Congratulations, you’re pregnant! Whether this is your first rodeo or you’re a seasoned mama, learning that you’re expecting often comes with a rollercoaster of emotions.
From weepiness, excitement, and anxiety to that sudden “Holy-Moley, I’m gonna be a mom” realization that seemingly comes out of nowhere, there’s no denying that pregnancy can be a real trip — emotionally. And to make matters worse, pregnancy can also cause physical pain, due to the weight of a growing belly.
One such pain is pelvic discomfort, which affects up to one in four pregnant women. It can happen at almost any point during pregnancy.
Not to worry, though; 8 Sheep Organics is here to help! In this post, we’ve put together the best remedies to help you combat pelvic pains and find relief. So, if you’re searching for tips and tricks to soothe your pelvic discomfort – keep reading!
But First, What Exactly Is Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?
Pelvic Pain in pregnancy used to go under the moniker of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD), but seeing as it affects all the joints of the pelvis — and not just the symphysis pubis — healthcare professionals now refer to it as Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP).
Your pelvis (AKA groin area) refers to the lower half of your torso and is made up of a few different bones, including the following:
- Ilium (hip bones)
- Sacrum (lower spinal area)
- Coccyx (tailbone)
- Pubic bones
As you can imagine, this area will experience a lot of changes throughout your pregnancy because it’s where your uterus (AKA womb) is located. And as a result, it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to feel some unusual sensations or discomfort in their pelvic region.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain is not for the faint of heart. It can feel sharp or crampy — like intense period cramps. It may be sudden and debilitating, dull and constant, or some unpleasant combination of the two.
You might also feel severe pain over the center of your pubic bone, across your lower back, in your thighs, or your perineum.
Simply put, pelvic pain affects everyone differently.
That said, some of the most common signs and symptoms of pelvic pain include:
- Heavy pressure in the pubic area
- Clicking sensation or snapping sound in the pelvis
- Pain that radiates to the legs
- Intense, sudden spasms
- Sharp, stabbing pain
- Ligament pain
- A stretching sensation
- Pain triggered or made worse by everyday activities, such as walking, rolling over in bed, standing up too fast, or other sudden movements
It’s important to note that pelvic pain is different from stomach pain, which typically occurs higher up in the torso.
Can Pelvic Pain Affect the Fetus?
You can relax, mama — your pelvic pains will not harm your growing baby. It may, however, create additional discomfort during labor and delivery.
But don’t worry; there are several things you can do in preparation to try and prevent as much pain as possible.
For example, prenatal yoga can help you manage your pain through relaxation and breathing exercises which you may find especially helpful during your labor.
Pregnancy Pilates is also a great choice as it can help improve your posture and core stability while strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
What Are the Common Causes of Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?
Thanks to a growing baby, and the pressure caused by your body making room to pass through your pelvis, pelvic pain is a common complaint for many moms-to-be.
And interestingly enough, it’s not just the third trimester when these aches and pains make their debut. Some pregnant women also report pelvic discomfort in the first and second trimesters. That said, the cause behind pelvic pain can be tricky to pinpoint, but some of the most common culprits include:
- Increases in the baby’s weight — especially during the first trimester
- Body changes — such as the curvature of the spine to accommodate the baby’s growth
- Hormonal changes — thanks to the secretion of the hormone relaxin, joints and ligaments can loosen to prepare the pelvis for delivery
- Infections — like a urinary tract infection (UTI), gastrointestinal infection, or appendicitis
What Can Pregnant Women Do To Combat Pelvic Pain?
Dealing with aches and pains in your pelvic area? Here are five remedies that may help:
Generally speaking, the more you can rest — the better. Listen to your body; if you feel like you need to rest in the middle of the day, get comfortable and take a nap.
Making a tiny human is a lot of work, so remember to make time for yourself and relax. Ask your loved ones to help you around the house with daily chores, especially those that aggravate your pelvic pain.
Physiotherapy is a type of therapy that aims to help relieve pain, improve muscle function, and enhance pelvic joint position and stability. It is a common — and safe — treatment for pregnant women dealing with discomfort in the groin area.
Although treatment may vary, depending on your physiotherapist, it’s likely to include:
- Hands-on therapy
- Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)
- Techniques to improve the flexibility of the pelvis and lower limbs
- Strengthening for the spine and abdomen
Aromatherapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and osteopathy are other great options you may consider.
#3. Take a Warm Bath
There’s nothing quite like a warm bath to wash away your troubles when it comes to aches and pains. Warm water can be oh-so-soothing, but the key to safety is ensuring the temperature doesn’t go above 100 degrees.
Why? Because an elevated body temp poses a risk for your little one, that’s why! So if you’re taking a dip in the bath to ease your pelvic pain, do so in H2O that’s warm — not hot.
For an extra boost of soothing goodness, we recommend our Therapeutic Bath Salts. Made with 100 percent clean, natural ingredients such as Himalayan Pink Salt and dried flowers, this indulgent salt blend will help to calm muscle aches, pains, and tensions while leaving your skin silky-smooth. What’s not to love?
#4. Use a Pregnancy Pillow
Pregnancy pillows can help relieve pelvic pressure by propping up your knees and keeping your hips aligned. This is especially helpful for side sleepers because when you catch zzzs in this position, your top leg drags your hip down, resulting in pelvic discomfort.
Snoozing with a comfy-cozy pregnancy pillow between your knees can relieve this pressure.
Pro Tip: Don’t have a pregnancy pillow? A long pillow will do just fine.
#5. Get a Pregnancy Massage
Certain muscles (like the lower back) can become tight during pregnancy while other areas (such as the glutes, hips, and core) stretch in preparation for delivery. Consider getting a prenatal massage to relax pelvic pain caused by tight muscles.
The boost in circulation will not only ease your discomfort but may also help improve your sleep.
Although pelvic discomfort can be a pain — literally — it’s usually not something to worry about.
As your organs make room for your developing baby, pregnancy hormones drastically change, and ligaments stretch, leading to aches and pains in the groin area. Not to worry, though; as soon as your precious bundle is born, your discomfort should begin to disappear.
If you’re dealing with pelvic discomfort, you don’t have to spend the next nine months in discomfort. Try any of the remedies listed above and remember to take it easy – you’re growing a small human, after all!