Most women take pain and discomfort in pregnancy as being normal. Even when pain is bad, and women complain to the obstetricians about it, most doctors dismiss it as the “normal” aches and pains of pregnancy. I did this too. After all, gaining 40 pounds with my first pregnancy (and losing it all), then gaining 50 pounds with my second (working on losing it now), I wasn’t exactly shocked when my lower back started hurting. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a watermelon on your belly is going to throw your back out of whack. One thing I probably would do differently, though, is to see a chiropractor. I would also have eaten healthier so I wouldn’t have gained as much weight (or lost weight prior to getting pregnant). In one way, I still accept some aches and pains as being normal. I might be wrong.
When my late-pregnancy symptoms that I had conveniently forgotten from my first pregnancy started in my second pregnancy, I was unpleasantly surprised. Not only did they start earlier, but they were worse. It was one thing to have a month or so of poor sleep before giving birth, but almost three months was a whole ‘nother story! I just couldn’t get comfortable, but attributed it to my greater weight gain. Finally, I mentioned it on a birth-y list I was on (a group of probably 10 or so women, all due about the same time, which was a cool coincidence), and one of them gave me this link, because of the specific symptoms I was having. I didn’t have all of the symptoms, but I had enough to agree with the “diagnosis.” Here is a summary of symptoms of “Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction” (and I strongly suggest that you click on the above link and read the entire page, and don’t just take, “Well, of course you’re uncomfortable, dearie–you’re pregnant!” as an answer):
- pubic pain
- pubic tenderness to the touch; having the fundal height measured may be uncomfortable
- lower back pain, especially in the sacro-iliac area
- difficulty/pain rolling over in bed
- difficulty/pain with stairs, getting in and out of cars, sitting down or getting up, putting on clothes, bending, lifting, standing on one foot, lifting heavy objects, etc.
- sciatica (pain in buttocks and down the leg)
- “clicking” in the pelvis when walking
- waddling gait
- difficulty getting started walking, especially after sleep
- feeling like hip is out of place or has to pop into place before walking
- bladder dysfunction (temporary incontinence at change in position)
- knee pain or pain in other areas can sometimes also be a side-effect of pelvis problems
- some chiropractors feel that round ligament pain (sharp tearing or pulling sensations in the abdomen) can be related to SPD
The rest of the webpage has tips for coping, as well as what can be done to resolve the problem (chiropractic–but not every chiropractor will have heard of this or know how to treat it, so do some research first). You don’t have to suffer. Even after reading this page, I didn’t seek chiropractic care, because I assumed it would be too expensive and I didn’t think I had enough time (I was just a couple of weeks away from my estimated due date)–I thought all chiropractic adjustments took three visits a week for a month before you got “fixed.” After giving birth, I mentioned that on that same email list, and regrettably found out that it usually clears up after one visit.
But you might not have to seek chiropractic help! From Dr. Jennifer Padrta, a chiropractor who is on another email list that I’m on is the following:
This is excruciating….and I’ve seen it so much in pregnant moms – usually 1 -3 adjustments clear it up completely….but here’s what she can do at home to help it….Have mom lie on her back on the floor with her feet on the floor and her knees up. Keep the feet touching and have dad put his hands between her knees. Mom needs to pull together while dad “wishbones” her legs….GENTLY. She may get a “pop” or a crunch sound or no sound at all – all of which is perfectly normal. She may even feel it in her sacroiliac (SI) joints. This is classic for pregnant moms. He keeps doing this until they strengthen up and he can’t pull them apart. If they don’t strengthen within a few days of doing this, then, she may need to go see a chiropractor and get her SI joints checked. Often, the pubic bone won’t release unless I’ve adjusted the SI joints and vice versa….since it’s all connected.Ligaplex I from Standard Process works well during the beginning of the pregnancy. Usually 4 each day suffice until the 36th week of pregnancy, when I have moms stop it, so the ligaments can relax….but until then, it helps hold adjustments and joints together, which makes life a LOT more comfortable.
My friend complained to me about her pelvic pain, so I sent the above to her, and she said that one time of doing this exercise helped her tremendously. Don’t suffer needlessly. There is an answer.