A friend I have known for years is expecting her first baby. This is very exciting and I was thrilled to visit with her today. I learned that she is having some discomfort in her back and hips. This entry is for her because as I thought about it I realized had I known someone who separated her pelvis during childbirth I would have been a bit on edge if I was feeling pelvic discomfort early in pregnancy.
This link from BabyMed explains the hormonal changes that happen in the first trimester of pregnancy and why most woman who experience pelvic discomfort early on are feeling what they feel.
But, as the Pelvic Partnership explains, pelvic PAIN that prevents you from standing on one leg, climbing stairs, sleeping on your side or otherwise functioning normally is not normal. If what your feeling reaches that level, seek the advice of your OB/GYN or midwife.
Meantime, there are exercises that are safe for almost every pregnant woman that can strengthen pelvic muscles and help to prevent both pelvic pain and injury. The Cleveland Clinic recommends these exercises for all expectant moms. Pay special attention to the one called the Tailor Sit and the Tailor Press. As a very young child I was taught that it was more ladylike to sit with both knees bent at one side of the body and I have never sat criss-cross as the Tailor Sit shows. In talking with my physical therapist the other day about my flexibility level in that position, she wondered if a lack of flexibility in those key muscles may have contributed to my injury. Stretch now.
I wish I would have known about these exercises during my pregnancy. I read a lot of books and did Zumba until I was more than seven-months pregnant, but I never encountered advice related to the pelvic muscles beyond doing Kegel exercises. I did a ton of Kegels, both before and after labor and I’m pleased to report that I haven’t peed because of a sneeze since my son was about two months old.
But if a Tailor Sit and Tailor Press could have kept my symphysis in tact, then I want every pregnant woman to at least know about them.
Be well, and remember what happened to me is estimated to happen to between 1 of 300 to 1 of 30,000 women who give birth, depending on the source. Please don’t let my situation keep you from enjoying your pregnancy.