Best Books I've Read about Pregnancy and Breastfeeding - they probably aren't what you expect

The Best Books I’ve Read About Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

It’s no secret that I’m a reader if you’ve been reading my blog or following my Pinterest for any amount of time. As I gear up for a third baby and delivery and get through a third pregnancy, here’s the books I’ve been loving.

Best Books I've Read about Pregnancy and Breastfeeding - they probably aren't what you expect

Some of these links are affiliate links – if you make a purchase using my link I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Expecting Better by Emily OsterMy favourite pregnancy book as a third time mama_ A review from MelissavsFibromyalgia

Someone in my birth month forum on Baby Centre mentioned this and I’m so glad they did. I adored the fact that Oster has done the research for me so I can consume the data and make my decisions about everything from sleeping position, to deli meat and epidurals.  You can see my full review on this book here.

Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

Curious after a quote I read from this book in a blog post, I ordered this book from the library. The insights into another culture’s parenting is amazing. I actually found some sleep tidbits that resonated with me such as “the pause” – where you give baby five minutes to see if they are actually waking or just transitioning sleep cycles. I liked the writing and the content.

The Mama Natural Guide to PregnancyThe Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland

This was a very pretty week by week guide from Mama Natural packed full of tips and tricks for getting through pregnancy and birth with plenty of data so you can make your own decisions.

Mindful Hypnobirthing: Hypnosis and Mindfulness Techniques for a Calm and Confident Birth by Sophie Fletcher

Meditation has made a huge difference to everyday life so why shouldn’t I employ the principles into labour? Research suggests that there are benefits to mother and baby from meditation! I like their affirmations so much that I created myself some pretty pictures with them written on for use during labour.

Other posts about pregnancy and parenting:

Fibromyalgia Pregnancy: Items on My Baby Registry
Pumping or Expressing for Your Baby: Parenting (Fibromyalgia or Not)
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Fibromyalgia (2018 Edition)

A Simple Guide to the Hard Parts of Birth by Lindsey A. Van Alstyne from Mother Rising

This is a free ebook that you receive when signing up to this blog’s newsletter. It is a great, compact, not airy fairy guide to labour – the best I’ve read yet. I wholly recommend this.

Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleenbreastfeeding made simple book Kendall-Tackett

This book really promotes laid back feeding as a way for mama to get more rest and help baby learn to latch well. It goes through the science of nursing and baby biology which I enjoyed. The best piece of learning – use those first two weeks to set up your supply, more milk out equals more milk made. I will really work on getting 8-12 feeds per 24 hours.

How to Succeed in Breastfeeding Without Really Trying, or 10 Steps to Laugh Your Way Through by Natasha Shur and Paulina Shur

If you want a light-hearted breastfeeding book, this is it. But don’t think it isn’t well backed by scientific knowledge. My number one take away is that postpartum women are the most undertreated of the medical world, ask for the pain relief if you need it. Labour is rough on your body. Pain relief is more likely to support than hinder lactation.

pregnancy and fibromyalgia def ed anglePregnancy and Fibromyalgia by Melissa Reynolds

If you want a book specifically about pregnancy with fibromyalgia you might like my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia- its my research and experience, including the results of two informal surveys I took with advice from other mamas fighting fibromyalgia while pregnant.

 

 
If you love reading like me try Amazon Kindle Unlimited Membership – you can try your first month free and access unlimited reading or listening on any device! They now have magazines too! It’s also available for those of us who use Amazon.com.au *squee*.


If you want to know more about Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

Come and see my free micro course – here’s day one and here’s the link to sign up for the free workbook.

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Expecting Better: Debunking Pregnancy Myths by Emily Oster- A Book Review

As a third time mama there are still things I need to learn and am curious about. I am still reading up on pregnancy, labour and newborns.

Affiliate notice 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 cost to you. 

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong- and what you really need to know by Emily Oster is my current favourite pregnancy book.

my favourite pregnancy book as a third time mama
Synopsis

Pregnancy—unquestionably one of the most pro­found, meaningful experiences of adulthood—can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. We’re told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee, but aren’t told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are hard and fast—and unexplained. Are these recommendations even correct? Are all of them right for every mom-to-be? In Expecting Better, award-winning economist Emily Oster proves that pregnancy rules are often misguided and sometimes flat-out wrong.

 

A mom-to-be herself, Oster debunks the myths of pregnancy using her particular mode of critical thinking: economics, the study of how we get what we want. Oster knows that the value of anything—a home, an amniocentesis—is in the eyes of the informed beholder, and like any compli­cated endeavor, pregnancy is not a one-size-fits-all affair. And yet medicine often treats it as such. Are doctors working from bad data? Are well-meaning friends and family perpetuating false myths and raising unfounded concerns? Oster’s answer is yes, and often.

“Ive always been someone for whom knowing the data, knowing the evidence, is exactly what I need to chill out. It makes me feel comfortable and confident that I’m making rhe right choices.” Pxxi

I wholly agree with Oster. There were several things in this book that immediately made me feel much more comfortable. The coffee abstaining recommendation? Nonsense. Switching to decaf, no help at all. Up to three or four cups a day, according to well constructed research is absolutely fine.

She also discusses the research around medicine use in pregnancy. It was really helpful. In fact, it enabled me to feel comfortable with allowing myself to take something to help with the symphysis pubis disorder pain. She explained the rigorous process that occurs for a medicine to be categorised at B – therefore B is likely safe. She still gives us the information, happy for us to make our own choice.

It suits my personality to look into the research, including assessing the quality of the research. I love this. But as a currently pregnant woman with a job, two small children and a chronic illness, I really appreciated that she had done the work for me.

That is what I aim to do in my writing on this blog and in my books and courses. I collate the information and give my personal experience so you can make your decisions. So you can see how a book like this would appeal.

More posts you might like

This book was thoroughly researched and the writing was simultaneously clear and yet personal. Oster wondered and worried about these things too. From deli meats, to sleep position and epidurals – this book covers the major worries.

I wholly recommend this book to all women, pregnant or trying to conceive. Or even just those who are curious!

Get your copy here!

PS: Are you currently pregnant? Do you have a baby registry yet? I created mine through Amazon – a cloud based registry ensures you aren’t stuck to one shop in one location. I have managed to find products on Amazon that I just can’t get here in New Zealand, it has the best selection and discounts. You can create yours here. I shared what is on my registry in this post.


For more information about pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia free miro courseSee the first video here with the link to the free workbook with all of the further reading links.

Learn more about the full Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia course here.

 

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.

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.

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.
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

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 7-13

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia The First Trimester Diaries

During my second pregnancy I wrote diaries here on the blog to share what my experience was like in case other people with fibromyalgia were curious. I would have loved to know I wasn’t alone with my symptoms during my first pregnancy – and that is why I started this blog, wrote my book, created the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Facebook group and now am videoing my diaries.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 7-13As I’ve frequently mentioned in posts and videos the this pregnancy, despite the symphysis pubis disorder, it’s been a far better experience than my first two. It’s all thanks to low dose naltrexone improving my sleep, pain and fatigue levels. I started in a better condition and am continuing better.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Week Seven

 

 

 

 

I experienced a few weeks of rather bad nausea and fatigue which is all very normal.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 8-9

 

 

 

 

 

I went from very nauseas to very hungry (it was no joke, no food in tummy meant nausea big time!)

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Weeks 10-11

 

I started to get more tired, the 17 month old has been growing his double teeth and so has woken every night from week eight ongoing (still at week 16!). The symphysis pubis disorder (SPD) turned up *sigh*.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Week 12

 

 

 

We had the nuchal scan (screening for genetic disorders) and I outline some ways I am managing the SPD.

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia Diaries Week 13

 

 

I discuss the confusing matter of simultaneously being thankful that this pregnancy is not as miserable as the last two and upset because my much adored gains from LDN have started to recede (less sleep, more pain, more fatigue).

If you want to learn 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, 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.

So that’s all the videos from the first trimester. Week 14 will go up next week (I’m posting approximately weekly) so do subscribe to to my YouTube channel to be alerted about those.

Feel free to come and join the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Facebook group where we chat trying to conceive  pregnancy and nursing with Fibromyalgia.

Don’t forget to check out my video about coping with early pregnancy symptoms and fibromyalgia.

Find my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia here for everything I have researched and learnt about pregnancy with fibromyalgia. pregnancy and fibromyalgia def ed angle

Check out my course Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia – it’s a full five module course for planning the best pregnancy possible despite Fibromyalgia including a module on pain management. I am experimenting with offering the course for free with the option to purchase my book (technically the textbook) and/or the workbook which is available in my Etsy store. Find more information about the course here.

Pregnancy Diaries 2018: The First Trimester of Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Surprise! We’re having baby number three. It was indeed a surprise, but here we are! During my first two pregnancies with Fibromyalgia I shared my journey. Since then I have written many articles, tips, a book and a course.

Now I can share my third pregnancy! This post is a round up of the first trimester.
Pregnancy Diaries 2018 The First Trimester
Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Baby development

A ton of physical development happens in the first trimester, baby had been conceived, implanted and developed all organs. They went from a speck in their dada’s eye (so to speak) to a fully formed miniature human.

Symptoms

The hormone overload that is growing a baby hits hard during the first trimester. I first knew I was pregnant by sore breasts, low back pain, bloating and mild food aversions.
Knowing the hormones usually hit me hard enabled me to prepare.

Early Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia
Necessary Baby Items for a Fibro Parent
Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book 

I had my ginger lollies, peppermints, teas, acupressure bands and snacks ready.

The fatigue, as always, is a whole other story. I am always super grateful for meditation when I get so exhausted and my sleep becomes more disrupted.

I managed stiffness and discomfort in my low back, hips and shoulders with my natural pain cream and yoga stretches such as downward dog, forward bend and child’s pose.

I was super thankful for the low dose naltrexone making such a difference for me. I looked back at my nine week diary with my second pregnancy and I was in a lot of pain already and was taking codeine just to try and get some sleep. This time I was only using essential oil pain cream a few times a day and Deep Heat in the night. I was also still achieving a few hour blocks of sleep despite Wyatt waking multiple times with his double teeth coming through and peeing.

At week 10 my pelvis started to get a bit achy (reminiscent of the symphysis pubis disorder which caused miserable pain levels in the third trimester with Wyatt) and my physio confirmed that it would hopefully calm down again once the uterus had “popped” up from behind the pubic bone in the next couple of weeks. I have spoken about SPD in my most recent pregnancy diary videos on my YouTube channel here.

What’s happened

In addition to a busy nearly four year old, I had a newly walking one year old. Active is a good adjective to describe our life.

We also went to Hawaii! It was my first flight longer than four hours. It went pretty well with good planning.

I started a new job! The job is good, the nausea in the first week was not. The intense hunger in the following weeks was much more manageable.

Look out for the next updates as we go.

In the meantime you can

sign up to newsletter
Join the conversation in the pregnancy and fibromyalgia facebook group.
pain relief in pregnancy with fibromyalgia

Pain Relief in Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Pain relief is a big issue for those who live with chronic pain. It becomes an even bigger issue during pregnancy. For those of us whose symptoms worsen during pregnancy, it’s a minefield.

Author’s Note: This article appeared first on The Mighty

pain relief in pregnancy with fibromyalgia

My fifth tip for pregnancy with Fibromyalgia is to get a pain management plan in place – preferably prior to becoming pregnant.

There are some medicines that are categorically unsafe for pregnancy. There are a lot of medicines that they just don’t know enough about, performing experiments on pregnant women, particularly involving something that may harm a baby, would be unethical. So literature relies on data provided by pregnant women. This website Mother to Baby  provides fact sheets, access to professionals about medicine in pregnancy and more.

The first thing to do when considering pregnancy with a chronic pain-based illness would be to discuss plans for pregnancy with your doctor. With my first pregnancy, we didn’t talk to the doctor before conceiving, and then when we were discussing the only medicine I was on (amitriptyline) I nearly had a panic attack at the thought of going off it. My doctor called a specialist and they agreed that the benefits outweighed the potential risks – for me and my unique situation.

Sleep is a big battle for me, I enact a long list of sleep hygiene tactics every day; take a low dose of amitriptyline at 8pm, take a low dose of naltrexone (I only started this after I had my second baby, prior to this I would take pain medicine at this time) at 9pm, get into bed with my heat pack, do a body scan meditation, and if I’m lucky, fall asleep for a few hours at a time. A good night sees me fall asleep relatively quickly and only lose an hour to awake or restless times. It would appear that the second the pregnancy hormones enter my body, sleep runs away screaming. Pain also becomes a much bigger issue when I have to lie on my side (as you must once baby gets big enough to put pressure on an important vein when lying on your back).

More articles about pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia The First Trimester Diaries
Necessary Baby Items for a Fibro Parent
Fibro Mama Pregnancy Diaries: The Delivery
Pumping or Expressing for Your Baby: Parenting (Fibromyalgia or Not)

You do not have to be miserable, there’s also research that suggests that under treated pregnancy and fibromyalgia def ed anglepain can negatively affect the pregnancy.[1] So if your doctor refuses to help you with pain relief, get a second opinion. Do some research for yourself and present it to them. I provide what I did during pregnancy to be as well as possible in my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.

Here are a few natural pain relief mechanisms that I enacted during my pregnancies:

·         Heat pack
·         Warm shower or bath
·         Essential oils such as lavender and peppermint (for external use only and with a carrier oil after the first trimester) – see my Resources page for my free report about Essential Oils for managing pain
·         Magnesium oil (I never got a calf cramp in my second pregnancy using this)
·         Gentle walks and stretching
·         Meditation – especially ones specifically for pain relief on pregnancy, there’s heaps on YouTube to search up
·         Massage – either for yourself, or from a partner, friend, or therapist
·         Rest and sleep as much as you can
·         Belly support belt – I had symphysis pubis disorder (my pelvis basically widened too far) and this really helped.

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.

I always recommend remembering that pregnancy is finite, there is an end date and a beautiful baby as the pay off. I also was a bit smug in my second pregnancy because I knew that I am one of those very rare women who actually sleep better with a newborn baby than pregnant, the pain levels are just so high that sleep is almost non-existent in the final trimester. Last year, once I delivered my second baby, my bed that had previously felt as hard as a rock seemed luxuriously soft. So in those one, two or three hours that the baby was asleep – I slept like the dead, which is a very rare occurrence for me.

I really hope that this post helps you on your way to relieving some of the pain involved in pregnancy with a chronic illness.
[1] Malaika Babb, PharmD, Gideon Koren, MD FRCPC FACMT, and Adrienne Einarson, RN. Treating pain during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2010 Jan; 56(1): 25, 27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809170/


For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

This article is also available as a free PDF printable in my free Resources page.

Pregnancy andFibromyalgia_resources

 

 

Precious Knowledge for other Fibro Parents

In my quest to unearth further information and present it to those of us who need it, I am gathering a survey of fibro parents about pregnancy and early parenting for inclusion in my updated book and on the blog. 

Pregnancy and Fibro

My first book is available on Amazon now

I thought my mission would be complete upon the publication of my book Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia last November and the eCourse of the same name. But, alas, there is more information needed and I have taken the call to seek it out. Particularly in the areas of fertility, pain relief, labour and the fourth trimester (early months).
 
I’d be super grateful if you wanted to share your hard earned knowledge about pregnancy, nursing and parenting with fibromyalgia. This survey is just nine questions on areas we desperately need information on. Of particular importance are the three questions where you can give a paragraph on what you’d tell another fibro parent just starting their journey on the areas of pregnancy, the early weeks and parenting.
There are also a couple of questions about pain management mechanisms you enacted.
 
Every drop of information counts for those of us fighting to live as well as possible while pregnant and parenting with Fibromyalgia.
 
Please feel free to share this to get this spread as wide as possible. The more respondents, the more information we receive!
 
Click to take the survey here.
call for info.jpgThank you in advance for contributing to the mission, I will let you know the results of the survey.

For more information about pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

Find my pregnancy diaries from my second pregnancy, in 2016.
Find my book Fibro Mama Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia AVAILABLE HERE

For access to my free resource page, sign up here. This includes templates, reports and my free microcourse Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge will be up there shortly.
Enroll in my eCourse Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia here.
Join the group Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia on Facebook, we chat about pregnancy, nursing and parenting with Fibromyalgia.