Pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is an incredibly common yet often overlooked condition that affects many expecting mothers. Although not harmful to your unborn baby, the pain and discomfort associated with PGP can be debilitating, often making it difficult for sufferers to perform even the most basic of everyday tasks.
The pain associated with PGP can manifest in the centre-front of your pelvis, at the back of your pelvis, in the SI (sacroiliac) joints (either one or both sides of the lower back), or even in the thighs and pelvic floor. The severity of the pain can vary from woman to woman, with some experiencing more intense symptoms than others.
This pain is more pronounced when:
- Walking on uneven surfaces/rough ground or for long distances
- Moving your knees apart, like getting in and out of the car
- Standing on one leg, like climbing the stairs, dressing or getting in or out of the bath
- Rolling over in bed
- During sexual intercourse
If you think you might be suffering from PGP, it is important to reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and create a plan of action to manage the pain. Don’t let PGP be a source of discomfort during your pregnancy journey.
For some tips on what you can do to relieve pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy, read on for some top tips.
The following simple measures may help:
- Keeping active but also getting plenty of rest
- Standing tall with your bump and bottom tucked in a little
- Changing your position frequently – try not to sit for more than 30 minutes at a time
- Sitting to get dressed and undressed
- Putting equal weight on each leg when you stand
- Trying to keep your legs together when getting in and out of the car
- Lying on the less painful side while sleeping
- Keeping your knees together when turning over in bed
- Using a pillow under your bump and between your legs for extra support in bed
You should avoid anything that may make your symptoms worse, such as:
- Lifting anything heavy, for example, heavy shopping
- Going up and down the stairs too often
- Stooping, bending or twisting to lift or carry a toddler or baby on one hip
- Sitting on the floor, sitting twisted, or sitting or standing for long periods
- Standing on one leg or crossing your legs
Move your body
Moving your body can help to relieve pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy by helping to improve posture, increase circulation, and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the pelvis. Stretching, swimming, and low-impact aerobic exercises can all help alleviate pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy.
Yoga during pregnancy can help relieve girdle pelvic pain as well as help with emotional and mental health.
Crossing your legs
Crossing your legs can increase the pressure on the pelvic region and put a strain on the girdle muscles, which can cause pain during pregnancy.
This is especially true in the later stages of pregnancy, when the baby is larger and the belly is heavier. It is best to avoid crossing your legs during pregnancy to reduce the risk of increased pain and discomfort.
Resting can help relieve girdle pelvic and back pain during pregnancy by decreasing the pressure and strain on the lower back and abdominal muscles. It can also help reduce the amount of stress and tension in the pelvic area, which can alleviate pain.
Additionally, pregnant women should pay close attention to their posture while resting and ensure they are using comfortable, supportive pillows to support their back and neck.
Rest can help relax the muscles and reduce pressure on the pelvic area.
Warm baths can help to relax tense muscles and reduce inflammation in the pelvic area. This can help to alleviate the discomfort associated with girdle pelvic pain. Additionally, warm baths can help improve circulation and reduce stress.
Enjoy warm, relaxing baths to relax pelvic muscles and pressure and reduce pain.
Wear a Pelvic Belt
Wearing a pelvic belt or pelvic support garments during pregnancy can help alleviate girdle pain by providing extra support and stability to the pelvic area. The belt helps to reduce the strain and pressure on the muscles and ligaments, which can cause pain and discomfort in the pelvic area.
Additionally, wearing a pelvic belt can help keep the baby in a better position and reduce the risk of preterm labour. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before wearing a pelvic belt, as it is not suitable for every woman.
Womens Health Physio
Pregnancy-specific women’s health physiotherapy can help relieve girdle pelvic pain by addressing any underlying issues that may be causing the pain. The physiotherapist will assess the area and provide treatment such as manual therapy, exercise, and advice on postural changes.
They can also provide advice on lifestyle changes, such as sitting and sleeping positions, that can help reduce pain. They may also provide support and education to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Lotus Medics can help you
If you require advice on exercise during pregnancy, please contact us at Lotus Medics for more information. If you would like to book an appointment at our Orange, Parkes, or Bathurst practices, please contact us via telephone at 1300 3LOTUS (1300 356887) or email us at email@example.com to set up your appointment.
To book an appointment online, please complete your contact details via our online form.
Frequently Asked Questions
For more information on pregnancy-related pelvic girdle chronic pain, please read our frequently asked questions here.
What is the risk factor for pelvic and lumbar pain in pregnancy?
The following are some potential risk factors for pelvic pain in pregnancy:
- Previous history of pelvic pain
- Previous history of pelvic surgery
- Being overweight
- Carrying multiple fetuses
- Having an abnormally positioned uterus
What does pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy feel like?
Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy can feel like a dull ache or a sharp pain in the lower back, pelvis, or hips. It may feel worse when standing, walking, or climbing stairs and can be accompanied by a grinding or clicking sensation in the pelvic area.
At what stage of pregnancy does pelvic girdle pain start?
Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) can start at any time during pregnancy, but it is most common in the second and third trimesters.
Can barely walk due to pelvic pain during pregnancy?
If you are experiencing pelvic pain during pregnancy, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the best course of action.
Depending on the severity of the pain, your doctor may suggest bed rest, physical therapy, pain medications, or other treatments to help manage the pain.
In some cases, your doctor may also advise against walking or suggest modifications to your activity level to help reduce the pain.
Can I have a vaginal birth if I have PGP?
Yes, you can. PGP is not a contraindication for vaginal birth, and most women with this condition will have a natural birth. The Lotusmedics team looking after you will ensure a good analgesia plan in labour and will also help you change positions and move around.
Dr Kotasthane will also ensure that you have a management plan for after birth.
Ask for a room near the toilet facilities and continue analgesia till the pain subsides.
If your pain persists after delivery, seek advice from your GP and consider a referral to rule out any musculoskeletal causes like hip problems or hypermobility.
PGP can recur in subsequent pregnancies and it is important to ensure musculoskeletal fitness and core and pelvic floor strength before you plan to get pregnant next time.
What is symphysis pubis dysfunction?
Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis, a joint connecting the left and right pubic bones at the front of the pelvis.
This condition can cause severe pain in the lower abdomen and groyne area, as well as difficulty walking, sitting, and other activities.
Symptoms may include pain that is worse during movement, difficulty walking, joint instability, and pain in the inner thighs. Treatment includes physical therapy, pain medications, and lifestyle changes.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.