It’s no secret that pregnancy can make a woman feel uncomfortable like nothing else on Earth. From achy legs to sore feet and right through to daily back pain, the toll pregnancy takes on the body is pretty huge. And it’s not only the extra weight that causes problems, but also the way in which the body changes shape and produces so many more hormones at the same time. Of all the discomfort suffered however, perhaps the most common of all is pelvic pain and pressure. Read on to learn how you can deal with this problem.
Pelvic Pressure During Pregnancy
As unfortunate as it may be, pressure and discomfort are natural and normal effects of pregnancy. As far as pelvic pain and pressure go, it’s all down to the position and weight of your baby –you’re carrying six to seven pounds of excess weight in an area that’s usually free and clear, which in turn makes pressure inevitable. The feeling of pressure in and around the uterus grows as your baby develops, to such an extent that it can become genuinely painful.
Causes. In order to accommodate the growing baby within, the uterus has to likewise grow larger. This in turn reduces the amount of space available in the surrounding area and puts a great deal more pressure on the pelvic region. In addition, pelvic ligaments are stretched during pregnancy which can likewise add to the feeling of pressure and pain.
By the 36th week of pregnancy, the fetus will have reached the lowest part of the sternal bone, which is precisely why this is the time at which pain and pressure tend to peak. The compression of blood vessels and nerves at this stage of the pregnancy also adds to the feelings of discomfort.
When to Worry. As a certain level of pain and pressure is normal, it’s important to understand where to draw the line and when to be concerned enough to seek help regarding pelvic pressure during pregnancy. This is especially true in early pregnancy as most pelvic pressure and discomfort should be felt in the later months. In general, any sharp pains that feel like your pelvis is squeezing should be investigated as they may be early labor contractions. Other danger signs to be on the lookout for include vaginal bleeding or any excess secretion of fluid, cramping or pain accompanying the pressure. If you’re concerned that you baby is either moving abnormally in the womb or has stopped moving as much as he/she used to, it’s also worth having yourself checked out.
You’ll need to have a physical examination in order to ensure everything is as it should be, so book the necessary consultation with your OB/GYN.
How to Deal with Pelvic Pressure During Pregnancy.
There are many things that you can do to relive pelvic pressure during pregnancy:
|Rest||In the later weeks of your pregnancy, you’ll be willing to try almost anything to find relief. It’s at this time that you should indulge in plenty of lying down on your side, or elevating your feet in a sitting position.|
|Gentle movements||You might also want to try gentle walking, swimming or really any other casual exercise that allows you to stretch your back and abdominal muscles.|
|Compress||Cold and warm compresses on the worst affected areas are also safe to try out and can bring real relief, as can making every effort to maintain a healthy posture when standing or sitting.|
|Belly slings||Belly slings can be great for taking some of the baby’s weight away from your aching muscles – ask your practitioner about the best options for you and where to buy one.|
|Massage||You could also book yourself a professional massage with a prenatal specialist, who may recommend further alternative treatment methods like acupuncture.|
|Warm bath||And then of course there’s always the old-faithful of a warm bath, just to help take the weight off your muscles for a few minutes of so.|
Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: Watch Out for PGP
Pelvic pain – also known as pelvic girdle pain or PGP – is extremely common in pregnant women, though scientists are still unsure as to what it is exactly that causes it. It could be something to do with the woman’s change of posture, it could all come down to changes in relaxin levels or it could be something not related to either of these. Approximately one in five women suffer from PGP during pregnancy and the quicker it is addressed and treated, the easier it is to alleviate.
PGP Symptoms. The main symptoms of PGP are back, hip and pelvic pain, along with shooting pains through the buttocks. Some women will suffer the all the symptoms and others will only face one or two.
If affected, even the simplest of day to day activities can make the pain even worse. From casual walks to lying down to simply sitting on a couch, it can all become pretty painful and it’s not as if you can abstain from everything.
PGP Treatment. When you get the impression you might be suffering from PGP, it’s a good idea to bring it to your doctor’s attention right away. The earlier you get started with treatment, the easier it is to deal with and the lower the chances of it getting any worse.
Before treatment begins however, there are some DIY steps you can take to help in the meantime:
- Avoid wearing heels of any kind, favoring only flat-soled shoes.
- Maintain good posture when sitting and standing – use back support cushions if possible.
- Distribute all weight evenly across your body, which mean no carrying anything on one shoulder.
- Avoid as many activities as possible that involve your pelvic muscles, but if you do have to move around in any way be sure to do so gently.
- Try putting a pillow in-between your legs when lying down or sleeping.
- When pain and discomfort set in, try changing your sitting or lying position as often as necessary.