Pelvic, freaking, girdle pain – Are you kidding me right now?! Not only do I have to deal with the rest of my body being dysfunctional but now I get to feel intense pain and pressure in my nether region for the rest of my pregnancy?! What is this nonsense? I didn’t have this with any of my other pregnancies. At any given time you may see me just walking around holding myself like a little kid who needs to pee real bad just trying to hoist up some of the pressure off my lady parts or rocking back and forth on my hands and knees like a birthing cow but we do what we have to do right!?
So, what is Pelvic Girdle Pain? Well, I hope that none of you EVER have to experience but since it’s apparently not terribly uncommon in pregnancy, we’ll chat about it. It’s an umbrella term used to describe pain in the hips and pubis. (Well duh). PGP can be caused when your, already semi-dysfunctional pre-pregnancy hips, are not well supported in pregnancy due to the release of the hormone Relaxin. (They should call it the “Not relaxed at all Hormone” ) While almost anything you do can make the pain worse (going from sitting to standing, turning over in bed, freaking sneezing the wrong way), I have found that it’s been difficult to treat. I’ve been to Physical Therapy and have tried other various methods to relieve the pressure, such as soaking in the tub or pool, and sitting on a donut pillow (mmmmmm donuts) but, for me, it’s just not been much help. I attribute that mostly to the fact that my core and my legs are already compromised due to Transverse Myelitis, and pelvic floor exercises are not quite adequate because of the atrophy I have.
Oh how I hate to sound like such a Debbie Downer about this but I felt it only fair to forewarn you that this very well be, yet another, issue you face during pregnancy. IF you come across this ridiculous burden, I pray that the following advisable steps to help alleviate the pain will be of much more help to you than to me.
Pelvic Girdle Pain Relief Suggestions:
- Go to a Physical Therapist – Your PT specialist can show you exercises to help relieve the pain and also show you how to best protect your hips during your pregnancy.
- Get in the water – A pool is ideal but if you don’t have access to one, then take a bath every day. It really can help to relieve pressure, and also gives you an excuse to relax!
- Sit Wisely – Avoid hard surfaces (no shame in bringing a pillow to sit on!) and don’t sit for too long. I usually find that if I sit for longer than 20-30 minutes at a time, the pain gets worse. Even though the pain is really at it’s worst when I go from sitting to standing, I find that getting up and trying to walk around a bit helps.