SPD (Pelvic Pain)

SPD sucks. This is a fact I am all too certain of! SPD stands for Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction and is also known as PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain). I spoke about it briefly in my 30 weeks update but over the past couple of weeks, as my pain has become much worse, I thought I would write a post in more detail about it, to try and help other sufferers…

When I tell people my pelvis hurts, I feel like they think I’m exaggerating! And actually, had I not experienced it myself, I don’t think I could appreciate how debilitating it can be. It hurts. It hurts LIKE HELL. This week mine has flared up badly and I’ve been working from home, sitting on my swiss ball for comfort!

The pelvis has two halves which are held together by a joint called the Symphysis Pubis. When pregnant, your body produces a hormone called Relaxin which is very aptly named as it relaxes your muscles and ligaments. This is very handy when it comes to delivering your baby, it loosens your pelvis and softens the cervix, allowing him/her to just pop out (if only!).

SPD occurs when the pelvis joints move a little too much or a little too soon causing them to become unstable and, in turn, painful! It can sometimes make a vaginal birth more difficult, I remember last pregnancy, my midwife said “this might mean your labour is slightly more uncomfortable than it would be if you weren’t suffering with SPD”.

I was told by a doctor after Austin was born that she was surprised I had managed to deliver him naturally (albeit with the assistance of some big metal salad tongs!) because having suffered with SPD (not to mention him being back-to-back, with his head turned), my pelvis would have been misaligned and labour would have been a bit like “pushing a round peg, through a square hole!” so it’s really no wonder the poor little man needed to be dragged out with forceps!

Symptoms of SPD are basically lots of pain! Pain in the pelvis region is the main one but you can also suffer with pain in the back and hips. They tend to occur during movement rather then when you’re still. I find that turning over in bed, getting in & out of the bath and standing up from seated are the worst times for me but walking and driving are also bad. It’s likely that if you suffer from SPD in one pregnancy, you will also suffer in subsequent pregnancies and your symptoms more likely to come on earlier and progress faster – fab news!!

So, what can we do to help the pain…

  • Always try to stand evenly, on both feet – don’t cross your legs and don’t slouch!
  • Work your Pelvic Floor! This is essential for any pregnant lady but even more so for those of us with SPD because it will improve stability in your pelvis and back.
  • Try not to move your legs more than hip distance apart, this goes for when you’re sitting or standing.
  • Get in and out of the car with your legs together. Imagine you’re in a short skirt and you’re being papped, nobody wants to see those photo’s in the paper!
  • Sit down to get dressed and put your shoes on! I feel like an old lady when I do this but it does help a lot.
  • Sleep on your left side with a pillow between your legs.
  • Wear a back support. The NHS physiotherapist that I saw gave me one to wear, I don’t think it’s really helping me but I don’t wear it as often as I could – it’s not very comfy!
  • See an chiropractor. Ideally one who specialises in pregnancy. Mine (www.hookchiro.co.uk) gave me an exercise to do as often as I can: sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor, make two fists and put them next to eachother between your knees, push your knees together at about 20% effort for 5 seconds. Ideally do these whenever you remember but especially before you stand up from seated. It will mean the muscles are engaged before you get up and should stabilise your pelvis more.

My research has told me that there really is no cure, other than giving birth! The best thing to do is help the symptoms by doing some or all of the above. Last pregnancy, my pains eased straight away after Austin was born so I’m hoping this time will be the same. Fingers crossed!

If anyone out there has suffered with SPD/PGP and found something that really helps, please get in touch!!

Austin turns 18 months…how did that happen?!

Sometimes it feels like time is standing still. For example, I feel like I have been pregnant forEVER. Other times though, I can’t believe where the time has gone. My little boy is now just that, a little boy! My baby has grown up into a rough and ready toddler who is in to everything…

He seems to go for weeks without changing much and then all of a sudden, we’ll notice he has learnt so many new things! This week his new favourites are:

SHOUTING! He can’t speak, he sometimes says “MMMMMMMOOOOOOO” when you ask him what noise a cow makes. He’s desperately trying to learn though as there is barely a moment that passes when he isn’t making noises. He can even roll his tongue which is something I have never been able to do so he’d be good at speaking Spanish! Most of the time though he is shouting. It’s hilarious! I couldn’t handle anybody else’s child shouting all day long but with my own, it’s adorable!

Running. Crawling wasn’t ever good enough for him so he quickly moved on to walking. That soon became boring too so now, we’re running. Everywhere! Not normal running though, he’s still wobbly, this is Monkey Running. Running around the house with his hands under his armpits like he’s impersonating a monkey! A shouting monkey.

Car noises. My husband is a car geek *ahem* enthusiast so it was bound to rub off on our son. Neither of us realised how early in his life this would be. Austin loves anything to do with cars, trains, lorries – basically anything with wheels. But the cutest thing about it, is the noise he makes when playing with his toys or watching lorries and diggers driving down the road (we live in a new house on a building site so we get to see lots of them!). “Brrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”. If it has wheels, it makes that noise!

Austin's favourite car! It goes everywhere with him - bbbbrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmm!

Austin’s favourite car! It goes everywhere with him – bbbbrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmm!

Tantrums. These are soooo funny. How is it possible to deal with them without laughing?! At this age, I don’t think it is. He had one the other day because I said “No” to him driving Thomas the Tank Engine “Brrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmmm” up the kitchen cupboard fronts. He looked at me, threw Thomas on the floor, fake cried whilst stomping over to me with his shoulders forward and arms swinging by his side, like a tiny teenager. So I did what any mother would do…I filmed him. I’ll keep that for when he starts bringing girlfriends home. Mwahaha!

30 week update…

Happy New Year everybody! Hope you all enjoyed the festivities? I can finally say I’m having a baby THIS YEAR!!

I am now 30+4! This means that (marvel at my maths skills) I have about 66 days to go before I meet my little lady! EEEEEK!

 Photo:

  

Total weight gain: Dunno. An exceptional amount!

Stretch marks: None that I can see. BOOM! I’ve started using a different body oil as I was bored of the same old stuff. I’ve turned to Balm Balm Mum to be Body Oil instead which I love. It smells AMAZING! Made from mandarin and grapefruit essential oils, it’s supposed to be pampering, conditioning annnnd mood enhancing! Oo-er!

balm

Symptoms: Restless legs; Insomnia; the normal shiz. However, in the past week, my SPD has started! SPD is Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, also known as PGP – Pelvic Girdle Pain. The Symphysis Pubis is the joint which connects the two halves of your pelvis. Around this joint are ligaments which help support it but during pregnancy, when your body produces a hormone called Relaxin, those ligaments soften. This can mean that your pelvis can move more during pregnancy and can cause some Mums-to-be a lot of pain. When I was pregnant with Austin, my SPD was really painful and I was signed off work at 35 weeks because I was so uncomfortable. I’m hoping this time it isn’t so bad and I can keep active until the very end of pregnancy.

Cravings: Still sweet things! As you can imagine, I’ve been in my element over Christmas! Oink oink. In fact when I started typing this post, I cracked open these bad boys and they’re pretty tasty! Especally the lemon mousse ones – delicious!

chocs

Best pregnancy related moment: Watching elbows/knees sticking out of my tummy! It’s cute and I love it! I took this photo a few mornings ago, when I woke up, Betsy Bump was a little bit wonky, bless her! She wriggled non-stop for the rest of that day, getting back into her normal position (head right under my ribs and feet sticking out of my side..!)

bump2

Worst pregnancy related moment: Nothing major, just generally struggling to sleep because of restless legs, insomnia and/or SPD pain.

Belly Button: Still half and half. *vom*

Wedding rings: Still on! I thought I’d have to have taken it off by now but actually it’s about the same as my 27 week update!

Ability to paint toenails: Yes! I can still do it! They’re pretty and pink at the moment.

Predictions: Girl! A big one too now, I reckon!