Pelvic pain during pregnancy is uncomfortable and frustrating. And while not every mum-to-be will experience it, those who are unfortunate enough to do so should know the best way to manage the pain.
What is pelvic pain?
Also known as pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), it is basically severe pain around your pelvic area. It is quite common and is caused by either stiffness in your pelvic joints or uneven joint movements in your pelvis.
Who gets it?
While doctors are unsure why some women get it and others don’t, those with back pain or who suffered an injury to the pelvis prior to pregnancy are more likely to experience it. However, the position or weight of baby can also be a factor, as can hormones.
Symptoms to be aware of:
If you have PGP you will most definitely know it! However, as with most conditions, not everyone will experience the same symptoms as you, so keep an eye out for the following:
- Pain in your perineum
- Pain at the front of your pubic bone
- Pain in your lower back
- Pain when you walk
- Pain when you stand on one leg
- Pain lifting your leg – to get out of car, bath etc.
- Pain when moving legs apart
And now for the important part: how to manage it
Well, firstly, it is important you tell your GP or midwife if you are experiencing pain. They are likely to refer you to a physiotherapist who will help improve your pelvic joint positioning.
However, there are plenty of things you can do at home to ease the discomfort:
- Sleep with a pillow between your legs
- Wear supportive shoes
- Try to stay as active as possible – without pushing yourself too far; walk with shorter strides or go swimming (avoid kicking your legs too much).
- Sit down to get dressed, do the ironing etc.
Things to avoid:
- Crossing your lgs
- Pushing heavy objects/ vacuuming
- Standing on one leg
- Standing for long periods of time
- High impact exercise like running
Remember, your pelvic pain won’t get properly better until AFTER Baby arrives, but you can ease the discomfort in the meantime. And always talk to your health adviser if you are concerned in any way.