… the first bit aside, of course, which was a tragi-comedy of 24hr nausea, fatigue and wanting to punch people. I remember “morning sickness” being shit, but this felt, well, cruel. Lots of laying on the floor and allowing my son to watch back to back Shaun the Sheep while I felt sorry for myself, licking my desperately cracked lips (that will happen when you can’t stomach liquid in any form: cute!), and fantasising about sleep.
I’d sneak off to buy McDonalds (full dirty coke, cheeso or nuggs, fries and a hash brown on the side, since you asked), because it was the only food – and I use the term loosely – I could stomach. This from a woman who had spent 2016 living a low-FODMAP, gluten, lactose and fructose-free life of baked fish, eggs, arrogant earnestness, and DIY bulletproof coffee. The shame.
Eating Happy Meal, and yet still apparently not very happy.
The spell broke around week 17 when a Poke place popped up near home, and I ordered a big, around bowl of veges, tofu and rice. And a drink! It felt incredible to be eating food from, yknow, the ground, again.
This is from Poke Me. It’s delicious.
DID YOU KNOW!! The reason salad, veges, eggs and meat repulse you when you have morning sickness is for a reason! Our primal brains instinctively understand that bacteria resides on plants and in protein, (e.g: salmonella in chicken, toxins or bugs on greenery), so the body rejects them in order to keep the foetus safe from poison or sickness. Choose safe old cheese toasties and Saladas instead, it’s saying. “Can do!” we respond, with very little say in the matter.
Anyway. I eat normally now. (All low-FODMAP considerations are void under advice from my GP but I’m still lactose free because lactose makes my guts rough-as)… Oh, except for my ALL-ENCOMPASSING DESIRE FOR CARBS AND SUGAR. Jesus. It’s intense. And since I dodged gestational diabetes this time, (woo!) self-control has been a bit of a struggle. And by struggle I mean: Easter.
*Also on the list of preggo shit they don’t tell you about is that your eyesight can buckle because of hormonal changes. My right eye went blurry (long-sightedness, it turns out) in the second trimester, and after two weeks of assuming it was just fatigue or a scratch I had an eye-test. I now have to wear glasses whenever I look at a screen. (ALL DAY.) Oh, also I have had at least nine cold sores since I discovered I was pregnant, three bad colds, and many UTIs. Naaaw, thanks, low immunity! You’re the best!
PREGNANCY THE SECOND TIME.
You’re better at it round two. You know stuff. You don’t panic about every weird twinge. You don’t ‘eat for two’, cos you know that’s a filthy trick. You’re busy with your first-born, can’t remember how many weeks you are, and forget you need to set up a room or buy clothes for the incoming child.
And should you have had any debilitating pelvic/pubic/back issues last time, well, you do all that you can to avoid that. You really, really do.
See, my first pregnancy was a bit shit; that’s why I am writing this post: I don’t want any other pregnant women (or men, no discrimination here) to end up like that.
The full post is here. (Lots of useful stuff in the comments, also.) In a nutshell, what started as some spicy, achey hip/groin/pubic pain from week 24, was deemed pelvic girdle pain, or Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), which is common when you’re gestating. But mine developed into a fractured pubis, and then osteitis pubis, eventuating in crutches at week 31 until birth.
Me at 38 weeks last pregnancy. OMG so cute.
I expected the pain to fuck right off once I’d released the human in my uterus, but post-partum the pain was even worse: I couldn’t walk for longer than 10 minutes, and it took many exercises, much frustration, two years (and about a million dollars) of osteopathy, pilates and myotherapy to heal my pubis, and get my glutes, core, and pelvis presley strong again.
But I had no idea pelvic stuff was even A Thing! I assumed pregnancy was all cute dresses and insufferable bump-caressing. People warn you about flatulence and swollen ankles, but no one tells you pelvic pain is A Thing. GUYS: IT’S A THING.
In my obliviousness I did zero exercise or strengthening, and had no treatment. Even the g-damn physio who put me on crutches didn’t recommend getting treatment. It blows my tiny mind. Other regrettable stuff I did:
- I‘d walk and walk (at the park, or choosing cot sheets at Baby Bunting) until it became too painful, because I‘d heard walking was good in pregnancy (It really is NOT if you have pelvic issues)
- I did guided weekly pilates on one of those big, weird torture looking devices with a disappointing physio who offered no advice or treatment on my pain other than to give me a print out on how to stand and sit correctly with SPD
- I did nothing to help my body- no glute-strengthening, no active stretching, no core work, minimal pelvic floor work, no foam rolling, nothing. I had no idea that I was supposed to. And judging by the amount of emails and comments I get from pregnant women in pain and desperate to know how I got it sorted so they can do the same, I’m not alone.
And this is what really grinds my gears: pelvic pain is possible, even probable when you’re pregnant, but it is totally manageable with professional treatment and the right exercises. Yet so many pregnant women don’t seem to know this. And I reckon someone – their GP, their obstetrician, their PT, their chiro, their sister, Margery from two doors down – needs to tell them. (Cue ol’ nosypants Fosters: your friendly, unsolicited advice monger.)
I live in inner Melbourne, have access to Google, and still had trouble finding people to help me. I went to a physio-pilates joint that specialises in pregnancy for months and they entirely missed the problem… So what the hell do women in Mudgee and Marulan do?
Annnnyway. Leading up to and during this pregnancy I did All The Right Things, optimistic I could sidestep the drama and pain. Alas, the pubic pain is back. But! It’s okay: it’s not osteitis pubis, or instability, and my glutes and core are strong. It’s just classic preggo SPD which my Osteopath is treating, and which she assures me is both transient and normal.
Some days are 7/10 pain, some are 3/10, and some days are pain-free. Sitting down is the worst, which is a real turd when you write for a profession, (this post has taken friggen weeks, one chunk at a time) or want to binge on Veep/Fargo/Survivor at night, or catch a plane, but overall I’m fine. No limping. No tears. No kicking tyres. I know which exercises, or active stretching and release will help when I get tight and sore, or to book a massage/extra Osteo treatment, or run a big ol’ Epsomy bath if things are really painful after doing errands for an two hours in cute but non-supportive shoes. (Idiot.)
PILATES. DO PILATES.
You’ve heard it a million times, but sweet golden cheeses will pilates help in pregnancy. I do pre-natal pilates with Candice Kino, director of pre and post-natal pilates at Studio PP in South Yarra, twice a week. PP is where I have religiously done reformer pilates studio since mid-2015, and where I have regained a shitload of strength and mobility. Stuff you want when you’re up duff.
Some pregnancy exercise tips and loving warnings from Candice:
NOTE: Always seek medical advice if unsure. Don’t exercise if your doctor has recommended you not to, you dingus!
1. Strengthen your deep core
Focus on strengthening your deep core muscles (esp the pelvic floor) with APPROPRIATE exercises. These muscles will support you through pregnancy, minimising pelvic instability/pain and low back pain, and help deliver your baby. I highly recommend investing in a private session or pregnancy-specific exercise class with a pre-natal qualified instructor – even if it’s only once – to help you learn about your deep core and pelvic floor muscles and how to strengthen them effectively.
2. Focus on good posture
Sit, stand and walk tall! You need a strong back and glutes! Strengthening your hamstrings and glutes will help support your pelvis and pelvic floor muscles. Increasing your mid-back strength will also support your deep core and get you strong for lifting the baby. (My all-day job is to lift up my pelvic floor (not squeeze, lift)… zip up my lower belly… lengthen through the torso and up through the top of the head. For posture, strength, and, of course, BIRTHING SUPERPOWER.)
3. Avoid coning
This is when you see bulging down the middle of your belly because your deep core muscles aren’t able to support you in an exercise or movement. (I see it when I try to get out of bed quickly, instead of all the rolling to the side palaver – Zo.) Coning can increase the occurrence and the severity of Diastasis Recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). SO AVOID CRUNCHES AFTER THE FIRST TRIMESTER! This includes getting up from your back when in bed; instead roll to your side to get up. Your exercises should change or be modified as you progress through your pregnancy. NOTE: Appropriate exercises can be different for each woman and each pregnancy. See a trainer who is qualified to give advice for exercise throughout your pregnancy.
4. Listen to your body
If it doesn’t feel good, DON’T DO IT! You should feel better after a workout. (I always do, even though I CBF most of the time. A lot of it is analgesic. – Zo.) If you don’t, you need to modify or change your workout. There are numerous benefits for both mum and bub to exercise appropriately during pregnancy and it’s never too late to start – even if you are in your third trimester.
Candice and I. (She’s the one NOT pestering for a selfie.)
GET AN OSTEO.
I see a body-fixing wizard Osteopath named Daniela Aiello at Bulleen Osteopathy (Melbourne). She began helping me at 6-weeks post-partum, when I was in world of pain, and I have seen her at least monthly since.
As the pregnancy heats up, (“boob sweat”) and things get sexy (“snoring, waddling, panting”) I see Dan weekly, or more if my pubis is being bitchy. Osteo is magical. I can’t tell you exactly what it is, I don’t think anyone knows, it may be a government secret, but it involves muscular and structural release and relief, and I cannot believe I did a whole pregnancy with out it. No friggen wonder my pubis got so fucked up. Anyway. FIND A GOOD OSTEO, is my loudest and caps lockiest piece of pregnancy health. They’re everywhere now. Get one who understands the pregnant body.
I asked Daniela, at gunpoint, to write some stuff for me about pre-natal Osteo:
“Your body will go through tremendous change during pregnancy. With these changes it is unfortunately very common for women to experience musculoskeletal pain, but they do not always seek treatment.
Just because pain is common, it doesn’t mean it is normal. There is help available! By understanding the hormonal and physical changes that are occurring during pregnancy, your Osteopath may provide you with much needed relief. My aim is to assist women in the natural process of pregnancy by using appropriate treatment techniques to restore motion and reduce muscle tension, thereby maximising the ability to cope with the physical changes that occur with a growing baby.
When your body is stronger, you tend to cope a lot better with the physical changes of pregnancy. As part of your treatment, we can also advise you on pelvic floor and other specific exercises to strengthen your body. We can also advise you on particular activities* to avoid during pregnancy.
*She’s not kidding. She will text me if she sees me sitting in an unstable position on Instagram.
I’M AN UNASHAMED TEACHER’S PET
Candice and Daniela give me strengthening stuff to do at home: clams, leg raises, squat pulses, Theraband stuff, pelvic-floor breathing, and lots of foam-rolling, fit ball stretching, cat-cows, and spiky ball release stuff. In the past, if you had told me to exercise daily, for fitness, or weight-loss, or some form of glorious #fitspo physique, I would have tapered off after about four days. But since I know what happen if I don’t do these exercises, I don’t miss a day. I expect some form or medal to arrive in the mail any day now.
An array of my homework accoutrements. They look fun! They’re really not.
I take magnesium powder every day, and have a magnesium spray I use at night on sore bits, and go through a tonne of Epsom Salts. Magnesium is the preggos’ best friend.
Tastes gross; does good stuff.
BE A SMART PREGGO
Pregnancy is unforgiving, relentless work. This is not a time to play martyr or hero. Ask your partner for a foot rub every night, with no guilt. Have a rest when you can. (Now I’m in the third trimester, Daniela’s rule is 20 minutes on one activity or in one position, then change. It’s a real P in the A but I try.) And, have as many massages as you can afford: don’t think of it as a luxury, your body desperately needs release and care. I have discovered Mary de Pellegrin in Carlton, and she is very special. She’s been doing it for 20 years, and artfully blends my two favourite disciplines: myotherapy and shiatsu for incredible relief. I also like the futon massage at Body Freedom Urban Spa in South Melbourne.
HotDOG. This is a long post. I’m sorry. But not really, cos if it wasn’t of interest or relevant to you, you would have already gone back to scrolling Instagram, and plus, I’m passionate about this stuff, because I spent almost three years in daily pain fixing a preventable problem, and also, being pregnant is tough enough without being in agony, ay.
I was shitting myself about this pregnancy, but it’s been good. I feel in control, and strong, I’m not just ‘sucking it up’, and I have people now if I need help. One thing I learned about chronic pain is that a lot of it is mental. Re-adjusting my attitude was imperative.
Well-meaning people tell pregnant women to relax, and ease off work, and rest, but I’m not going to tell you to do that cos it’d be completely disingenuous; I am doing none of those things. (That said, if you work in a super stressful or physical job, um, you should probably relax/ease off work/rest.)
I love what I do for work (Formula One driver/part-time back-up singer) and will happily plod along on my current projects until baby Darlene/Dwayne arrives. I won’t do a national book tour at 32 weeks, or launch a skin care brand at 35 weeks, though. That was a rookie fail.
What I will do – and say – is be smart about it.
Know your limits.
Don’t push yourself to go to Ikea for a rug for the nursery if your feet are killing and your back is sore.
Put in the time and effort to care for, maintain and strengthen your body.
Strengthen and equally indulge your magical baby-creating machine.
Make people be your slaves because by law they can’t argue with your bulbous tyranny.
And if there’s a choice between eggs and pancakes, eat the pancakes. Always eat the goddamn pancakes.
Hi Zoe, thanks for a great post. Was very informative, I’ve had pelvic imbalance since week 20 roughly. Went to hydrotherapy (twice) and physiotherapy (once) – stopped going as soon as the pain was bearable. Your post made me want to look after myself better, so thanks for that. I thought it’s too late to start ante natal pilates now, but will definitely find a class. Cheers!!
Zoe – you nailed it! I am 18 weeks pregnant with twins and started to suffer from Pelvic Girdle pain at about 15 weeks (ouch!) I had no idea what was wrong with me…but gosh it hurt!! but after Physio advice and Obstetrician words of wisdom I have done physiotherapy and now just started pilates. I do struggle to do my “at home” exercises and not to walk too far, but I’m getting to know my “limits” and learn that it’s best to listen to my body! Growing humans is a tough gig! thanks for your honesty and humour (got to get me some magnesium powder by the sounds of it!!)
Beautiful post, Zoe. I’m a women’s health physio who treats pelvic girdle pain daily and while I’m disappointed you received poor management with Sonny, I’m so glad to hear this pregnancy has been a better experience (with lots of hard work!). As you say, many women still don’t understand this pain, although one in five will suffer from PGP, so I occasionally use you as an example to patients to show they’re not alone. Particularly second time around as most of them fear things will be so much worse, but with correct advice and management it can be a completely different experience. Thank you for spreading the message! xx
I wonder if it got so bad in your first pregnancy because you kept exercising etc I have the god awful SPD now and have had for 13w. Regularly see a physio who told me to stop exercising as it progressively got worse. I am really really hope all the training I plan to do after bub evacuates will prevent it getting so bad next time! I know there is nothing I can do now but wait it out. Thanks for giving me hope future pregnancies can be better!
Thank you for this post! I’m 30 weeks pregnant and my hips are killllllllling me, resulting in sleepless nights. Hence why I’ve been up since 4am already this morning. I’ve been seeing an Osteo once a fortnight and she is life changing. I have just booked prenatal pilates classes (thanks to you) and because my hips are in so much pain at the moment, I’m not going for a walk this morning. You’re right – I need to listen to my body. Thanks again x
Zoe – thank you for your honesty, humour and creative flair! This post was a great mix of all the things we pregnant women need. I had my first three years ago and had severe pelvic issues that resulted in my pelvis collapsing at 30 weeks, an emergency c-section and a painful recovery to learn how to walk again. Now at 14 weeks along with my second, I have been living in fear of the recurrent issue but will be looking into a few things you have mentioned in an effort to stave off the dreaded pelvic issues.
I have been diagnosed with severe HG this time around too (Im on an infusion pump of meds 24/7 into a sub-cut site on my stomach) so its nice to hear some honesty that sometimes a ‘fit’ ‘healthy’ pregnancy is just keeping yourself going – Ive been trying not to beat myself up over it but at the moment the only things I can eat are Jatz and green apples… not the ideal diet but at least its something! Your humour and attitude about this is just what I needed – Thank you. As always you have managed to educate without being a ‘know it all” b*tch or “judgy annie”…. this is why we all flock to you. Good luck with the last few weeks and thank you again. With love xx
So many of these issues remain unspoken so it’s great to see a post outlining your experience, as you said – many women have also been through this!
I’m a physio and in the last few years have done further training in women’s health and pregnancy management. I have learned so much more in my further training than I ever did at uni about managing pregnant women. Honestly, most physios are not aware of these issues or how to manage them and I think it’s of detriment to our profession. Things are improving thankfully but it’s still a long road ahead from changing our approach from “we do backs and knees” to “we can help you with your freaking out pelvis while you grow a child”. We’ll get there but it’s a shame you couldn’t find the right physio at the right time x
Awesome post Zoe! I had the same thing in my pregnancy and my obstetrician recommended I have a C-section. I want to be much better prepared the next time round. Perhaps could you suggest some things to do pre-pregnancy, like in between kids, to keep strong? Sounds like you did Pilates and regular Osteo, anything else? I’d like to go into my next pregnancy as strong as possible so I’m not on crutches/walking frame at 30 weeks again!! Here’s to all you pelvic pain mamas out there!! Definitely not easy! Xx
Isn’t it the absolute PITS (as opposed to Pitt, he is quite lovely!) I have an unstable pelvis (baby daddy thinks that’s better than unstable emotions – dingus) and so was prepared for troubles, was not prepared for them to start at the beginning of the second trimester!!!
I would wake in the middle of the night in tears and unable to get back to sleep because sleeping on my side was so dang painful. OB recommended a female health physio centre and it has been amazing!!
She immediately put a stop to any other exercise, I was so worried about that at first – I’m now embracing it, there will be a time to lose the baby weight – while carrying baby probably not it! When the treatment plan was delivered as weekly adjustments, clinical Pilates, an awesome little babes and bellies physio led excerfise class and fortnightly pregnancy massages my first reaction was this is going to send us broke! But mother and MIL insisted it was worth it if it made the next 25 weeks better! Home exercises and Epsom salt foot baths have also become a regular occurrence and whilst the pain ain’t completely gone and there will need to be a serious birth plan of action if the little nugget is a Boof head, it’s amazing how much just feeling like you are a little more in control of something can make you feel!
Worth all the $$ – have put the recovery of that in the same little basket as losing baby weight…!
Thanks for sharing your tips, it’s so important for other little ladies to know you don’t have to suffer all the time!!
10 years ago when I was pregnant with my son I saw Mary for massage. She is incredible. I lived very close to her and would waddle down.
Thanks for instilling faith that I can have another baby in a less painful manner. I ended up in a wheelchair with SPD. After reading your original post I ended up seeing an Osteopath who has helped me feel like I’m back to my old self (almost). No one I knew had heard of SPD so it’s great to get awareness out there.
This is so good to hear! And why doesn’t anyone talk about it?! I had no symptoms during pregnancy, but couldn’t walk after bubs was born, and it took 2 days to work out what was going on. Almost 4 months on and I’m doing clinical Pilates- but I’ll now be heading to the osteo immediately! Thank you
Thank you from a first time preggo for your honesty and top tips! I am so glad I am not the only one that craved McDonalds in the first trimester – specifically sausage and egg McMuffin and hash browns. The noises that came out of my mouth at the mere sight of a Maccas ad were not at all appropriate. Now at 26 weeks I am obsessed with jam and butter on sourdough, but I figure jam is basically fruit so I am not beating myself up…I’ll leave that to the baby who is pounding my insides already!
As I sit here with a heat pack on my back and I’ve pack on the front (yay for pregnancy!) I just want to say thank you for sharing!! So helpful to read your tips and know my current thinking about treatment (which I’ve been making up!?!) is relatively on-track.
Oops that obviously should have been “ice” pack.
Thank you so much for sharing! As a fellow second time round preggo feeling pretty nauseaous and suffering badly with SPD, I was feeling sorry for myself. Not only do I feel crap cause of all that but I also have serious GUILT about daily bacon egg mcmuffins and my toddler binge watching paw patrol to get me through … you’ve made me feel much better knowing that I’m not the only one!!
I am filing this for future preggo reference, and for my mates too!
One question from a fellow Melbourne-based FODMAPper, do you have any recommendations for a super duper gut wizard aka dietitian?
Thanks Zoe, I love your in no way annoying and always useful advice (I’ve engaged the apricot from way back).
I am happy to read your pregnancy story.
It is not nice to single out and say no to any profession. Especially if the Bachelor degree requires a very high enter score, and years of study at Australians leading Universities.
I am saddened that you chose to discredit Physiotherapists; Australia’s (and in deed the worlds) leading Research and clinical based care for pre-and post natal Rehabilitation. We have highly trained Pre-natal Specialists in Australia who are bending over backwards to do research and care to mum’s and bubs privately and in our major hospitals. Physiotherapists, (not Osteopaths or Myopathy) have the university credentials and skills to work in Hospitals and NICU (Neo-natal Intenisive care) in all of the WORLDS Hospitals, like The Royal Women’s Hospital in melbourne. We help babies who are born prematurely, have surgery and need breathing help. Without us NICU would not operate as well. We look after babies and mum’s every day and do it with great attention to evidence based care and patient presentation. I wish you had been referred to a women’s health Physiotherapist professional at the Women’s. Did you try that?
Physiotherapists (not Osteopapathy or myopathy) are aloud to be called “Clinical Pilates Insctructors” as we have a Physiotherapy degree and levels of professional development that need to be obtained prior to being your pilates instructor. This is world class research based. I hope you are better informed.
You are entitled to your self-autonomy and your choice of health care. As a online professional journalist/blogger I hope you can be mindful and more educated prior to discrediting a profession who basis it’s values on healthcare.
I’m sorry if this sounds any way too serious. Personally, felt sad when I opened up to read your wonderful blogs only to find you dissing a profession. It felt harsh.
Hannah, you, like Zoe, are entitled to your opinion. I don’t normally comment on these sort of things but given your advice to Zoe to be more “mindful and educated prior to discrediting a profession” I though I would just correct a few issues that arise in your response.
Your point about Physio’s having “the university credentials to work in all of the WORLDS hospitals” is great. Unfortunately here Zoe is talking about the treatment of pregnant women rather than newborn babies in a neonatal care unit. That’s akin to saying that a lawyer is less qualified because they can’t build your fence. As you would well be aware, health care is about working in your scope of practice, for which treating pregnant women applies to all manual medical therapists, be they Osteo, Physio, Myo or any other modality.
Osteopaths can, and do, train every day, alongside Physios, to become Clinical Pilates instructors. Like Physios, this is covered by Private Health insurance and recognised under AHPRA registration. You stated that Physios do this because they “have a physiotherapy degree and levels of professional development that need to be obtained prior to being your pilates instructor. This is world class research based. I hope you are better informed.” Well just for good measure, Hannah, I am pleased to inform you that Osteopaths have an Osteopathic Degree (actually, most have a double degree or a Masters as well) and levels of professional development that need to be obtained prior to being your pilates instructor. This is world class research based. I hope you are better informed.
At the end of the day Zoe had success with her Osteo and there are plenty of people every day who have had similar experiences. Likewise there are plenty of people every day who have had success with Physio or many other forms of health care. This is not about potting one profession over another, it’s about people finding what works best for them in a time in their lives when they are particularly vulnerable.
Hannah you are entitled to your self-autonomy and your choice of health care. As a health professional yourself I hope you can be mindful and more educated prior to discrediting a profession who basis it’s values on healthcare.
Hannah – maybe you should have read the post and the earlier one about SPD and considered the poor care Zoe received at the hands of a physio who didn’t identify a serious condition that continued to worsen and caused her considerable pain. I think it’s fair that she’s skeptical.
I have seen excellent physios, and some pretty average ones. I’ve only seen one osteo who was so great I never went anywhere else. I think it’s probably a mistake to make a blanket call about the quality of care you will receive from any one kind of health professional.
Lots of health professionals can be really condescending to and dismissive of pregnant women, and especially of the pain and discomfort they experience. It’s useful to me, as a pregnant lady, to hear other peoples perspectives on how they might have been let down by health professionals and what they did about it.
I suspect you could offer better care to patients if you were more willing to listen to concerns and feedback rather than go on the defensive like that.
People often turn to the kind of alternative therapies I sense you’re skeptical about precisely because they have bad experiences with mainstream practitioners. I once ignored a GP’s advice about a pelvic pain problem because she though she understood my pain better than I did, and self-referred to an excellent phsyio, who fixed my problem.
Try listening to patients instead of correcting them.
Hi Hannah, I’m sure I’d trust any health professional who doesn’t even know the difference between ‘aloud’ and ‘allowed’.
Hi Zoe, I’ve just found out I am 5 weeks preggers (doesn’t feel very real at the moment) and I know for a fact I have terrible core strength (been told as much by a physio several years ago). I’m not an exerciser and I work in a sit down at the desk all day type job (getting up and walking around is kinda frowned on as it is assumed you aren’t working if you’re walking). I’m really concerned that if this pregnancy sticks I am going to be facing some serious problems in the core and pelvic departments. Can you or any of your gurus offer any advice on where to start?
Thanks for writing such a true and honest post about your personal experience. As an osteopath, pilates instructor, and a mum, I can both professionally and personally relate to your story 🙂 Pelvic girdle pain, and pain associated with postural and other changes in pregnancy are really tough to deal with if you don’t have all the information or not best informed of most appropriate care for you – be that with any allied health or medical professional. So glad you have a fabulous osteopath and pilates instructor to help you through!
Great post for all those out there suffering. I’m on my second pregnancy also, I remember my first pregnancy at 9 weeks, woke up one morning thinking wholly shit I need a physio appoint right now I’ve done something to my back/hip/leg. Osteo, pilates ( for about 5 years) is all that got me through. It wasn’t pretty. This time I was determined to beat the beast. I got to 19weeks and bang there she was, pelvic girdle pain. Hit rock bottom one morning, i couldn’t walk, crying couldn’t get my 2.5yr old dressed, had to ring my Husband to tell my son to get dressed. Getting into the car.. wow. Ouch. Was a shitty say! Off to the physio I went! Exercises much like yours along with a taped up back was all that got me through the next 3 weeks. Geeze I was panicking about how much longer i still had to get through and with a toddler this time!! But with management I’ve got on top of it, I’m beating it, except when I roll over in bed ( horrendous pain) I’m doing good. 32 weeks now and praying, exercising and hopeful I can get to the end without it coming back as bad it was at 19weeks. Thanks for your fabulous post, there are a lot of women out there suffering yet it’s still not really known of!
Hi Zoe, thanks for the awesome post! I would love to hear if anyone has any recommendations for similar services based in Sydney?
Hi Jules, see my post below with Sydney recommends. I highly suggest a visit to AJ Physio in Bondi. Alison Hui has saved me!
Thanks so much for this post and your first SPD post Zoe!
I had diagnosed myself the day before I read this article sent from a friend, then reading it scared me and also reassured me that there are things I can do and I’m not alone. Although it is ‘common’ and my OB said people get this all the time – Every mom I knew has never heard of this – so I felt really alone being a 1/300 woman to get SPD!
I got it at 23 weeks and have seen 3 physios, an acupuncturist and myotherapist. I’m 37 weeks now – not long to go, but it’s been a long, dark and hard journey!
I thought I would share my experience here and also some Sydney references – as I was almost considering moving to Melbourne just so I could use your magical wizards!
I won’t mention the first physiotherapist, but the last 2 have been great – Art of Health and Wellbeing in Leichhardt are great – their whole clinic is dedicated to preggos, so you can get all sorts of beautiful services there. I had physio with Eleanor and acupuncture with Mel who is a child birth angel!
After a while I was recommended by a friend to go to AJ Physio in Bondi aka The Pelvic Centre. This place is great – I find their practice is progressive and they look at internal and external factors to loosen tight muscles, strengthen muscles and decrease pain. They also have an in house pilates centre. I was a bit late coming to them, so didn’t get into pilates, but I wish I did and would do it next time.
I also had myotherapy massages at Hills Myotherapy – Judy was a miracle worker! A bit out of the way, but I was temporarily living close by at the time. I’m sure there are others out there just as good.
I didn’t get around to osteotherapy, but I would try this if I was to go through this again.
I was a victim of not just the obvious evil relaxin hormones, but also sitting down a lot for work, bad posture, and inconsistent fitness/exercising. In my experience I had good days and bad days, but my keys to coping with SPD are:
– good physio treatment
– proper targeted massages, acupuncture
– pelvic belt, compression tights, epsom salt baths, magnesium, spikey balls, fit ball, good shoe inner soles to support
– calm breathing through pain – especially those bed turns and getting up, and meditation
– keeping the weight even – always check your posture and balance. By week 30 I could only sleep on a recliner chair with butt cheeks even. Sleeping on my side was excruciating
– strength – doing pelvic floor, core, inner thigh and glute exercises at home daily
– changing strategy or seeking other help if it doesn’t get better – something I really took from Zoe’s article – don’t stop trying!
– know your limits – I hated that I couldn’t go for walks or do preggy belly gym, but I just had to listen to my body and try other specified exercises and wait it out
I don’t think I could go through all of this again…I don’t know. It also does rack up a hefty amount of medical bills!
The only thing I have to get through is the labour – I’m quite nervous about this unknown with SPD – if anyone has any advice on this – besides having a c-section – anything that helped, that you wouldn’t do again… that would be much appreciated!
Thanks so much, Ana! I am 29 weeks and in a world of pain. My previous physio just wasn’t treating the problem so I’m off to Bondi to AJ Physio! I really appreciate the tips and hope you’re doing well and your birthing experience went well. Kathy xx
Amazing post! It’s wonderful to know how much pilates has helped in your pregnancy woes.
Wow Zoe! Your second pregnancy sounds like it was quite a journey.
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