Things to Consider Pre Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue

Considering pregnancy with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue or any chronic illness is a big deal. There are a host of considerations. If I had thought too intensely about it prior to having my first I am sure I would have gotten myself into a tizzy. Why? Because there was no information available. Even once I was pregnant there was so little information around and even my doctors didn’t know much about it.

After years of researching and sharing my experience and writing about pregnancy with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, I have developed a list of things to consider prior to becoming pregnant.

things to consider pre pregnancy with fibromyalgia

In this post I will share a few, but the list is long. You can grab the entire list by purchasing the updated edition of Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book and emailing your proof of purchase to melissa[at]melissavsfibromyalgia.com or enrolling in Pregnancy and Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia. For this month (August 2019) only the entire revamped course is available for just $59 (down from $99). Where the book shares my experience and research, the course turns that knowledge around and helps you to make your plans for managing during pregnancy with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue.

Top Considerations Pre Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links and if you make a purchase using those links I may make a commission at no extra cost to you.

Arm yourself with knowledge


Take Pregnancy and Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia micro course for an introduction about pregnancy and fibromyalgia (available in my free resources page, simply sign up to the newsletter and receive access)
Read Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book
Consider taking the Pregnancy and Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia course
Learn about pregnancy in general
 Look into delivery and recovery
Read about the early weeks (fourth trimester)

Wean off and stop any medications that are categorically unsafe

This is an area I encourage you to become a self-advocate. Do some research and be involved in the decision making process with your doctor – ensure you are being factored into the cost vs benefit equation. This is a really important one to address. I have seen women who have been forced to go cold turkey off medications during their first trimester and it is not fun.

A top piece of advice for any person approaching a doctor no matter their stage in life? A well researched/thought out decision is harder to ignore than a general plea for help. Arm yourself with knowledge, do your cost vs benefit analysis and then ask the doctor to partner with you. They may disagree but you have created a starting point for a good discussion.

Have an honest discussion with your significant other about:


How you will manage during pregnancy and the first year
What you will do in the event that you cannot continue to work
What will happen if there are times when you are too ill to look after the baby
Agree how you will approach breastfeeding

Nourish yourself well


Drink water
Minimize dehydrating drinks such as tea and coffee (the research suggests these are fine in moderation during pregnancy, but it is good to minimize from the hydration perspective)
Aim for eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day, aim for an array of colours
Include protein and healthy fats at each meal
If you need, consult a medical professional or nutritionist
Start taking a pregnancy multivitamin

Come and join the supportive community in the Pregnancy and Parenting with Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Facebook group. Having social support is magical. It truly made a huge difference for me between my first and second pregnancies. Just having people who got it to bounce ideas off was a relief.

Pregnancy with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, doesn’t have to be a scary idea. Just know that with preparation, understanding and support you can do it.

I would love to hear from you: What kind of things are you concerned with if you are considering pregnancy with chronic illness? What kinds of things do you wish someone told you if you are already pregnant or had a baby with chronic illness? Tell us in the comments below!

Don’t forget that you can grab the entire list by purchasing the updated edition of Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book and emailing your proof of purchase to melissa[at]melissavsfibromyalgia.com or enrolling in Pregnancy and Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia. For this month (August 2019) only the entire revamped course is available for just $59 (down from $99)

Preparing for the Postpartum Period with Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia

All areas around bearing children with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia are sorely lacking in readily available knowledge. The postpartum period is a mystery to all women, but when there is a chronic illness in the mix it is vital to be prepared. In the Pregnancy and Parenting with Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Facebook group (which you are welcome to join if you are a female considering children, are pregnant or have children) we talk through all of the areas regularly.

Recently though, I realised I hadn’t addressed the postpartum period here on the blog. Mostly because I have no idea how much of my experience was unique to the chronic illness and how much was “normal” to all postpartum periods.

Preparing for the postpartum period with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia: the top five tips

If you have seen the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia eCourse you will know that as part of that we make plans for coping during delivery and those early weeks and the Postpartum Checklist I have created will now be available as a special bonus for enrolling in the course. Also, for the month of August, while we promote the latest edition of Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book (updated to reflect my third journey) purchasers can email me proof of purchase and receive the checklist free too. Look out for my next post which will discuss things to consider prior to trying to conceive which will include another handy checklist that will also come with it.

So what are my top five things to consider for the postpartum period as a mama who has done this three times?

Arm yourself with knowledge

The first step is always to arm yourself with knowledge. You need to know what to expect during a “normal” postpartum period and what might occur as a mama with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue.
 As a good start you can check out my Pregnancy Resources page.
 Learn about breastfeeding, expressing, formula feeding and mix feeding so you are prepared for whatever happens. Take advantage of your midwife or doctor’s experience but disregard what doesn’t work for you. Take the knowledge that you can mix feed in so it doesn’t feel like all or nothing if breastfeeding is a kick in the pants.

Have your natural pain relief mechanisms down

Not only crafted a list, but actually use them so often that they are second nature to reach for. In the pregnancy and nursing period, the more natural options the better. This is not to say medicine doesn’t have a place, but natural options are vital. See this post for My Top Five Natural Pain Relief Mechanisms.

Research and discuss medicinal options with your doctor/medical team

Be prepared before you have had the baby and realise that your are having a massive flare up or the after pains are mean. Have your medicines pre vetted for the breastfeeding (if you are) and ensure that nothing you have been given interacts with the other. The Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia course has a list of advanced pain relief options including lots of places to go for more information, but www.drugs.com is a good place to start. I always encourage people to do some information gathering themselves so they can make an informed decision with their doctors.

Consider what and how you will tell the delivery team about your illness

In my first delivery/postpartum no one really knew what fibromyalgia was and I didn’t know what or how to tell them. For my second and third I knew better. I was able to advocate for myself much more strongly. Although my pelvis issues needed more advocating than the chronic pain and fatigue. Consider making a list with a brief description of your illness, how it might impact you in your labour/postpartum period, what medicines you are on, what you cannot tolerate and if there are any special considerations.

Compile a list of handy items that will help you

Things like urine alkiliser, warm socks, nursing bras, bottle spray with witch hazel for a sore botty, open button pyjamas, heat pack, your pillow and your pre approved medicines and natural pain relief options. All those things that will make you comfortable as a postpartum person and as a person with chronic pain and fatigue.

Free checklist with new edition of book or freshly updated course

For the rest of the items on the checklist be sure to grab your copy of Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book updated edition and then email me proof of purchase to melissa[at]melissavsfibromyalgia.com or enroll in Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia eCourse.

Or come and join the newsletter list and access it along with all of the other free resources in the exclusive members resources page!!

In Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book I share my research and personal journey through three pregnancies, deliveries and postpartum periods. In Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia eCourse I help you prepare for the best pregnancy, delivery and postpartum periods possible despite chronic pain and fatigue. It is practical, easy to understand, with heaps of resources and made by a mama who has done it all three times herself.

“This course gave me the confidence to know I will cope and I will get through it.” – A Fibro Parent

Fibro Mama Interview: Using Essential Oils to Manage Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia

This is another interview with a fellow fibro mama, this time we are learning about how one mama uses essential oils to manage chronic pain, fibromyalgia. Since this interview was conducted Kara welcomed her gorgeous baby.

Fibro mama interview managing chronic pain with essential oils

Could you introduce yourself in a few sentences for us?

My name is Kara Carril, I’m 28, and soon-to-be first time mom! I live in Arizona with my husband and our two dogs, Diesel and Rain!

How did you get into essential oils for fibromyalgia?

My mom is a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils here in the US. After she had breast cancer 10 years ago, she got into living a more chemical-free lifestyle. She did a lot of research on essential oils and the potential help they could give to autoimmune diseases. She has fibromyalgia as well as ankylosing spondylitis amongst other health issues. The oils helped her pain management dramatically, so she eventually introduced them to me, and I was hooked!

What are your favourite ones and what do they help with?

The ones I use most often are lavender, frankincense, copaiba, PanAway (a blend), Valor (a blend), cedarwood, and eucalyptus/peppermint. I use lavender and cedarwood mixed with distilled water for a pillow spray before bed. It helps calm and relax to be able to go into a deeper sleep. I use lavender/cedarwood in mascara to help strengthen lashes (I know it’s not fibro related but a cool trick!-just a drop of each).

I use lavender/frankincense in homemade face soap with coconut oil and baking soda. PanAway I use on my back spasms. Valor and copaiba I also use on my back spasms. Valor is often referred to as a “chiropractor in a bottle” and copaiba is compared to “morphine in a bottle” and often enhances whatever other oils you use in conjunction with it. I use eucalyptus/peppermint on my sinuses and throat when I feel I’m getting sick, and I also use either with lavender and epsom salts in baths when I’m having a bad flare up.

I will stop using peppermint when I’m breastfeeding though because it is said to drastically reduce your milk supply (good for when you’re trying to stop producing though!).

“The ones I use most often are lavender, frankincense, copaiba, PanAway (a blend), Valor (a blend), cedarwood, and eucalyptus/peppermint.”

Do you have any blends you make yourself?

Lavender/Cedarwood for sleep/relaxation- 5-10 drops of each in a 3oz spray bottle filled with distilled water. Make the strength based on your scent preferences. I also spray it on the bottoms of my feet before bed or will use straight lavender drops when my feet are really sore. I also use this combo in my diffuser at night next to my bed.

I make a ton of diffuser blends based on what my needs are. Lemon/peppermint combo is really good for getting rid of stinky smells, lavender/cedarwood is great for relaxing/sleep. Orange and lemon or any citrus combination is great for morning and energy! Ginger, peppermint, and lemon is good for tummy aches too!


For more research into using essential oils in your journey you may like

Essential Oils for Pain Relief and a Pain Cream I am Loving
Copaiba Essential Oil for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

If you are a mama fighting chronic pain and fatigue you may like the following:

Come and join Pregnancy and Parenting with Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia Facebook group

Pregnancy and parenting with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia

Tips for Coping with a Newborn and Fibromyalgia (Chronic Pain and Chronic Fatigue)

Having done this three times, I have formulated some tips for coping with a newborn and fibromyalgia. They are split into the key areas for dealing with fibromyalgia in general – sleep, general health, pain management and expectations.

How to survive with a newborn and chronic illness

Sleep is king (always) and for coping with a newborn with fibromyalgia

  • Give baby to your partner/support person with a bottle (formula or expressed breast milk) and go to bed early. With our first I expressed at 8.30pm and went to bed at 9pm. Husband would hold sleeping baby, feed him when he woke, wind him and bring him into the room. Those precious hours of sleep made a huge difference, especially as I flared the worst with him. Unfortunately we haven’t managed this with our second (reflux and colic, we had to keep each other company in the storm) and third (I’m breastfeeding and he refuses the bottle) and I so wish for those three or four hours of sleep!
  • Find a person each day to visit and hold baby while you nap or meditate. Unless you are lucky enough to have a baby that naps in their own bed for more than 20 minutes at a time, I never got one of those!
  • If you don’t have a visitor to hold baby and baby isn’t napping in their bed for you, lie down while holding baby (meditate, pray, read, watch television -just don’t move) -they will probably sleep better and you can rest.
  • Help baby sleep. With all three babies I fell into the trap of doing all the things and just made it harder to fall asleep.With our first we waited five overtired months to sleep train and after much trial and error we found he needed a good 15 minutes alone to decompress before he slept 7-7 with a 10pm dream feed (anything we did just prolonged it and made it super difficult for him to sleep).With number two at 22 months (the reflux made us nervous to sleep train) we started ignoring him in the night, he would grizzle for 10 minutes, go back to sleep and wake in the morning so much more refreshed than us going in and out all night.

    With number three I was standing, jiggling, patting and shhing and it took ages to get him off. Then I noticed my husband would sit on the couch, jiggle him a little, baby would cry for a few minutes and then go off to sleep! If I catch him before he’s overtired, ensure he is well winded, swaddle him, sing his songs and put him down awake he will go to sleep himself with literally a minute of grizzling. I haven’t figured out how to get him to do longer than 20 minutes of sleep but it is much nicer for both of us. We are setting the foundations for later sleep. Sleep is important for mama and baby.

Physical health

  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat healthily and regularly
  • Take a multivitamin
  • Check your iron levels and address low levels
  • Stretch
  • Massage yourself with lavender oil regularly
  • Take a hot shower or bath every day
  • Get into the sun for at least five minutes
  • Go for a gentle walk, even if it’s five minutes in your garden or down your street

Pain relief

  • Do all of the above
  • Enact your natural pain relief mechanisms from pregnancy
  • Discuss medicines for breastfeeding (if you choose to/are able to nurse) before baby comes (and there are medicines that are alright for nursing – see this article).

Other tips for managing a newborn with fibromyalgia

  • Aim for one or two tasks a day outside baby that are crucial and let the rest slide (ie dishes and washing).
  • Keep in touch with your family and friends, even if only by text.
  • If something doesn’t seem right, ask for help (excessive wind etc).
  • Know that the newborn that takes two hour naps every 45 minutes and sleeps from 7-7 with two or three feeds is NOT the norm.
  • Enjoy that baby and take lots of pictures, they will grow and this stage will pass.

I’d love to hear your tips?
If you are managing a newborn with fibromyalgia, or will be soon do come and join Pregnancy and fibromyalgia Facebook group.

More articles for you:

Baby Wearing with Fibromyalgia

Healthy Practices I’m Doing with Three Tiny Ones and a Chronic Illness

Nursing with Fibromyalgia: My Experience and Some Research

My Third Birth with Fibromyalgia

It’s taken a while, seven weeks to be precise, but it is time to share a brief account of my third birth story while living with fibromyalgia.

If you have followed any of this pregnancy journey (my third), you will know that this has been a much better pregnancy despite severe pelvis issues and it is all thanks to low dose naltrexone. You can check out my Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia playlist on YouTube for my honest pregnancy updates.

my third birth story with fibromyalgia, the day Nathaniel joined us

Early labour

In the closing days of October (2018) I began to experience pre labour pains. I spent the weekend with period like pains which turned into mild, irregular contractions. During this time I read and ate and relaxed, knowing full well it might be a long journey to getting baby. On the Monday things escalated and I knew I couldn’t safely drive my children or look after them well, so I asked my husband to stay home from work. By that evening the contractions were getting closer together and more painful but I was coping well using my breath and heat pack.

At 3am I thought I had lasted til nearly the end and called my midwife. I was 3cm. Sigh. After a few more hours the contractions were still manageable but the pelvis pains were not, I began to panic with each contraction due to the low back and front of my pelvis feeling like they were being ripped apart.

Heavily pregnant 2018 Melissa Reynolds
One of my last bump pics

We went to the hospital with the plan to get some rest with pain relief while my midwife got some sleep after an overnight delivery. By the time the hospital midwife examined me I was in active labour (4cm) so they gave me gas and left me to it for some time. At 11am I begged for the epidural to give me a break from the pelvis pain. Unfortunately it didn’t cover the pelvis pain at all. So every three minutes I continued to feel the excruciating pain.

Thinking that it would be some time yet, I sent my husband off to get some lunch so my midwife could place the catheter and check my progress. The second she tried to get in there my body began to push explosively. I had no control. Suddenly I was fully dilated and pushing. My midwife called my husband. I desperately sucked on the gas for some relief from the pelvis feeling like it was being wrenched apart.

24 minutes of pushing and just over two hours of active labour produced my precious baby boy. He was born so fast he was a bit shocked upon arrival and needed a little air to remind his lungs to breathe. Within minutes he was on my chest and not long after that he was nursing.

It was amazing!

He arrived…
nathaniel montage

Nathaniel Joseph was born weighing a healthy 3.76kg.

I was so happy that it hadn’t taken anywhere near as long as with my other two sons. It made the world of difference for recovery. So did going home that evening. I got to sleep in my own bed (well, nurse) and eat my own food and drink copious amounts of Milo. For some reason when I am low on energy I crave Milo. It’s probably the iron and other vitamins as well as the sugar.

Our nursing journey will fill a whole other post, but the short version is that we tackled cracked and bleeding nipples, thrush, mastitis and many growth spurts in order to achieve my longest breastfeeding journey. We are still going! I am pretty proud of myself. I do have to say that I wouldn’t be nursing if it wasn’t for my husband. In those first weeks he cooked, cleaned and did the lion’s share of care for my older two boys. Nursing may be reliant upon the mama, but mama wouldn’t have survived without dada. We also have had a lot of help, especially with the older boys. There haven’t been too many days where I have been alone the whole day with all three, which has really helped as Nathaniel doesn’t nap much in his bed and gets quite bad wind.

I am so blessed.

For more about pregnancy, parenting and nursing with fibromyalgia:

Nursing with Fibromyalgia: My Experience and Some Research

Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Fibromyalgia (2018 Edition)

Healthy Practices I’m Doing with Three Tiny Ones and a Chronic Illness

How to Cope with Two Tiny Children, Symphysis Pubis Disorder and Fibromyalgia

As my third pregnancy progresses and the symphysis pubis disorder reduces my mobility and increases my pain, it is getting more difficult to manage everything else. Namely the two tiny children and the fibromyalgia.

In case other fibro parents are struggling, I thought I’d share how I’m managing. This is not to say I’m doing amazingly, I get discouraged and disappointed with my limitations. But I acknowledge I am doing my best thanks to several things.

8 tips to cope with children, symphysis pubis disorder and fibromyalgia

  1. I wholly believe I am coping this well this time due to sleep – or the low dose naltrexone helping me sleep. It may be disrupted by pain and pee, but it is more restorative than before. Sleep is king.
  2. Meditation– I cannot nap but the fatigue has been creeping higher so I am eternally grateful for guided meditation to help me achieve 30 or so minutes of deep rest to keep me going.
  3. Routine – my boys and I are creatures of routine. We have the same morning and evening framework daily and set plans during the week. They expect the routine and I can provide it even when greatly diminished.
  4. Flexibility – within this routine there is flexibility. For example, some evenings when husband is at work and I’m exhausted we will do a fish and chip, movie evening. Some nights we skip the shower.
  5. Time saving – I bunch jobs. I make their lunches at the same time. I throw dinner in the pressure cooker or slow cooker in a gap in the day. I shower the boys together (Wyatt adores showering with big brother). We sing a family song together at bedtime and they are going to bed around the same time.
  6. Help – we have kept them in their routine from when I was able to work. Noah does kindy two mornings and they both go to their carer’s for two school hour days. This enables me to get to appointments, cleaning, cooking and resting, which I was not managing while at work.
  7. Easy activities – I keep a snap lock bag with crayons and a scrapbook to get out on a whim. There’s a tub of outdoor chalk in the lean-to outside. A box of play dough and supplies lives in the cupboard. We have a trampoline and small slide structure for backyard fun. I keep a rotation of toys going in the lounge so they don’t get stale, the boys both love blocks. Indoor parks are great in wet weather too. And books, they both have their favourites. Don’t underestimate balloons! My boys will play balloon for ages. (Actually I can and will write a whole post on this, look out for it!)
  8. Television – at that time of day when the kids are tired and I need a break, we will sit and snuggle and watch the tele. No mama guilt y’all.

Do you have any other tips?


If you want to learn more:

Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia eCourse

Pregnancy and fibromyalgia the e course

 

Surviving the Newborn Period and Baby Care Log Printable

When I was a brand new mama, waddling after my episiotomy with an unsettled windy baby, I took real solace in having a miniature framework to follow at home.

Surviving the newborn period and baby care log printable

Frameworks for the Newborn Period

I am a big fan of frameworks over rigid routines, not that newborns are into routines either.

At first it was just feeding 2-3 hourly and taking medicine at 6-8 hour intervals. This was enough to keep me feeling tethered.

A quick note on feeding in those early days (first 12 weeks): 2-3 hourly tends to be a good guide but both my boys cluster fed in the evenings and look out for growth spurts. I don’t believe in “stretching out” to a certain length between feeds until baby is bigger.

I created a chart that I populated for several months. I am a pretty chart person as opposed to an app person. But apps do the job too.

By the time my second baby came along I had learnt many good things. Including the magic of appropriate wake times per age. So my chart became augmented not just logging sleep but helping to pre-empt when it was due. It made a huge difference not letting baby get overtired. Who knew you had to tell a baby they needed sleep?

It also helped as I mix fed my second, so I had to track feeding physically and formula and expressing. It was crazy, this alone took most of my day!

I also made it a point to track my rest and medicines so it wasn’t all about baby. “Rest” includes a nap (if you can), meditation, restorative yoga, a hot bath or shower etc. Things that are nourishing for you. As in pregnancy, the postpartum period is not a time to forget mama’s quality of life.

Baby Care Log Printables

As I anticipate my third baby, I have reincarnated my chart, but not just for me this time, it is now available in my Etsy store! So head on over and pick yourself up one too. As an aside, being off work due to severe pelvis issues that left me requiring crutches to walk, I found that I really enjoyed creating templates and helpful products for those of us fighting fibromyalgia and being mamas!

I created the New Mama Daily Log which includes baby feeding and sleeps, with your own self-care such as mama meds and self-care/rest tracking. The Breastfeeding and Expressing Log is for those who want to carefully track these, this is handy for mix feeding and exclusive expressing too. The Baby Care Log has the choice of simple and complex logging – baby feeding, nappies, sleeps, expressing and bottle feeding with a log that enables more detail when you need it and one for less detail (when you’re tired?).

More Information About the Newborn Period

For more information on wake times by age, I love this article with this chart.

For more information about nursing see my article about it here and about expressing/pumping for your baby here.

I like this article on the fourth trimester (aka the first three months).

I like these tips for newborns from the author of The Gentle Sleep Book.

Did you have a framework you followed in those early days? How did you track feeding, sleeping (and other baby stuff) and your medicines and other stuff?


pregnancy and fibromyalgia def ed angleFor more about pregnancy and fibromyalgia, from fertility through to coping with toddlers, grab my book.

Please note that the above link is an affiliate link and if you make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

If you would like to come and join the Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Facebook community – we’d love to have you.

If you are serious about digging in and learning about fighting fibromyalgia while pregnant and during the postpartum period, you might like my Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia Workbook – it will take you through the information and help you to make a pain management plan as well as plans for coping during the third trimester, delivery and the first six weeks. It also goes through nursing with fibromyalgia.

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 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

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.