It’s no secret, the third trimester of pregnancy is a trying time. Especially if you have fibromyalgia and any of the comorbid disorders that can go hand in hand with it.
I struggled so much that I was very scared of the prospect of a second pregnancy. The second pregnancy wasn’t much better, but I was better prepared and that made all the difference.
My Top Tips to Cope with the Third Trimester in Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia:
Create a pain relief plan for pregnancy
Find things that are pregnancy friendly and help you manage, write them up, and enact them. This post on pregnancy-suitable pain relief mechanisms might help you get started. Do your research when it comes to medicines – be actively involved with the cost vs benefit analysis with your doctor and be ready to advocate for yourself if you feel they are being too conservative and you are struggling.
Acupuncture helped me with nausea in the first trimester and then with the pain as the pregnancy progressed. In the third trimester I visited my physiotherapist (who performs acupuncture) weekly. I wish I could have had a full body massage as well, but my neck can only be treated in this way and it was a bit expensive to visit the physio and a massage therapist. Try to find a treatment that helps you.
In my first, I walked until the last day of my pregnancy. It was slow going in the last few weeks, but it was for the good of my mind and body that I went. With my second, I couldn’t physically walk very far at all due to the (undiagnosed) symphysis pubis disorder, but I kept up my pelvic tilts and pelvic floors.
Stretch if nothing else. I love cat and cow pose for keeping my back moving, easing tension in my neck and preparing for delivery.
Find what will help. I had a great full body pillow that I curled around. Sleep was still difficult, but it helped!
Don’t stand when you can sit or sit when you can lie down! Don’t become a couch blob, but take it easy! Meditate!
I fell in love with semolina porridge (or sooji as my Indian family-in-law knows it), it became my power dish. Try to really think of food as fuel. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein. This may be a good area to get some advice in as I have certainly found that nutrition has a big impact on health.
Write a journal
Try to focus on the beautiful baby you will be given and that will help you to remember that this time will pass!
Stop work as soon as you can
If it becomes a real struggle and you are so sore that you can’t sit down, like I was, then try to give it up as soon as possible.
One thing you definitely need to do is check your iron levels. Ask the doctor, when your results come in, what the range is (it’s a large range), and if it’s low already ask for an easily digestible supplement. It’s standard here to wait until week 28 before testing and by then I had become so low that my stores were wiped, making life much harder than it needed to be. I was beside myself exhausted! And for good reason!
Read up on nursing with fibromyalgia.
Learn about coping postpartum.
Check out the best books on pregnancy and breastfeeding that I found.
Join the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Facebook group
We chat pregnancy, trying to conceive, labour and the early weeks every day, it has been amazing for my third time around to have a small community to do this journey with me. Join us here.
Finally, know that there is a finite time that you are pregnant for. Try to enjoy it! Stockpile the rest!
“I found it [the course] easy to use and I feel that with that plus your book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia I have learnt a lot.” – Amanda, Course Participant