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The Fibromyalgic Pregnancy and Beyond - Changes in the Last Few Weeks

Changes in the Last Few Weeks

You can expect more changes in the last weeks of your pregnancy. You will probably feel tired beyond your usual FM type of tired and as if you have been pregnant forever! This is all part of getting ready and being willing to go through the labour and birth process.

 Engagement

You may notice that your bump is lower than usual. This is when the baby “drops” or engages down into the bony part of your pelvis. When this happens, you might be able to breathe easier as the pressure on your diaphragm will lessen. However the waddling gait you may already have developed will now become more pronounced as you instinctively try to widen your hips to make room for your baby’s head. You may hear your hips ‘creak’ as you lie awake in the night.  It is not unusual to have you sleep patterns further disturbed by the movements of your baby at this stage and the fact that it now may take you about 6 separate and distinct movements to turn over in bed! Your midwife will be checking to see if your baby’s head had engaged in your pelvis.  This is one way to tell if you will have a chance of being able to give birth vaginally.

You may find this part of the examination particularly uncomfortable, especially if the midwife uses something called a ‘Pawlick’ grip where she places a finger and thumb on alternate sides of the lowest part of your baby. Many midwives now use a two handed form of this check which you may find more comfortable. She will be doing this to confirm what part of the baby she thinks is lowermost in your womb. As all people with FM know, it is a very individualised condition and it is likely that your midwife’s knowledge of FM is going to be limited to begin with, so if you feel this or any part of the examination is too uncomfortable please tell your midwife. By keeping her informed of what you can and cannot cope with in relation to your FM you will be helping your midwife to give you the best possible care. 

 Engorgement

Your breasts enlarge even more near the end of the pregnancy, and milk may start to seep from them. You can make use of breast pads if you wish and make sure your bra is comfortable and fits well.  You will need to be measured again for your feeding bras. If they do not fit properly then you will spend more time than you need to pushing yourself back into the cups after you turn over at night! A good fitting and supportive bra is essential to help prevent discomfort in your upper back as your shoulders get accustomed to this additional weight. If you are finding your breasts are uncomfortable at this stage then you can use room temperature cabbage leaves.  Separate the leaves from the stem and place under your bra cup against the skin of your breast, use enough leaves to cover the whole breast.  It is best to use room temperature leaves as women with FM may find that chilled leaves cause the vessels in your breasts to go into spasm.

 “Red hot pokers”

Now I know that it would be an understatement to say that pain is not an uncommon sensation to FM suffers however you may experience new types of sensations during the latter stages of pregnancy which are completely normal.  Pressure is sometimes reported in the vaginal area, anytime from 32 weeks pregnant through till delivery.  You may also experience shooting pains or a “red hot poker” sensation in this area. 

 Additional delights of the latter stages of pregnancy

To make things worse, you may feel the need to urinate frequently and will begin to feel as if you have mapped out your local shopping precinct by toilets locations. You are likely to feel heavy, clumsy and out of patience with pregnancy. Will it make you feel better if I tell you that even women without FM feel the same at this stage?  Probably not but this is for a good cause, really it is.  The more fed up you get, the more you will convince yourself that you are willing to go through anything (!) to get this baby out of you and into the real world. That is your first real step towards preparing yourself for labour and birth.  

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