Wednesday, 29 June 2011

The Dreaded SPD

When I was about 5 months pregnannt, I started to get a really uncomfortable burning pain in my pubic area when I stood still for any period of time. It sort of felt like my bikini line had been waxed (!) and would go all tingly and numb.

Passing it off as some new MS symptom (it's dead easy to do that!) I left it a while but it got steadily worse. I obviously mentioned it to my midwife, who was a bit concerned by the numbness aspect. She thought it was likely to be SPD, but as someone who didn't know a great deal about MS, didn't want to rule out it being a symptom.

I eventually saw a consultant about it, who confirmed that it was SPD - Symphysis Pubis Dysfuntion. It was not pleasant, I can tell you that! SPD is when the ligaments in the pelvis soften, causing the pelvis to come apart a little too much. The process is meant to happen in pregnancy to obviously make your pelvis pliable for birth, but with SPD the body takes the process a little too far.

My aunt had also suffered from it with her pregnancies, and ended up on crutches, so being diagnosed with it obviously didn't do a lot to lighten my mood. I have a tendency to imagine the worse case scenario happening. However it's a lot more common than I thought, affecting roughly one in four women at some stage during pregnancy.

The pain would become intense in certain situations (such as standing, or walking, oh and sitting for a long pretty much all the time!!) but I found ways to alleviate it, and I was given exercises by a physiotherapist to do at home. Bouncing on my birthing ball always helped, I suppose because it was something soft to sit on and the movement stopped me from stiffening up. The exercises I had to do at home involved small stretches, but I confess I didn't keep up with them as much as I should have. I'm not very good at motivating myself to exercise at home!

MS, pregnant, girl or boy
The most ineffective SPD support band....ever.

------- AFTER BIRTH ---------------------

My hips were worse right at the end of pregnancy (which is to be expected in any case) but once I had given birth to Lib it had pretty much disappeared within a couple of days. Such a relief!