SPD – Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, is a layer of hell that Dante left out of his Divine Comedy and I’m calling for a rewrite!
SPD “is a condition that causes excessive movement of the pubic symphysis, either anterior or lateral, as well as associated pain, possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis.” (thank you Wiki) So in layman terms – it feels like your pubic bone is being ripped apart! Lovely isn’t it?! It is probably the most painful side effect of pregnancy I have dealt with thus far, and this isn’t my first rodeo.
You see, there is this great hormone called “relaxin” that is produced during pregnancy to help a mama give birth. It does exactly what its name indicates, it helps things relax so that you can push a baby out of a very small space! However, if you happen to have an overachieving body, you can produce too much and too soon. The result, you too get to experience the joys of SPD. Oh, and by joy, I mean sheer torture!
At first it wasn’t so bad. I thought, well this is annoying but whatever. Then time went on and each day got worse and worse. I’ve come to the realization that by the end of this pregnancy I won’t need to push, she will just fall out! Nothing will be holding her in because my pubis symphysis, will be relaxin so much! See what I did there!
It really isn’t a laughing matter, as much as I want to laugh at my bad joke. It’s sheer pain, but at this point, it’s cry or laugh. I’ve cried. A lot! So I’m giving the laughing a go.
Amidst my laughter, I had decided to go on a hunt for some pain relief, because this is just getting ridiculous! I can’t walk well at the end of the day. I can’t uncross my legs after crossing them because lifting the outer leg causes the most excruciating pain. And, I can’t lay down in bed without having my tail bone, pubic bone, and whatever else is deciding to join the fun, throb in pain. Except the throbbing, is more like stabbing with a red-hot poker!
I had mentioned how much this hurt to EM, which like all men led him to google. Because the man, they fix the things. Except here was the kicker, I was pretty sure I was just broken! That’s it. Broken. There was nothing to be done.
Then the words support belt came out of his mouth. Now while I appreciate the offer, I just can’t. I can’t. It’s hard enough finding clothes that make you feel confident while pregnant, and you want me to add a crotch support?! No thanks buddy! Then he suggested kegels. He said that tightening my pelvic floor would help. I being the snarky poo I am when pregnant, and in pain, I said “what do you know! That isn’t the same thing!” After all, I’m not peeing myself!
Then…I too went off to the google. After all, what did he know! Well he knew I tell ya. He knew! So after finding a great blog, My Natural Baby Birth, I learned that – he was right! So I ate my helping of humble pie and learned some things as I digested.
1) There really isn’t a specific cause, just things that CAN lead to it. Having big babies and poor posture being two of them. Well Bastian was 10 lbs 2 oz at 40 weeks exact and Theo was 8 lbs 13 oz at 39 weeks and 2 days. So small they were not! As far as posture goes – it’s poo! I was a dancer for years and years and years, and yet I have the posture of a camel!
2) Things you shouldn’t do – crossing your legs while sitting, or when laying in bed typing up your blog post. OOPS! But let’s be real for a minute! When you’re pregnant you NEED to cross your legs, it’s cross your legs or risk leaking! Aint NOBODY got time for that! And as fashionable as the postpartum Depends are, mama is NOT going to start wearing those now. So crossed they remain! *side note, have I sufficiently terrified my babyless friends yet?!*
3) Laying on your side is best. Thankfully I still mostly sleep on my stomach. It’s this weird outer leg up 90 degree angle thing. Basically I sleep like a flamingo!
4) Ice it for 15 minutes, multiple times a day. This sounds good, for a first time mom. Because unless I cave and buy the support belt, which I could then Momgyver an icepack into, it just doesn’t seem realistic with two toddlers. Which leads me to the don’t do any jarring moves. I’m pretty sure that’s all I do now-a-days. Theo is getting into EVERYTHING! I’m constantly running to stop him from doing something, sprinting up from sitting to catch him from falling or breaking a glass. So unless I place him in a bubble for the next 12 weeks and 6 days (but who’s counting), I just don’t see how that’s an option.
5) Chiropractic care can help! Now to schedule and appointment and call down angels from above to watch the boys.
6) KEGELS. Yep. EM was right. Kegels or squats! Oddly enough today I woke up feeling as though I had done too many squats at the gym, so I might as well do them since I’m already in the pain they’d cause.
So all in all, there really isn’t MUCH one can do. There are things you can try to do to relieve the pain, which I will try, but I recommend people go check out My Natural Baby Birth for more information and a far more detailed explanation of relief methods.
Pregnancy is amazing, so they say, and in many ways it is! I love feeling our daughter kick, and I love labor – yep I said it – but the discomfort one goes through to grow these amazing miracles, is not a walk in the park. So Dante, I’ll be waiting…
Tell me, have you had SPD? Did anything help you relieve the pain? Please share your secrets!
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