Small movement, separation or inflammation at your pubic symphysis, located between your pubic bones, can be a big pain in the pelvis. During pregnancy, some separation is normal, but excessive separation can make simple things like going up a flight of stairs, getting in and out of a car, and even walking really difficult. If your separation is really bad, your OB or midwife may keep you on bedrest. Because you have enough things to deal with during your pregnancy and after birth, here are a few simple things you can do to decrease your pubic symphysis pain.
- Wear a compression belt like this one to support your pelvis and help keep things together. No need to remove when sleeping either since sleeping (when it does happen) can also cause you pain.
- When getting in and out of bed, or simply rolling over, keep your legs together and perform what is known as a log roll. That is, rolling the segments of your body as one unit. While you're moving, you may find it helpful to even activate your deep core muscles by pulling your belly button to your spine on an exhalation. And why don't you go ahead and throw a pillow between your legs for additional comfort.
- Avoid stairs if possible. In public spaces, avoiding the stairs can be easy if an elevator, escalator, or ramp are available. But if it is unavoidable, do try to limit your use of the stairs. This can be done by planning your day so you only have to go in the basement or up to the bedroom 2 or 3 times for the day instead of 6 times.
- Sit down to get dressed. Your balance is off anyway and it's already pretty difficult to reach your feet to put your socks on if you're feeling super pregnant. No one will judge you for taking a seat.
- Stand evenly with weight equally distributed between both feet. Putting weight on only one leg can increase your pain.
- Take small steps. The simple act of extending your foot in front of you might cause you pain so take it easy. No one will notice you're taking smaller steps, well, except a PT who can't help but analyze your gait pattern. Other than that, no one will notice so don't worry about looking awkward.
It is likely your pain began during your pregnancy. It may go away on its own but it may not. If left untreated, it will simply persist and affect your everyday life for a long time to come. You would never live your life with an untreated toothache. Treat your pelvis as well as you would your teeth. Take the time to contact a woman's health or pelvic health physical therapist who specializes in treating pregnant and postpartum women. Find your local PT here.