Friday 13 September 2019

Am I getting SPD again?

As you may know, my second pregnancy I suffered severely with symphis pubis dysfunction, otherwise known as SPD or pelvic girdle pain. In short, it’s a condition that up to 1/5 of pregnant women get and suffer with to varying degrees. Your pelvis itself becomes hyper mobile, and can misalign which is extremely painful and reduces your movement.

If you haven’t read about my past experience and why I was induced as a result, be sure to check it out here

It was around this stage of pregnancy I began to feel the pain last time. At 28 weeks I was on crutches and I was in a wheelchair by 32 weeks. Of course, because of this, I’ve been ridiculously worried and over cautious about doing everything I can to not get it again.  

It’s unavoidable really, if it happens it happens and nothing I do can stop it essentially, but I can stave it off and ensure I don’t just “soldier through” so I don’t cause myself more pain and reduction of mobility than necessary. 

Simple things like not hoovering, or pushing the pram often or standing at the sink for too long have helped so much. Jack has been an absolute star as of course, he’s very worried about it all happening again- it was very hard for him to work and come home to a toddler, and immobile wife, and messy house. 

I’ve chatted to the midwife and she’s given me these tips to try reduce my risk of getting too bad again, I thought I’d share them in case anyone who reads this is going through similar:

1. Knees Together 
Whenever I need to move, I try do it with my knees together. If I’m rolling over in bed- knees together. If I’m getting out of the car, I swivel around with my knees together instead of climbing out one leg at a time. You get the idea!

2. Short Walks
One of the biggest mistakes I made last time was trying to just push through the pain. It meant double the pain the next day- I just hated admitting I couldn’t do what I did before. Now I make sure I rest often and keep my distances short wherever possible. It’s a shame but it’ll help in the long run. 

3. Epsom Salts
If I feel the pain creeping in after a busy day, and begin dreading moving or climbing the stairs to bed, a warm bath filled with a cup of Epsom salts genuinely works magic. I don’t know how or why the salts work but they do! Plus free floating in the warm water helps get everything aligned again. The midwife said similar can happen just floating in a swimming pool. 

4. Maternity Support Belt
I have been using one of these for all three pregnancies. I had it with Isla initially as I couldn’t walk home after a long shift without crying in pain (in hindsight I probably had SPD with her too) and I relied on it with Archer by the third trimester! You can get them on Amazon or free from an NHS physio (your midwife or GP can arrange this appointment) and they’re easy to stick on under your clothes. They hold everything “up” a bit whic relieves the weight on your pelvis, and holding the bump in place stops it misaligning. 

I do think I have SPD again. It’s been clear it’s affected me for all three pregnancies at varying degrees.... I just hope with all my heart that it doesn’t get as bad as last time. 

Have you been affected by SPD/PGP in subsequent pregnancies? I’d love to hear your experiences. 

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