Pelvic Floor

Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy


Are you suffering from Pelvic Girdle Pain?……10 tips that will really help .


PGP can really take the fun out of pregnancy. However if you follow a few simple rules you can really take control again.


1.         Do not stand on one leg. Now you’re probably thinking, well I don’t stand on one leg, but trust me you do, and much more than you think! For example, every time you put your knickers/socks/trousers/boots on etc you need to be sitting down. Moving something left on the floor by sliding it with one foot also constitutes standing on one leg……… Resist ladies!


2.         Both legs need to go in the same direction at the same time (obviously walking is the exception to this!).  So when you get out of the car, first slide the seat back as far as it will go and swing both legs out at the same time (sit on a plastic bag so you swivel easily). Turning over in bed is the same, keep both knees together so both legs roll over at the same time.


3.         Avoid wearing heels. They tip all your extra weight forwards onto the front of your pelvis and that leads to a grumpy pelvis every time. Sorry, it’s just the way it is.


4.         Take shorter steps and walk slower. Most of us love to walk at a fair ole pace but it’s unkind to a pelvis that is adapting to having an increased load. Learn the skill of walking slower to keep a painfree pelvis.


5.         Limit stairs. As you can’t go upstairs without standing on one leg, stairs are the enemy to a woman with PGP. Plan, delegate, and limit as much as possible. Your pelvis will thank you at the end of the day.


6.         Decrease the load you carry. The more weight your pelvis has to carry the more likely you are to get pain. As no one can help you carry the baby around,  delegate some of the other stuff you lug from A to B.


7.         Give up work earlier than you think. I know this is a controversial one but often that last month is more tiring than you can imagine and a long commute can often aggravate PGP. Maybe you can negotiate working from home one a day a week?


8.         Bump lifts. This is when you lift the weight of the baby out of your pelvis by using your abdominals. It’s such a useful skill to employ when getting out of a chair, rolling over in bed or when you are just standing to relieve pain in your pelvis.


9.         Pace yourself, regular rests to take the weight off your feet/pelvis are better than having a whole morning on your feet and then crashing in the afternoon.


10.       Exercise. Keeping strong is always a good idea. The pelvis tends to love symmetrical exercises, including things like squats, making the sure the legs don’t go too wide. Breaststroke tends to aggravate PGP, so use a float between your legs and just do the arms so you can keep exercising.

Sally Murray, Resident Women's Health Physio @ The Derbyshire Sporting Joint 

Three exercises that every pregnant woman should be doing


So, pregnancy is all rather incredible, the way the body changes and adapts to be able to grow another person inside you is all rather amazing! However, even with the easiest pregnancy the pelvic area suffers a lot of strain. These 3 exercises will help keep the front, back and underneath of your pelvis in tip top condition.


1.     The underneath bit of your pelvis is known as your pelvic floor and is basically the area between your tailbone (at the back of your pelvis) and your pubic bone (at the front of your pelvis). It’s essential for soooo many things so don’t put this one off ladies, you’ll thank me I promise. Start off sitting for this one.

 Squeeze round your back passage as if you’re trying to hold in wind, now squeeze as if you are trying to stop a tampon falling out, then squeeze as if stopping yourself from having a wee. Always start the contraction in that order (ie. from the back to the front). Hold the contraction for 5 seconds, relax for 5, then repeat x10. As you get stronger, build up the length of time you can hold each contraction for, aiming to hold for 10 seconds each time (and likewise if 5 seconds is too hard then hold for less).


2.     The back of your pelvis gets a bit stiff and tilted as your pregnancy progresses and it will love you forever if you give it a marvellous stretch. Stand with your back against the wall and knees slightly bent. Now put a finger on your sticky out hip bones at the front of your pelvis (well they used to stick out anyway!). Tuck your tailbone forwards through your legs and feel the small of your back flatten against the wall. As you do this you should feel the bones under your fingers rock upwards. Then relax and let your tailbone stick out behind you and the hip bones will move forwards and down. Keep repeating this rocking motion 10 times or until you feel your back loosening off.


3. Now, clearly once you move into your second and especially third trimester your abdominals have rather a challenging time! Doing a few ‘bump lifts’ every day can really help your abdominals cope and also take the strain off your back. Simply put your hands underneath your bump and lift it up towards your nose. Now engage your abdominals to keep your bump up whilst you take your hands away. Hold for the count of 3 then slowly lower the bump down. Once you get the feel of the bump lift you won’t need to use your hands at all and can simply lift the bump and lower solely using your abdominal muscles. Try doing 10 reps a couple of times a day.

Good luck ladies! And remember, if you find you are experiencing pelvic or back pain or struggling with stress incontinence then do book in to see your local Women’s Health Physiotherapist. The solution is often simpler than you think 😊


                                                                                             Sally Murray

                                                                                             Resident Women's Health Physio                                          

                                                                                             @ The Derbyshire Sporting Joint