Fibromyalgia and Coping With a Baby
Bringing new life into the world is a beautiful, life-changing experience. Holding your baby in your arms for the first time is absolutely breathtaking. This journey of parenthood, however, is just beginning.
Any parent will tell you raising children has a lot of ups and downs. Being a parent who sufferers from a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia, just adds to the challenges already in front of you.
Newborns sleep a lot, but not for long stretches of time. They need to eat frequently throughout the day and night. Fibromyalgia oftentimes causes sleep disturbances, which results in extreme fatigue.
Combine these two things and this can quickly lead to complete exhaustion. Exhaustion can then in turn cause pain and cognitive fatigue.
It is important to get as much rest as possible, whenever possible. This may mean napping during the day while the baby sleeps, although this could be difficult to do if you have older children as well. If at all possible try to schedule a time during the day when everyone naps or simply has quiet time.
It is also important to be careful of your caffeine intake. It may be tempting to drink coffee all day to keep yourself awake and alert. But too much caffeine can make it difficult to sleep when the opportunity does arise.
Your new baby may seem so tiny at first, but carrying around an extra seven to eight pounds can quickly cause sore muscles for someone suffering from fibromyalgia.
It may be beneficial to have multiple places around the house where you can safely lay your baby down, such as a swing, bouncer, or even a cushioned blanket on the floor. This enables you to have baby close by as you go about your daily activities, without the strain of holding them the entire time.
It is also helpful to use a baby carrier, which distributes the baby's weight to multiple areas of the body, rather than all of it resting on one spot. But even these can cause pain to the back and shoulders if used for long periods of time. Frequent periods of rest are likely to be necessary and give you a great opportunity to sit and cuddle with your bundle of joy.