Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a midwife and I don’t have medical training. One thing I do have, though, is experience with women who suffer with really uncomfortable pelvic pain in pregnancy. There are many reasons why a woman might experience pelvic pain, but Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction is the one that many clients of mine say they’ve been diagnosed with. Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, or SPD, is caused by misalignment in the pelvis. Pregnancy hormones soften the structures that hold the pelvis rigid, which is great for birth, because it allows the pelvis to open large enough for a baby to pass through. It’s not so great if everything starts softening up too soon or too much, because it can cause pain. Some women might not have a full-blown case of SPD, but might experience intermittent pelvic pain. Either way, here are some ideas to help:
- Chiropractic care. There are a host of benefits associated with following a chiropractic treatment program from the start of your pregnancy until the end, including a shorter labour and lower likelihood of a breech presentation. Pelvic pain can also be alleviated or lessened with regular visits. Look for a chiro who does the Webster technique.
- Take your time. Because everything is so loose, sometimes pausing to align your pelvis and be mindful of your positioning can be very helpful. Before rolling over in bed, for example, try bringing your knees together, pausing, and then rolling them over to the other side, together. Pausing and adapting your everyday movements in this way can help align your pelvis so it’s ready to bear weight when you stand up.
- Warm baths with epsom salts. Never underestimate the power of tub time! Baths are often referred to as “the midwife’s epidural”, and for good reason. Not only does taking a bath physically relax the muscles, it also tends to have a calming effect on the mind. And when the mind is quiet, we tend to relax physically. It’s like a positive feedback loop of relaxationy goodness!
- Wrap yourself up. A belly wrap, like a rebozo, can help support your hips and take some of the pressure off the symphisis pubic. Ask your midwife or doula about this.
- Hydration. Most guidelines state that pregnant women should aim for drinking about 3 litres of water daily, spaced evenly throughout the day. Not only does this help keep ligaments, muscles, joints, and everything else in good lubricated working order, it also helps your body effectively deliver nutrients to your baby and helps you avoid UTIs, constipation, and hemorroids.
- Let’s doula this. I know, I know, I’m shameless. But seriously, there are so many things that would take way too long to type up here that a doula can help with in person. There are tons of positions and exercises I can recommend based on individual needs/preferences.
I hope you find something that helps you with your pain. Because, really, you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re being hit in the crotch with a hammer most days.