Enjoy this guest post from Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner, Alene Brennan.
Living with multiple sclerosis, I didn’t know what was possible for my dream of becoming a mother.
Would MS affect my ability to get pregnant?
Would I be able to maintain the Wahls Protocol® during pregnancy – especially my first trimester?
Would I be at risk for a postpartum flare?
What would life look like raising a child while managing a chronic illness?
All the questions ran through my mind.
It didn’t help that I was asking these questions at 40 years old.
Yet, I was newly married, and my husband were eager to find out the answers.
What My Neurologist Said
I started talking to my neurologist about my desire to get pregnant before we were actively trying to conceive. This was incredibly helpful because we were having the discussion without an immediate sense of urgency in the context of my MS management.
My neurologist reassured me that MS is not known to affect fertility nor is it believed to impact my ability to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
She said that many MS patients experience temporary relief from their symptoms during pregnancy.
While I attribute the Wahls Protocol® to managing my symptoms of relapsing-remitting MS, I certainly liked hearing that pregnancy could quiet down any residual symptoms.
What My Fertility Doctor Said
Because of our age, we didn’t want to waste time in our journey, so we met with a fertility doctor early on.
He too reassured me that MS wasn’t a concern from a fertility perspective. Age was my biggest obstacle.
Yet within six months we received the best news that I was pregnant!
Now, the reality of the pregnancy questions all became very real.
So, what would this experience look like for me? I reminded myself that just like every case of MS is unique, every pregnancy is different. It was time to discover this journey for me.
What My Body Said
I’m now 31 weeks pregnant with a little girl.
And I’m happy to say that the rumor is true, you do feel better during pregnancy.
I experienced less fatigue, brain fog and even less of a heat intolerance in my first trimester. And the relief from symptoms is supposed to be most noticeable in the second and third trimester, so hopefully there’s even more to come.
What about the first trimester morning sickness? I didn’t get sick once.
I certainly experienced nausea, but I discovered that if I had a little food in my stomach, I was able to manage nausea well.
I also had ginger tea and diffused peppermint essential oil to further help manage nausea.
While I didn’t have my usual appetite for salads, I was able to adjust how I was preparing my food so I could still avoid all the inflammatory, non-negotiable foods and get as close to my 9 cups daily as possible.
I ate a lot of mashed cauliflower, vegetable puree soups and added more sweet potatoes in my diet.
Not every day was perfect, but I focused on what I could have and reminded myself that this food was not only healing my body but helping to create new life.
What I Recommend as a Fellow Wahls Warrior™
There’s no way of knowing what contributed to me feeling so well during pregnancy. Was it my commitment to the Wahls Protocol® for five years prior to getting pregnant?
Was it “beginner’s luck” with my first pregnancy?
Was it MS going into further remission that made all the difference?
I won’t ever fully know, but I certainly believe that fueling my body every single day with the foods that create health – feed my mitochondria and nourish my cells – only helped to put me in the best possible position to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy.
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