Coping With Pelvic Girdle Pain

Know one really tells you how much you may go through each trimester during pregnancy, you just don’t know what will happen next, until it happens.

All three trimesters of my pregnancy were pretty much full of surprises. In my second trimester I started to experience sharp pains pretty much everywhere waist down, starting at my lower back, all the way into my legs… After discussing this with my midwife, she decided it was time to see a physiotherapist to help me manage some of the pain. So off I waddled to my very first appointment to see a physiotherapist.

I always thought that I would need to go to my physiotherapist appointment wearing gym clothes; as I would be made to exercise at each appointment. It’s safe to say I didn’t turn up in spandex trousers, a crop top and a headband on my head. Instead, I waddled in wearing casual clothes, looking weary of my surroundings  (trying to spot the exercise equipment just in case I was right).

After a short introduction, a series of questions; and a physical examinations of my back, hips and legs; I was told that I was suffering from pelvic girdle pain, and a minor case of sciatica (which explained the electric shocks I was getting going down my legs).

A plan of action was needed, so we worked through an exercise routine that was manageable for me and didn’t take up much of my time either. It mainly involved sitting on an exercise ball doing pelvic tilts, walking and LOTS of pelvic floor  exercises. Not to forget the safe manoeuvring out of bed to avoid separating my stomach muscles further. Every three weeks I would waddle back into my physiotherapists room for a review on my progress with the exercises I was given, and each time my exercise routine was adjusted to meet my needs.

In my final trimester, my pain became unbearable to the point where I was given crutches to help me walk, this was because the extra weight of my baby during the final weeks was really taking its toll on my back and pelvis.

In all honesty, I did notice some improvement in myself after using the gym ball, and it was very helpful during the final weeks as it is supposed to help bring the baby’s head down into position ready for labour. However, dealing with pelvic girdle pain was a struggle, as only I was going through the pain each day and night. My OH constantly tiptoeing around me and asking if he could help me in any way. As lovely as the gesture seemed, there wasn’t much that he could do to ease the pain, aside from giving me the Paracetamol packet on the shelf (I wasn’t being lazy, it really was a struggle to get out of bed most days), or to attempt massaging my back…he’s still not fully mastered how to give a good back massage, but he tried.

I was advised that in order to prevent further damage to my back during labour, to use upright positions in labour which would take the pressure off my back and help during delivery because of the force of gravity. Read my next post about my labour if you want to know what happened. 

For anyone suffering from pelvic girdle pain, back pain, sciatica or any type of pain during pregnancy, I feel your pain! But trust me when I write this, it will be worth it in the end! I would highly advise you to see a physiotherapist for help managing your pain, and don’t be like me…book a pregnancy massage, I really regret not doing so. I guess I was just nervous about going alone for a massage, since the OH was so not interested in having any treatments done at the spa.

Little K and Mum 

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