Mostly women suffer from fibromyalgia, which brings up a major concern: should a woman with fibromyalgia get pregnant?
Well, pregnancy in fibromyalgia patients is possible, as are healthy babies. However, the pain and symptoms of pregnancy do seem to increase with fibromyalgia. Not much research exists in this field, but what does shows that pregnant women with fibromyalgia have much more discomfort than those who don’t have it due to changing shape, hormonal fluctuations, and weight gain. While every pregnant woman suffers from these issues, pregnant fibromyalgia patients suffers more due to their already hypersensitive nervous system. And that presents one of the major issues with pregnancy and fibromyalgia.
Because of the extreme pain and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia, patients often take a host of pain meds plus anti-depressants to help manage their symptoms. But being on such strong medications while pregnant is not good, because of the potential harm to the baby. Therefore, a woman who has fibromyalgia may want to put a lot of effort into planning her pregnancy instead of getting pregnant without having a plan. Planning ahead may allow her to get used to being off the meds before getting pregnant, instead of going cold turkey. It will allow her to adjust and figure out what helps her cope with pain the best, without having to quit all the meds at once. One of the great ways to cope with the increased pain is with moderate, non-impact exercise. Start before getting pregnant, to get used to it.
Swimming moves the limbs and joints in ways that provide a wonderful stretch in the buoyant comfort of water. Swimming alone is not advised because both pregnancy combined with fibromyalgia may present some problems if going solo, but a group swim class for pregnant women offers a solution. It can also provide a much needed stress relief by providing a strong social network.
Yoga is another solution for pregnant fibromyalgia patients. Some classes are designed specifically for pregnant women, as our DVDs. The stretches will help reduce stiffness and work on dealing with the new weight, balance wise.
No matter the activity, all women should make it a fun one to help celebrate this exciting time.
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