If you are reading this post then you are probably desperate for some answers or SPD PGP pregnancy tips. I had SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) or PGP (pelvic girdle pain) when I was pregnant with both of my boys, I won’t sugar coat it for you, I had it severely and was in a wheelchair by the time I had Dexter as not even crutches could help me.
During my SPD journey there were small nuggets of relief that I found helped for a while to get me into the next “stage” as it were, you see you take everyday at a time, thinking of being in pain for the long game really won’t have any positive effects.
So, here are my SPD PGP pregnancy tips, you may have tried some, you may have better ideas – please share with me if you do!
SPD PGP pregnancy tips
- Get a physio referral. In the early days the smallest exercises that they provide can buy you some more time, whilst helping you think about the best ways to move (keep legs together, avoid stairs, avoid getting up from the floor) but also in the days when you pregnancy progresses they can help shift baby out of your pelvis for a few minutes and give relief. They will also measure your “pain free gap” which will be monitored throughout your pregnancy to monitor the severity of your SPD, this will also be part of your birth plan details too.
- Tell your midwife and GP, in my experience just explaining to them and getting it on the system helped for less of a fight later for on being referred to a consultant and getting medications when you are struggling
- If you drive, keep your knees together when getting in and out and try sitting on two plastic bags – they will help you spin out easily without using your legs. Keep in mind that a bumpy road is agony whether you drive or not!
- This goes for getting in and out of bed, knees together and roll onto your side and up. It sounds such an insignificant manoeuvre but if I didn’t do this I would suffer for hours. Try sleeping on a silk sheet or silk pyjamas to help give a friction free base too.
- Get help with the chores – hoovering especially is a demon and would crucify me with pain. Bending to the washing machine, picking up toys and going up and downstairs to get things all made me so much worse. Luckily I had people help me out to soften the blow.
- Try support aids. There are so many to try, bump supports, large pregnancy pillows, Kinsieology tape, tubigrip and even a new device that is basically a pair of dungarees to hold up your bump. These did help me for a little while until I moved onto crutches and then a wheelchair.
- Think of you footwear. I couldn’t bend down or lift my legs to get shoes on, when the SPD intensified I couldn’t move my leg forward or shuffle it into a shoe. Either get help putting them on or wear a flip flop or Birkenstock.
- Don’t stop completely. I had to rest and lie down for a break of pain but I also seized up and my pain worsened, if I moved to much it was agony too. A light mix of the two in a balance to suit you is best.
- I found heat therapy was a no go for me – my muscles relaxed to much and I had no strength to move properly and my pelvis loosened up even more. Cold therapy worked better because my pelvis didn’t become even more slack.
- Don’t fear medication. Put simply, if I didn’t have the medication I did, Dexter would have been born prematurely due to stress levels rising with my cortisol levels. The guilt for taking opiates however, was constant. Regular paracetamol, codeine and morphine helped me – speak to your GP. You could even try a chiropractor or other alternative therapies. If you are worried about taking opiates then have a read of my experience with neonatal abstinence syndrome
You may feel so depressed, isolated and fed up – I felt I was always moaning about the pain and like people thought I was being ungrateful about my pregnancy. I wasn’t, I was over the moon with my pregnancies just unfortunately crippled in pain. If people haven’t been though SPD they simply cannot relate to the sheer agony that it makes, being in pain every single day. Raise awareness, speak out and don’t be alone, there are so many FB groups to join about SPD/PGP and I am always happy to chat about it too.
If you have any other SPD PGP pregnancy tips that helped you then please let me know.