Mom Life and Narcolepsy: Pregnancy
Narcolepsy is exhausting. Pregnancy is exhausting. Put them together and a level of exhaustion that is almost paralyzing becomes a reality.
My first 3 pregnancies, I did NOT have narcolepsy, not a single symptom.
By my fourth pregnancy, I HAD narcolepsy. Yeah, I am one of the ones who got it randomly later in life. But that’s a different story.
Every pregnancy is different
It’s hard to offer insight because every pregnancy is different.
Every woman is different
Every life with narcolepsy is different.
I have such deep respect for each of the circumstances that you face that are unique to this topic, that I hesitate to offer advice or tips. I do want to validate the challenges that we face as we grow humans and navigate our narcolepsy symptoms. There are no easy answers. No perfect solution. In my experience, being pregnant WITH narcolepsy was much more difficult. My exhaustion was off the charts.
My thoughts on navigating pregnancy with narcolepsy
Out of this place, I do want to offer hope. Being pregnant can mean we have to go off meds. I have been med-free for 8 years AND successfully reduced a TON of my narcolepsy symptoms naturally. Please check out some of my other articles about how I have reduced symptoms in ways that are safe for baby.
After pondering for a really long time, I do want to offer some tips for navigating pregnancy with narcolepsy. I am not allowed to offer medical advice, that’s for your doctor to do. These are just common sense thoughts that can help BOTH your narcolepsy and pregnancy
Pregnant women typically need more sleep. You are growing a human in your body. It’s exhausting. I do still recommend some structure, like a consistent bedtime, and scheduled naps, but in the midst of this, please allow yourself to sleep more.
Did you know that your amniotic fluid replenishes every 3 hours in your 3rd trimester?!1 Dehydration is common in pregnancy and guess what...one symptom of dehydration is exhaustion. I know how hard it can be to drink water, but we don’t need more exhaustion on top of exhaustion. I love to add healthy electrolytes like Nuum or Ultima to mine.
And then eat some more. Protein is important for both pregnancy and narcolepsy.
You don’t have to do CrossFit to benefit from exercise. Walking is so powerful in keeping your growing baby healthy while also helping to navigate your narcolepsy symptoms.
Stress can be bad for the baby and can make every symptom of narcolepsy worse.
Simple changes can make an impact
I know none of these tips are big. But that’s the amazing part. Simple everyday things can make an impact. Will it still be hard? Yep. But likely less hard. In the midst of these challenges, we have the opportunity to find a strength we did not know before.
In nature there is one force, all man fear: getting between a mama bear and her cubs. A mama bear is courageous, powerful, and strong. As you navigate the trials of pregnancy and narcolepsy, may you find that power.
Do any of your family and/or friends also have narcolepsy?