For some women the increasing weight of their baby and the hormonal relaxation effects on their body including joints, ligaments and muscles, will cause their pelvic joints to begin to separate, resulting in a painful condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) or sometimes called pelvic girdle pain as it isn’t always only the symphysis pubis at the front of the pelvis that is affected.
It is a painful condition and is often worse on walking and on turning over in bed at night. It can be helpful to sleep with a pillow between the knees, which supports the shape of the pelvis. Women can experience clicking or grinding in the pelvis and lower back pain. However pain is commonly at the front of the pelvis over the pubic bone, although pain can spread to the hips and tummy (abdomen). If you are experiencing any of these symptoms discuss with your midwife ways to manage this and what referral options are available e.g physiotherapy services.
- Avoid wearing high heels. Limiting heel height to no more than 3-4 cm is ideal. This helps to reduce the strain on the lower back
- Avoiding sitting with your legs crossed, even when on the floor or instructed to do so during yoga
- Avoid doing exercises which require a lot of bouncing, standing on one foot or jarring
- Avoiding bike riding which can create further problems with opening the already unstable joint
The following may help;
Using a support belt, a thin strap which fits underneath your abdomen and around your hips and helps to support your pelvis and ease and ease the weight of the baby
Keeping knees/legs together when getting out of chairs or cars and when turning over in bed or rising from the bed
Using a tubigrip support stocking, a tubular piece of stretchy stocking worn around either your abdomen, or the lower half of your abdomen, to help support your pelvis and support the weight of the baby