Dealing With Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction After Multiple Pregnancies

Pregnancy can be such a joy. The anticipation of a new life, a new being, and new aches and pains you never thought existed. Wait, what?!? Yes, we’re talking about the least spoken of ache and pain called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). SPD is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis joint, either in the front or sides of the joint and pelvis, as well as associated pain, possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis. There is very little relief for this condition unless you have these couple of tricks up your sleeve.

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Usually, this problem tends to appear after you have had more than one child, affecting 25 – 32% of women. It can manifest itself after baby number one or baby number four. Whichever may be the case for you, it’s a painful, uncomfortable, and a debilitating condition that can start as soon as your baby begins to put undue pressure on your pelvis.

If you didn’t know, what’s actually happening is the natural gap in your pubic bones separate too much and unevenly. This can make walking, rolling over in bed, and side to side movements difficult and painful. The pregnancy hormone relaxin also plays a part as too much too soon in pregnancy will cause the ligaments to ‘lax’ allowing for more pubic movement. This is great for birth, but not so much when you still have several months of pregnancy left!

If you are experiencing any of the following, SPD, may be the cause:

  • Pain and difficulty rolling from side to side in bed 
  • Extreme discomfort and/or pain when lifting your legs
  • Popping or “cracking” sounds around your pelvic region

Of course, always check with your primary care provider for a proper diagnosis. You certainly know your body and the sudden changes you are experiencing when the pain is worse than it used to be.

Even though you may suffer from this condition with subsequent pregnancies there are some medication-free and instant relief techniques available to alleviate your pain and discomfort. You certainly do not want this condition to deter you from having more children.

Avoid Laying On Your Back

This is already a suggested no-no for pregnant mommas in their 2nd to 3rd trimesters, however, it’s significantly worse when you have SPD. Instead, lay on your side with a supportive maternity pillow to put the pressure on your belly rather than your pelvis. Don’t worry, your belly can handle it, especially with the added support of a wedge or maternity pillow.

Keep Your Legs Closer Together

You may remember your mother saying keep your legs crossed, especially when wearing skirts/dresses…well, now take her advice again! By keeping your legs closer together while moving (like getting out of a car), you’ll keep your pubic bones in better alignment and avoid that startling, jabbing pain that may be associated with the uneven movement. Sitting on a balance/exercise ball with your legs slightly apart provides relief too.

Daily Mom Parents Portal Pubis Symphsis Dysfunction 1

Be aware of your posture. Keep your pelvis under your rib cage – you may be tempted to arch your back to alleviate back soreness, but instead, engage your core (which is very beneficial for your expanding abdominals and back) and keep your body aligned.

Support Belts

These. Are. Amazing! The main reason you have so much discomfort and pain is due to the added pressure on that weakened area of your pelvic bone! Pelvis belts and support bands will help raise the extra weight off of your pubic bone.  This will make walking and daily activities easier, without having to pop extra medicine or constantly stop and rest just to get through the day. With a support belt, you’ll have more freedom to continue your regular activities. But, don’t go run a marathon just yet…running and other sudden movements can still exacerbate your Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction.

Daily Mom Parents Portal Pubis Symphsis Dysfunction Support Belt

A supportive Mattress

Your growing belly isn’t getting any smaller! So as your baby grows and your comfort levels diminish, consider where you are spending nearly 7-8+ hours of your day, in bed. One brand in particular eliminated 95% of pelvic pain for one mom of nine who was expecting her 10th child. The Puffy Mattress provided the necessary support, alignment, and cushion to keep the pubic bones aligned and stable…even while turning from side to side. If you find that laying down is worse, and you actually dread the idea of going to bed and struggling with the pain the next morning…you may need to consider a new mattress.

Ice It

Grab a good ‘ole fashioned ice pack. If you’re going to sit down, watch TV, put your feet up, and just relax…ice it. Any pain in the body is usually accompanied by inflammation of some sort. So, grab a bag of peas or a flexible ice pack that will sit comfortably beneath that precious belly and enjoy the relief it brings.

Babies are certainly a joy and sometimes, outside of labor and delivery, they bring on other discomforts you may not have been expecting. That’s okay! You now have some tools and tricks to minimize your discomfort, enjoy your pregnancy, and still consider more precious little ones in the future. Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction doesn’t have to end your joy during pregnancy…simply think of it as a way to pamper yourself even more.

You might also like: 5 Pregnancy Safe Stretches.

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Andi LaBrune
Andi LaBrune
She's a country girl at heart with her hubby and 11 kids in central Virginia. She raises a small homestead of chickens & ducks with her family. If she's not hatching eggs, waiting for those adorable chicks to emerge, or tearing up the kitchen with yet another scrumptious, mouth-watering meal from her grass-fed roots, or she's sweating her sass off teaching Zumba Fitness classes. You can catch up with her and all her wild, yet introverted shenanigans over at The Skinny Mommy.