One of the benefits of being the author of this blog is if I have a question about my own health, researching doesn’t feel like a waste of time because I can then write about it.
One of the negatives of being the author of this blog is that everyone knows what is going on with my health. (Not that every post is about me. I usually say if it is.)
Good thing I don’t mind sharing?
So I’m pregnant.
Is anyone surprised? I guess you haven’t seen me lately.
I’m 35 weeks and 6 days today.
It’s also our ten year anniversary, but that’s irrelevant to my health. I’m just excited about it and want to share.
The thing about being so close to the end of the pregnancy is that, well, you’re close to the end. Very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’s so cool to feel movement from another being inside of you and you’re never alone (that doesn’t really go away if you have a clingy baby/toddler). On the other hand, you’re sore, it’s hard to move/roll over in bed, and the number of doctor’s appointments increases dramatically (a pain to get to and a pain to arrange around your schedule).
Today, I want to talk about soreness. Specifically the soreness that comes once hormones like relaxin kick in.
Relaxin is pretty great, to be perfectly honest. It’s the hormone that loosens the ligaments and muscles in the hips and pelvic region and allow for the human body to stretch enough to deliver a baby vaginally. Remember, the pelvic area, on a regular day, is only so big. The bones have to be able to accommodate the head and shoulders in order to push a baby out. Hence, relaxin.
However, relaxin starts its work in the third trimester (usually. Sometimes it’s early). So not only are you gaining extra weight from the baby gaining weight, but your ligaments and muscles are no longer supporting you the way that they did before. This can cause quite a lot of pain.
Enough that there’s a name for it.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).
I’d like to make a quick note here that although this is most often referred to as a symptom of pregnancy, you can have it and not be pregnant.
So how can I minimize the pain from SPD?
Avoid triggers like standing or sitting for too long, crossing your legs, and lifting or pushing.
Whew. That’s a lot.
But you do a lot with your hips without realizing it.
Physiotherapy is very helpful. Your physiotherapist can give you exercises that will help to minimize the pain and recommend other ways of improving muscle function and joint stability.
Personally, the things I find the most helpful are icing the outside of my hips and doing Kegels. Even if it hurts at the beginning of my Kegel reps, by the time I get to rep 5-6, I feel so much better. Sleeping with a pillow between my knees has helped immensely as well, especially since I don’t normally lie on my side – I much prefer sleeping on my stomach. Not exactly an option right now for some reason.
I hope this helps those of you who are feeling pain, and for those who know me, it helps you understand why I wince every time I move to stand up or try to get into a car. (Widening legs or taking a big step is rather painful for me, especially at the end of the day.)
If you’re not in pain and don’t know me, I hope you at least found this interesting.
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