Pregnancy exacerbates fibro symptoms

In 1997, one of the studies done on fibromyalgia and pregnancy was conducted in Norway. A small number of pregnant women were included in the study, some with fibromyalgia and some without.

The study found that an overwhelming number of those pregnant while suffering from fibromyalgia reported a drastic increase in the severity of their symptoms. The third trimester was by far the most challenging during their pregnancy, with symptoms increasing in frequency.

Most of the women in the study reported that their symptoms remained more intense than normal until about three months after they had delivered. They also had a greater incidence of post-partum depression.

On a brighter note, the babies born to women with fibromyalgia were all healthy, full-term, and of a good birth weight.

Pregnancy lessens fibro symptoms

Many doctors however, disagree with the idea that pregnancy makes fibromyalgia worse. Doctors who treat fibromyalgic patients actually argue that pregnancy helps to lessen and even eliminate the symptoms caused by fibromyalgia.

Many pregnant women say that, after their initial nausea and morning sickness passed, they actually felt better than they did before they were pregnant. It is theorized that this could be due to the ovarian hormone relaxin.

During pregnancy, the amount of relaxin in a woman's body increases up to 10 fold. It has also been found that relaxin supplements help to ease symptoms in many women with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and Breastfeeding

Though the effects of pregnancy on fibromyalgia are unknown, more is known about breastfeeding and fibromyalgia. Numerous studies have been done in the area and conclusions seem to support that fibromyalgia makes breastfeeding quite difficult.

This is not to say that it cannot be done, only that there are some extra things to keep in mind if you do decide to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding tends to be difficult because of the chronic muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia. Most women will have their symptoms return soon after they give birth, making breastfeeding even harder than it is normally.

It is important to make feeding time as stress free as possible, both physically and emotionally.

Breastfeeding tips

Use pillows to support your own head while you feed your baby. Think about getting a support or sling to prop your baby up, so you don't have to support his weight all on your own.

You may find that lying down on the bed with your baby facing you will also make feeding easier; it will give you some extra time to rest.

Be sure to nurse in a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of daily life; this will reduce your own stress level and give you some time to bond with your little one.

Table of Contents
1. Fibromyalgia and Pregnancy
2. Pregnancy, fibro and relaxin
3. Should I get pregnant?
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