The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit

I have finally found a book that addresses (in a relatively small way) woman's fibromyalgia toolkitpregnancy with fibromyalgia. The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit: manage your symptoms and take control of your life by Dawn Marcus and Atul Deodhar (2012).

I found nothing during my pregnancy. But I can say that the information in this book stands true for me.

As pregnancy progressed pain increased and sleep decreased, culminating in the third trimester of all pain and no sleep. If only I’d known I ought to have rested more and fought for more rest! It was vindicating to see the graphs of the increasing pain and decreasing sleep for a pregnant woman with fibromyalgia. I wasn’t just a wuss!

Now you know. Please read this book! Don’t use it as an excuse to become a recluse on the couch, but use it to arm yourself and know when you need to give yourself some super care.

There is also information on sleep, exercise, alternative therapies and general education in what fibromyalgia is. Plenty of checklists to arm you with information about your situation. Because there is a huge spectrum in fibromyalgia and related disorders. As usual, be wary, as this book suggests (from the research available) that acupuncture doesn’t help fibromyalgia, and it is my lifeline!

The information isn’t radically different from what you’re told about pregnancy in general, but finding alternate solutions to the drugs you may take is a great one. I take a medicine to help me get to sleep, stay asleep and help with serotonin, and we checked that with a specialist as I couldn’t give it up. We found the benefits of this medicine outweighed any potential risks. The painkiller issue was a struggle for me and I don’t tend to take too many, so that may require some work.

One gripe…when people without fibromyalgia try to tell you that breastfeeding doesn’t affect pain and fatigue levels to a high degree. In my experience, it was the tip of a long iceberg of pain and fatigue. I managed for eight weeks, and when I stopped I felt so much better. I could almost feel my energy draining out. But I had a pretty stressful pregnancy and then my baby went into hospital at week three for an operation.

Aside from this, I was so relieved to find some information about pregnancy and fibromyalgia. I will be taking notes for if/when I choose to try again.

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