At the beginning of my pregnancy I suffered from IBS, this soon left at around 16 weeks. After that came a sharp pain, which made it difficult to move. It came and went at first and seemed to be when I was turning over in bed. It started to get progressively worse, but I let myself have a few weeks of struggling to move around.
Then after a day of cleaning the bathroom and doing laundry, I suddenly realised the pain was quite unbearable now and I knew I couldn’t go on like this anymore, so I gave in and rang the Drs. After explaining to them that I’m 21 weeks pregnant and struggling to walk, they surprisingly had a cancellation and were able to give me an appointment that day.
I sat in the waiting room near to tears, I felt like I should be stronger and be able to deal with the aches and pains fo pregnancy. However, after speaking to the Dr, he quickly diagnosed me with SPD.
Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy: Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)
So what is SPD? I didn’t know! All I knew was that I was in pain and I wasn’t able to cope anymore. He explained to me that he didn’t want me to go to work for the rest of the pregnancy and that with rest and pain relief I may be able to keep on top of the pain, but the pain will now stay with me for sometimes 12 weeks after the baby is born.
This is what is going on inside:
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis, either anterior or lateral, as well as associated pain, possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis. … SPD is associated with pelvic girdle pain and the names are often used interchangeably. Symphysis pubis dysfunction – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphysis_pubis_dysfunction
I have read lots of advice about what to do when suffering from SPD. The best advice I can give is, go and get it diagnosed as soon as possible. Be wary that some GPs may dismiss it as the usual ligament pains for pregnancy. This is a very touchy topic for me, and I know that if my Dr had said that it was normal then I possible would have given up and blamed myself for being weak. However, after trying some of the techniques to relieve the pain, I realised that it was a bit more serious than I thought and I needed help to cope. Keep going until you have really ruled SPD out, speak to your midwife too as she will probably be more understanding.
I will be meeting with my Midwife next week, the GP said that she will get things sorted with me and that I was to rest until then. I have been resting, however, I have been feeling like I need to walk around too. Listening to my body has done me well so far so I will do little walks each day.
Some great advice I found on the web was here:
Coping with pelvic pain in pregnancy
Your physiotherapist may recommend a pelvic support belt to help ease your pain, or crutches to help you get around.
It can help to plan your day so that you avoid activities that cause you pain. For example, don’t go up or down stairs more often than you have to.
The Pelvic Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP)network also offers this advice:
- Be as active as possible within your pain limits, and avoid activities that make the pain worse.
- Rest when you can.
- Get help with household chores from your partner, family and friends.
- Wear flat, supportive shoes.
- Sit down to get dressed – for example, don’t stand on one leg when putting on jeans.
- Keep your knees together when getting in and out of the car – a plastic bag on the seat can help you swivel.
- Sleep in a comfortable position – for example, on your side with a pillow between your legs.
- Try different ways of turning over in bed – for example, turning over with your knees together and squeezing your buttocks.
- Take the stairs one at a time, or go upstairs backwards or on your bottom.
- If you’re using crutches, have a small backpack to carry things in.
However, I have learnt the hard way, so, here are MY practical tips for coping…
- No more scrubbing the bathroom – Invest in better cleaning materials so that you can just spray and rinse.
- No more vacuuming – The heavy pushing of the vacuum cleaner can be too much to bare, so pass that activity to another member of the household. #pregnancyperks
- No more driving – The constant movement of your legs when using the pedals and also turning at roundabouts can aggravate your pelvis. Keeping driving to the bare minimum will help.
- No more pushing trolleys – It felt good at first, having something to hold onto. As time goes on though it can become very painful pushing a trolley. The pushing encourages you to walk faster and take bigger strides – this ultimately does not help your pelvic pain.
- Try lying on your back to sleep – I have, for the past few months, been struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position. I read early on that it is best to lay on your side when pregnant, however, with SPD I am finding laying on my back much better for pain relief. I’m only 22 weeks pregnant so I will lay on my back at night for as long as I can.
- Know your limits – You are not a wimp, the little things can be very difficult with SPD! Getting dressed, stepping over things, getting in and out of a car. They are difficult for a reason, so instead of fighting the pain, accept it and know your limits.
I will let you know how I get on with the Midwife next week, with 18 weeks to go this is going to be a long and painful journey. Having our baby in my arms at the end of it will be well worth it. 🙂