Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy- what is it?
Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy is defined as pain anywhere in the pelvic ring. This is from the base of your spine to the bottom of your buttocks, or in the front of your pelvis, in the region most people would call their ‘groin’.
Pelvic Girdle Pain, or PGP affects women in around 20% of pregnancies.
For a more detailed explanation of PGP, you can read our post here.
Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy- what can you do about it?
1. Keep active, but also get plenty of rest.
Whether you’re experiencing pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy or not, your overall health and muscle tone will benefit from you keeping as active as possible. The trick is- you’ve also got to be careful not to overdo it.
The simple way for you to determine what’s right for you is to listen to your body- it’ll tell you when enough is enough.
2. Try to change positions frequently:
Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy tends to be aggravated by staying in one position for too long. You’ll find you’re a lot more comfortable if you move around more.
During the day, try not to sit or stand for longer than 30 minutes in any one position.
3. Try to avoid putting all of your weight on one leg at a time.
Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy is aggravated by situations where all of your weight is shifted onto one leg.
Instances where you might do this without realising include:
a. Getting dressed or undressed.
Try to sit down instead of standing
b. Getting in and out of the car.
Try swinging both legs around rather than putting all of your weight on one leg
c. Going up and down stairs.
It’s the only time we’ll recommend using an escalator/elevator where available!
4. Put equal weight on both legs when standing.
For similar reasons to those outlined in point #3, pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy is aggravated by standing with your weight on one leg.
Many people unconsciously do this. Next time you’re standing up, check in with yourself. Are you bearing your weight equally through both legs?
When standing, try to feel equal weight on both the balls and heels of both feet.
5. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees, and under your bump if necessary.
Many women find their pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy is most noticeable at night, when they’re (trying to) sleep.
As inconvenient as it sounds, arranging pillows around you can really help.
During pregnancy, it’s recommended that you sleep on your sides, especially from around the 20 week mark. Sleeping with a pillow between your knees, and one under your bump if necessary, will give you support and help minimise your pelvic girdle pain symptoms.
Another strategy you can try is to press your knees together while turning over in bed. This can help minimise any sharp pains in the pubic area.
6. Speaking of sleep, wear silky pyjama bottoms.
During pregnancy, you naturally get heavier. If you’re also experiencing pelvic girdle pain, this combination can make it a mammoth effort to roll over in bed.
Try wearing a pair of silky pyjama bottoms. This can make it easier to turn over, as you’ll slide more easily without having to lift yourself as high.
7. Avoid lifting, bending or carrying things wherever possible.
Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy is often aggravated by lifting, bending or carrying things.
Unfortunately, this includes older children, as difficult as this can be in reality!
If you must carry them, try to avoid carrying them on one hip. If they’re old enough and absolutely insist on being carried, try giving them a “piggy back” instead of holding their weight on your side or front.
8. Avoid sitting cross legged, as well as sitting on the floor.
Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain is often aggravated by positions where you knees are spread apart. This creates strain at both the front and back of the pelvis.
Sitting cross legged, or sitting on the floor often aggravates pelvic girdle pain symptoms. As a result, they’re two positions you’re best to avoid.
9. Water aerobics has been shown to have a positive effect on pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy.
A study found that women experiencing lower back or pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy who participated in water aerobics reported lower pain level.
Is it time to dust off those bathers and hit the pool?
10. A pelvic belt may be fitted.
This should be done to test for symptomatic relief, but should only be applied for short periods.
Many women find these helpful, but they’ve had enough of them after a couple of hours of wearing them each time. This is usually a good indicator that you need a rest- see point 1!
Pelvic Girdle Pain in Pregnancy- What next?
Have you given these 10 self management strategies a try?
How did you go?
If you’re after more tailored advice and treatment, please give us a call on (03) 9372 7714, or book online today- one of our team would love to help you.