price of just $89 (value $200) and a free copy of my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic fatigue and Insomnia.

Chance for a scholarship

I’m running a giveaway for one full scholarship to this course, the giveaway starts on 10th August 2018 and closes on the 15th of August 2018. So enter here and get your chance to win a full scholarship for this course.

I can’t wait to do this journey with you!

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how i'm moving while pregnant with fibromyalgia despite symphysis pubis disorder

How I’m Moving While Pregnant with Fibromyalgia Despite Symphysis Pubis Disorder

Movement, or gentle exercise, is an often recommended intervention for Fibromyalgia. If you’ve followed my writing for any amount of time you might have picked up on my love of yoga.

A lot of yoga is off the table while I can’t move my legs wider than hip width apart. Most exercise is off the table due to the level of pain. Why can’t I move my legs wider than hip width and why are my pain levels so high?

how i'm moving while pregnant with fibromyalgia despite symphysis pubis disorder

Symphysis Pubis Disorder

Symphysis Pubis Disorder, or pelvic girdle pain, is a condition where the pelvis relaxes too far causing pain ranging from mild to severe. There’s a lot more detail in this article.

This article goes into good detail about symptoms, how you can help yourself and even how it may affect labour.

During my second pregnancy I endured severe pain in the third trimester which went undiagnosed until a couple of days postpartum. It usually clears up by 12 weeks postpartum, but it took me nine months for the pain to reduce. It can take up to two years.

For this pregnancy, when the pain began at week 10, I knew what to do:

  • Kept my legs hip width apart with movement
  • Rested (paced)
  • Applied my heat pack
  • Rub my essential oil pain cream (this is something you need to research- see my post on essential oils here)
  • Did pelvic tilts
  • Used the pelvic support band when needed
  • Saw my physio who gave me an isometric strengthening move (a squat with legs at hip width that focuses on engaging belly, glutes, legs and pelvic floor) to do multiple times a day
  • Asked my midwife for referral to the hospital for specialist input

For my Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries 2018 see my YouTube channel. I discuss the SPD and more.

Here’s my video on how I’m moving despite the SPD:

More pregnancy posts:

Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Fibromyalgia (2018 Edition)

Navigating Pain Relief in Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Fibro Parents Survey Results & Big News about Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Book

Necessary Baby Items for a Fibro Parent

Meanwhile, here are the stretches I’ve been managing:

Please do Google these for proper form and if you have never done yoga before, ask a practitioner to teach you the right way to do the poses.

  • Pelvic tilts/cat and cow pose
  • Puppy pose
  • Child’s pose
  • Mountain pose
  • Forward bend
  • Neck stretches
  • Shoulder stretches
  • Down dog

I haven’t done much other exercise as the incidental walking with work and the children is my maximum capacity physically for now.

Hopefully something here helps you but please do clear everything with a physical therapist as you need to be sure you’re moving correctly so as to not cause extra pain or damage.

If you want to learn even more information about pain relief during pregnancy, then check out my 15-page printable PDF Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Micro Course Workbook. It goes through the existing information about pain relief during pregnancy,Pain Managementmicro course my experiences, a list of natural pain relief options, a list of further reading, a template to make your own pain relief plan (pregnancy edition) with space for notes and the brand new Advanced Pain Relief sheet with links to research about medicine use in pregnancy. I have gathered the information and created these printables to make it easier for you to make the best decisions for yourself- it took me years to get it all together.

Don’t forget to come along and join the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Facebook group where we chat trying to conceive, pregnancy, nursing etc.

You vs Fibromyalgia eCourse my research your plans to fight chronic pain chronic fatigue and insomnia

You vs Fibromyalgia Equipping You to Fight

I am super excited to announce that I am running You vs Fibromyalgia: Helping You Fight Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia full eCourse!

 

You vs Fibromyalgia eCourse my research your plans to fight chronic pain chronic fatigue and insomnia

While my micro course You vs Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge is a free introduction to some of the modules in the full course, it isn’t exhaustive. This course has a lot more information, so if you’re ready to dive in for more and create your own pain management plans, trial some sleep tips, learn about low dose naltrexone for fibromyalgia and more – then come and join us!

If you learn only one thing from anything I ever write, I hope it is that you can impact your quality of life. I have made a huge difference to my quality of life through research and personal trial and error. But it took a lot of time. I want to save you that time.

See below for my brief introduction video about You vs Fibromyalgia

I have just enough time to run this course before baby comes in November, so it won’t be offered again until next year.

The stats of the course aka what you get

  • Seven modules with
  • Short video lessons
  • Templates to make your own pain management plans, a sleep diary, a list for keeping track of the things you’d like to try and a form for working out how you could create some space and make the most of your life despite fibromyalgia
    information sheets
  • The workbook – with all of the lessons, information sheets, templates, heaps of extra reading with space for notes!

Between this course and my book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia (affiliate link) and my free resources pages – I am content that I have shared everything I can to help you not suffer as long as I had to. Obviously I am not a doctor and there are often more issues than just the fibromyalgia at play. A doctor and medicine definitely have their place in treatment, but I want to also share all of the things you can do yourself – today – to fight the fibromyalgia.

Yes, I am just as ecstatic to join the journey!

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Week Twenty Four, What's It Really LIke Being Pregnant with Fibromyalgia?

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Vlog Week 24, Viability!

Welcome to my pregnancy with Fibromyalgia vlog series, this is week 24!

As a third time mama doing pregnancy with fibromyalgia I have been sharing my journey in case it helps you.

When I was pregnant for the first time in 2013, I would have loved to hear another mamas experience, read a book or take a course to help me cope.

In the absence of these things, I created my own.

Please note that some of my links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Week 24 Video

It is so exciting to achieve week 24, as this is the point where the hospitals consider baby “viable” if something were to happen and they came early. Certainly as week 24 has continued I am noticeably less worried and now focusing on my affirmations for birth.

As I note in the video, I have created some birth affirmation cards, but I will not Set of four affirmations for Fibromyalgia meditation digital downloadput these in my Etsy store as they are very personalised. I do have these general Fibromyalgia affirmation cards for use in meditation though.

I have been struggling with the lack of mobility and ability to achieve much, despite the Fibromyalgia, I have always been busy and trying to do all the things. So it’s a lesson in patience, particularly with myself.

In the beginning I make it clear that my story is not going to be the same as everyone’s Printable graphic by the subject ldnand even this pregnancy is different than my other two due to Low Dose Naltrexone. It is helping me sleep, even though it is still very broken by pain and bathroom stops, it is still better than before. If you want to purchase my mini eBook, which includes research, my experience, some information about LDN and pregnancy and my one year update, find it here.

I also mentioned my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia, available now.

Don’t forget the Facebook group Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Week Twenty Four, What's It Really LIke Being Pregnant with Fibromyalgia?

Other posts you might like:

Why I’ve Gone as Natural as Possible Fighting Fibromyalgia while Pregnant
Fibromyalgia Pregnancy: Items on My Baby Registry
Pumping or Expressing for Your Baby: Parenting (Fibromyalgia or Not)
Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia The First Trimester Diaries


If you would like to learn more about Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia do come along and join the FREE You vs Fibromyalgia eCourse, this is a five module course and one of the modules is dedicated to pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.

The Pain Companion book review by Melissa vs Fibromyalgia

The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living with and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain by Sarah Anne Shockley

Recently I was lucky enough to be given a chance to read and review Sarah Anne Shockley’s book The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living with and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links, if you make a purchase using one of these links I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Synopsis of The Pain Companion

The Pain Companion cover image

In the twenty-first century, one might wish that pain were an easily treatable nonissue. It is not. Millions of doctor and emergency room visits stem from pain, and addiction to pain medications, rampant in the United States, often takes root in an attempt to manage unremitting discomfort. 

In The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living With and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain (New World Library, June 12, 2018), author Sarah Anne Shockley, who has personally lived with chronic pain since 2007, offers fellow pain sufferers a compassionate and supportive guide for living with pain that can be used alongside their ongoing medical or therapeutic healing programs

“I cannot know your personal suffering, of course; only you can,” writes Sarah. “But I do understand the experience of being in significant and relentless pain for long periods of time, and I understand the fear, sadness, and frustration associated with long-term physical debilitation. So I can say that this book has been written from inside of pain, a perspective on the experience and the healing of pain that we are seldom offered.”

Further reading you might like:

For more about meditation and Fibromyalgia see my post about it here.

My Review of The Pain Companion

In this sensitive, beautiful book Sarah Anne Shockley explores what it means to live with chronic pain and how she manages it using meditative approaches.

The book is divided into parts: The pain moves in, the emotional life of chronic pain, meditative approaches to physical pain and when pain is a teacher.

Shockley defines chronic pain early in the book: “Chronic pain is a very complex condition involving much more than just the physical symptoms of the body. It includes emotional and psychological aspects as well, due to the incredible stresses of living with pain on a daily basis, and the ramifications of basically losing one’s life to pain.” P18

The Pain Companion book review by Melissa vs FibromyalgiaAnd she hits the nail on the head. The emotional and psychological aspects are just as important to address as the physiological ones.

Shockley explains how she came to understand this and how it ultimately helped her cope with the pain: “This practice of extending understanding and compassion to myself was more than just a psychological wellness exercise. It was a crucial interior movement that created space for real healing and unexpectedly began to relieve my physical pain as well.” P22

In part three Shockley talks of meditative approaches and not fighting the body and the pain so hard (extending understanding and compassion to herself and the pain). She explains how she began to listen to the pain, to see what it was trying to tell her. And in doing so she reduced the intensity.

We need to ask ourselves: What is this pain trying to tell us? What is its origin?

We are given 12 meditative exercises to work through starting with the breath. Now I have been a meditator for several years now but I still find visualisation and the idea of talking to my pain difficult. However, there are many exercises here that are excellent gateway approaches, especially the noticing the breath and learning to relax this way.

Usually I devour books, but this one I savoured. I read it in sections and really absorbed what she was saying. This is not a guidepost for curing chronic pain, or even how to overcome it, but more about how one woman managed to coexist with it in a way that ultimately reduced her suffering.

If you want to see an interview with the author about this book, see here.

You can get your copy of The Pain Companion here.


For more information:

Come and join my free You vs Fibromyalgia micro course.

why i've gone as natural as possible fighting fibromyalgia while pregnant. options for pregnancy with fibromyalgia

Why I’ve Gone as Natural as Possible Fighting Fibromyalgia while Pregnant

Let’s start this conversation off right, some medicines definitely necessary, I’m not anti medicine, I’m just pro natural options first, for myself. Especially during pregnancy. Especially because I already have two medicines I need to take to survive.

After two pregnancies with wildly under treated pain, I was determined this one would be better. Plus I had a four year old, a one year old, a job and a blog.

Yoga and meditation have been my mainstays for a long time. I’ve also paid $60 a fortnight for physiotherapy for several years now because I’d rather skimp and take that than utilise the heavily subsidised medicine I’d have to take instead. New Zealand has a public system and for some reason they will subsidise medicines but not physiotherapy for Fibromyalgia.
why i've gone as natural as possible fighting fibromyalgia while pregnant. options for pregnancy with fibromyalgia

A note to remember

Let us just remember, as I mention a lot in my pregnancy diaries videos that I am super thankful that low dose naltrexone (LDN) is helping me so much that I don’t need pain relief other than the occasional Panadol and the things I mention below. I don’t take this for granted and I remember well from my last two pregnancies the pain levels that can occur. I also know that in the event the symphysis pubis disorder gets worse, I may need to stop so that I can take other pain relief (codeine is contraindicated with LDN) and everything would change in that case.

What I’ve been researching for pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

For the last few months I’ve researched essential oils, herbs and other more natural options and more recently, for pregnancy.

Essential oils in pregnancy is something you’ll want to personally research and hopefully have a practitioner you can speak with, here’s a webinar and article about using essential oils for pregnancy, nursing and babies.

Here’s my posts for Natural Pain Relief Options

Here’s a round up of what I’ve been using for pregnancy with Fibromyalgia this time:

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links and I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using my link at no extra cost to you. Every little bit helps me to keep creating resources.

Essential Oils

Peppermint – headache and nausea
Ginger – nausea
Lavender – pain relief

Supplements

Magnesium oil – people with fibromyalgia are generally recommended to take magensium oilmagnesium but in pregnancy this is especially helpful for leg cramps.
MSM – I have read the research and had a discussion with my doctor and chosen to continue taking it as it’s the only thing to help with my finger and wrist joint pain.

Other

Morning Sickness bands – these work on acupressure points in your wrist for nausea.
Arnica cream – arnica cream has been recommended as a natural option for pain relief.
If you want to learn even more information about pain relief during pregnancy, then Pain Managementmicro coursecheck out my 15-page printable PDF Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Micro Course Workbook. It goes through the existing information about pain relief during pregnancy, my experiences, a list of natural pain relief options, a list of further reading, a template to make your own pain relief plan (pregnancy edition) with space for notes and the brand new Advanced Pain Relief sheet with links to research about medicine use in pregnancy. I have gathered the information and created these printables to make it easier for you to make the best decisions for yourself- it took me years to get it all together.

Looking forward to labour with Fibromyalgia

I’ve been reading the Spinning Babies website for daily and weekly activities to help baby with natural positioning (I’ve had both prolonged labours and a posterior baby). There are stretches and inversions and all sorts for good positioning and to relieve pain in the back and pelvis.

I’m also looking at using a Rebozo scarf for later pregnancy comfort and during labour, which you may read about on the Spinning Babies site.

The peanut ball is also something I am considering for use later in pregnancy and inpeanut ball labour – especially if the symphysis pubis disorder gets worse and makes my plan to birth on all fours and without an epidural disappear. You can lie on your side (with or without an epidural) and place the peanut ball between your legs for good positioning and comfort. I am learning lots from this YouTubing delivery nurse.

My swiss ball will also feature heavily in my pelvis care plan – sitting on it in generally is good for you, but also hip circles and tilts on the ball are very helpful for keeping things moving. It is also useful from week 36/37 when I want to start getting baby down (bouncing gentle on the ball).

I hope this gives you an overview of what I have been looking into to help direct you in your research for managing the fibromyalgia while pregnant.

For more information:

Come and join the Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy group on Facebook to chat through pregnancy, parenting and fibromyalgia.
Pregnancy and Fibro eCourse
Check out my course Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia for five full modules about managing Fibromyalgia while pregnant – and how you can access it for free.
Enter to win a copy of Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book!

Win A Copy of Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Book!

Would you like your own digital copy of Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia? You can enter to win below!

Affiliate note: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links and I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

melissa vs fibro new cover

Synopsis Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Book

Are you struggling with Fibromyalgia/chronic pain/chronic fatigue and insomnia? Melissa shares the ways she fights these symptoms and her journey from miserable to thriving despite Fibromyalgia.

Melissa Reynolds has fought Fibromyalgia since she was 14 years old. Only, she didn’t receive a name for her invisible opponent until she was in her 20s. Unfortunately, the name of the illness did not come with help.

However, she took matters into her own hands and in seven years, she went from miserable and barely coping with life to thriving.

Using a combination of research and personal trial and error, she has managed to bring her pain and fatigue levels down and minimise the effects of the debilitating brain fog by using everything she has written about on her blog MelissavsFibromyalgia.com.

With a passion for research, health and wellness, Melissa combines her findings (both research and anecdotal evidence) with personal experience and hopes that sharing this knowledge will make even one life a bit easier.

“I wish this book had been around when I first got diagnosed.” Deb, a Fibro Fighter

“This book is a very interesting read. It is packed full of information that is easy to understand and apply. The book reads quickly and doesn’t weigh you down with heavy text. Melissa is a brilliant writer and I enjoy her work. I recommend her book if you have fibromyalgia or know someone who does.” – Jessie

“Another fine book by Melissa Reynolds. I like that every chapter is stand alone. You can start anywhere and go anywhere. You can read from back to front if you want.” – Danny van Leeuwen, Opa, RN, MPH, CPHQ, http://www.health-hats.com 

You can enter the draw for your own digital copy here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Redesigned MvF

Posts you might like

9 Inexpensive Items I Use to Fight Fibromyalgia

Why I’m Treating the Fibromyalgia as Naturally as Possible

My Daily Log, Why I Track Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Join the newsletter list to receive my free printables and updates.

Enter to win a copy of Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book!

Pregnancy with fibromyalgia diaries, week twenty three stuff got real!

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Week 23

As a third time mama doing pregnancy with fibromyalgia I have been sharing my journey in case it helps you.

When I was pregnant for the first time in 2013, I would have loved to hear another mamas experience, read a book or take a course to help me cope.

In the absence of these things, I created my own.

Please note that some of my links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Here’s my week 23 pregnancy with fibromyalgia diary.

A brief overview

At week 23 baby is the size of a large mango. I experienced a bit of a growth spurt over the weekend (I show you the bump)!

Bubby is kicking up a storm which helps me to know he’s all good.

I am off work sick for three weeks as the symphysis pubis disorder has really run me down. Walking, sitting and sleeping are difficult.

I am still super thankful to be sleeping better than before low dose naltrexone.

Pregnancy with fibromyalgia diaries, week twenty three stuff got real!

Talking about pain relief:

9 Inexpensive Items I Use to Fight Fibromyalgia –here is the link to the Deep Heat I mentioned

Essential Oils for Pain Relief and a Pain Cream I am Loving -here I mention the essential oil pain relief cream I’m using

My Favourite Five Pain Management Mechanisms – Pregnant or Not!

I also mentioned my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia, available now.

Don’t forget the Facebook group Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.

Do let me know what pain relief options you are utilising during pregnancy with fibromyalgia!


Want more information about coping with pregnancy and fibromyalgia?

Sign up to my free course

9 inexpensive items i use to fight fibromyalgia and move more freely

9 Inexpensive Items I Use to Fight Fibromyalgia

I haven’t tried any very expensive items for managing pain. We just don’t have the budget with all of my other vital costs. These items are inexpensive (around $30 and under) and make a huge difference to my quality of life. A lot of them are things you can do yourself to manage pain, and I am a big fan of that.
Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links and I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase using the link. Every little bit helps me to keep creating resources.
9 inexpensive items i use to fight fibromyalgia and move more freely

Trigger point cane massagertrigger point cane massager

This has been a great find for multiple reasons. The first of which is that my fingers can no longer massage my trigger point-laden neck. The second is that I can use it in any trigger point that I find. And the third is that I can more successfully treat trigger points at home. I still need to see the physiotherapist for intramuscular needles to release them, but this helps.

Yoga mat

More often than not, I don’t use it as I’m indulging where I am, as I am – say, next to the kids playing and I drop to forward bend for a nice back release. But when I go into my room, close the door and roll out my mat, it’s practice time! Yoga is one of my favourite ways to manage pain, fatigue and generally exercise.

Heat pack

I can’t live without this. When we went away to a house (once!) with no microwave, I tried so hard to use the oven with little luck. This is my favourite way to manage pain and my first line of defense, I haven’t had a day without using my heat pack in years.

Memory foam contoured pillow

When my neck is being more troublesome than usual, this is the only pillow I can use. I can’t really get a pillow shipped from the US so the link I provided is one that is very similar to the one I use, this also has a five year warranty (use that if needed!).

Travelling memory foam pillow

This is a life saver for the car or plane. I just don’t fit seats right, I’m quite short so I need a way to rest my neck or I get super sore super quick.

TENS machine

tens machineWhen I remember to get this out, I’m impressed. It helps release my back. However, I can’t tolerate it near my neck and that’s my usual issue. You attach small sticky dots to your muscles and choose a setting and level, then relax for the time you set it for. It’s like a really focused massage.

Swiss ballSwiss ball

When I am pregnant this was my best friend. I sit on it and do pelvic rocks or circles. Or I’d kneel on the floor and lean forward over it (letting my stomach chill at a slightly higher than table top position) – oh the relief. It’s also useful for exercise when you’re not pregnant, especially for core work. Remember to choose the right size for your height, being 5 foot 2 I use the 65cm, but most people will want to use the next size up. When using it for pregnancy you want to ensure that your hips are higher than your knees when sitting on it.

Foam roller

My foam roller is a very nice way to roll out tight, sore muscles in my upper thighs (on the floor on my side), lower back (standing against a wall) and upper back (standing against a wall). Do Google how to use one of these.

Deep Heat cream

Deep heat regular relief creamThis is one of my favourite creams for pain relief, aside from my essential oils, it is non-medicated and warming. Heat is my absolute favourite for treating pain. I go to bed with my heat pack and then apply Deep Heat when I wake around 3am to help release the muscles in my neck.
What items do you find useful for fighting Fibromyalgia?

For more information about fibromyalgia:

Come and join my free You vs Fibromyalgia micro course.

melissa vs fibromyalgia book angled shadowed

I wrote a book about all that I do to fight Fibromyalgia

pregnancy with fibromyalgia what's on my baby registry the third time around

Fibromyalgia Pregnancy: Items on My Baby Registry

Given I’m expecting number three, my list for baby items is not as long as previously, but there are some key things. Not too many of these things are different for Fibromyalgia parenting.

pregnancy with fibromyalgia what's on my baby registry the third time around

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase using my link I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See here for my disclosure policy.

Did you know that Amazon has a baby registry? You can sign up here Shop Amazon – Create an Amazon Baby Registry It’s basically a mobile registry (available anywhere!)and you will be eligible for discounts and rewards. If you’re going to purchase some of your items from Amazon, you may as well sign up (I have).

Philips Avent Electronic Breast Pump

Avent single eletric

Image from Philips.co.nz

This is the one I will use, the Avent single electric, but you can also get the double electric for more efficient expressing (if you want to express more than a few feeds per day it is really time saving). If you wanted to go the manual route, for say the very odd feed, the Avent manual is the way to go. I have tried a few manual pumps and actually found them painful and not very productive, so that is something you’ll have to consider.

I decided immediately that if nursing doesn’t work out again I will not express exclusively (with three 4 and under, no!), so I didn’t need the Unimom hospital grade double pump I used with my first two. Though I highly recommend it for those who will express more than a couple of feeds a day. As someone who cannot nap, my best chance of sleep is in the evening. So as often as my husband is home I like to express at 830/9pm and go to sleep, leaving him to do the next one or two feeds. Starting the night with four or so hours of sleep really makes  difference for my healing body. Plus, as committed as I am to nursing, I would be remiss to not build in the opportunity for someone else to feed the baby so I can rest or go out.

Avent has great reviews for ease of use, cleaning and comfort. I like that I’ll be able to express directly into the bottle baby can feed from, saving a piece of washing. Avent bottles are the only bottles we have used for all of our children. As a mix-feeding mama I like the shape of the bottle teat and it reduced nipple confusion (although our boys are great feeders, so perhaps are deterred so easily).

Swaddle Wraps

ziggy baby wrap

Image from Ziggy Baby.com

Previously I just used Aden and Anais sheets and created my own swaddles. This time, I want ready made swaddles for ease and baby’s comfort. This three pack is in my Amazon registry. Babies like to be snug and warm like they were in the womb and I found swaddling really helped my boys.

Avent Dummies

I’m not a fan of dummies past six weeks, but to save my nipples in the first weeks, I’ll utulise these Avent dummies when baby just needs to suck. Obviously, in the early days I won’t shove the dummy in to avoid feeding, but my boys seemed to be particularly sucky babies and actually just wanted to suck to sleep in the early days.

Other posts about pregnancy:

Navigating Pain Relief in Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Fibro Parents Survey Results & Big News about Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Book

Necessary Baby Items for a Fibro Parent

Nursing with Fibromyalgia: My Experience and Some Research

On Becoming Babywise Gary Ezzo

on becoming babywise.PNG

Image from CatholicMom website

The idea of parent assessment plus the clock really resonated way back with my first and it still does now. I’m not a fan of schedules, but frameworks I can get behind. From whatever time we get up in the morning, using the clock (2-4 hourly depending on age) and assessing baby’s cue for feeding is a great way to loosely plan the day. I like having a sense of what’s coming without forcing baby into a regimented schedule.

I like the messages in this book. There is no baby and parenting book I agree totally with, I have read several and pieced together what resonates with me.

Nursing Chair

nursing chair

Image from mocka.co.nz

This is a vital piece of furniture, especially given our couches are not good for my back and neck. My pelvis also needs a proper seat and we only have one L-style couch in our lounge. I ordered this one from a store in New Zealand. It is slimline, minimalist and comfortable without looking like it’s only for nursing. If I could order from Amazon without the $200+ delivery fee to New Zealand, I’d order this one here. That looks so comfortable!

White Noise Machine

white noise

Image from sleepstore.co.nz

This is another thing we didn’t buy and made do with a small fan for the first two. This time I’d like an actual machine for purpose. It helps the one I want is under $40. I find white noise not only helps block out external noises (like loud big siblings) but also gets them used to sleeping with noise (if baby needs silence to sleep, they’ll never sleep!).

Maternity Pelvis Support Belt

The last thing is not necessarily a baby item, but something I need – a pelvis support belt. At just 11 weeks the pelvic pain with this baby began. My body just responds too well to the relaxin hormone. This is the one on my list. Over and above medicine and stretches and creams, a support belt is king. The other thing is rest. I might have to write an entire post about symphysis pubis disorder, because it is a big issue and it can occur more often in illness like fibromyalgia. If you want to see my pregnancy diaries for this pregnancy, where SPD (unfortunately already features heavily) see my YouTube channel here.

Is there anything on your list that I haven’t mentioned?


For more information

Pregnancy andFibromyalgia_resources

I literally wrote a book about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia!