However, having to change the way I think about pain relief, was a bit of a learning curve.
Though I was never one for taking a lot of drugs for pain, or anything very strong (I don't like the 'spaced-out' feeling) before I became pregnant, I was definitely one to reach for the paracetamol or co-codamol before thinking of other ways I might be able to improve the pain.
I was still able to take paracetamol, and paracetamol and codeine when I was pregnant, but I was very aware that it wasn't a great thing to be doing. However, I have always suffered with a bad back, and neuropathic pain in my legs, so it was important to try different methods of pain relief.
Here are some of the things I tried:
- WARM BATH
This was my usual number 1 choice, and seen as I couldn't have the bath above 37 degrees (recommended in pregnancy), it meant I didn't run the risk of getting over-heated and making some of my MS symptoms worse. However, the pain-relieving effects would never last that long.
- DEEP FREEZE GEL
I decided to try this for the burning, localised pain I got when Bean's bum was stuck under my ribs and I suffered a pulled muscle. It was a really strong burning pain in the top right of my bump, and though it didn't take away the pain, I did find that it soothed the area.
- PEPPERMINT FOOT LOTION
This sounds strange, but it worked a treat for soothing sore burning muscles on my bump, and helping with swollen feet. I bought mine from an aromatherapy shop in Bristol, and specifically chose it because the lotion was nice and light. I found the peppermint scent very refreshing too.
- LAVENDER WHEAT PILLOW
It is not recommended to place anything hot on your bump, so I used this specifically on my back. The lavender scent that comes off it it is also very soothing, however, like having a bath, it didn't feel particularly pleasant if it was a hot day.
Osteopathy helped a treat for general back ache and SPD in the later stages of pregnancy. Tania my osteopath was able re-align my hips, which meant a lot of the pain around my pelvis improved. I found each session very relaxing, and it was unobtrusive. It never really felt like much was happening in the treatment, but I definitely always felt straighter and almost lighter when I came out. Tania worked with pregnant women a lot, and though it was fairly expensive at £38 a session, I would highly recommend it.
- CHANGING POSITIONS
This sounds a bit obvious, but I found that sitting in one place for any length of time didn't help matters. However, with my fatigue being bad and having to carry such a weight around, I didn't want to move about too much either! I found that just shifting position regularly, or getting up and moving, just for a minute or so, had a good effect and stopped my back seizing up. I bought a high-backed chair when getting up off the sofa became too much of an ordeal, and frankly too funny for others in the room!!
All of these things were some help in alleviating different symptoms of pain, but at the end of the day, I only really found relief when Bean shifted position and dropped down, ready for the off! C'est la vie!
Bean 'helping' me eat a pizza...very flattering shot *ahem*. Note the peppermint
foot lotion on the shelf within easy reach!