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How to relieve pelvic pain in pregnancy

One condition that I have come across in clinic lately is pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy. Most women will experience some degree of pregnancy girdle pain in pregnancy and I often get asked why it occurs & how it can be managed.

The pelvis can be flexible & mobile during pregnancy as this prepares the body for birth & allows for baby to engage & descend through the pelvic structures.

There is also a change in the centre of gravity & weight shift forward as your pregnancy progresses and this can make the pelvis sensitive under the pressure of these changes in pregnancy.

Pelvic pain is commonly felt at the front over the pelvic joint or at the back of the pelvis along the sacral joint. There are few ways that pelvic pain can be managed and these involve:

  • Adjusting your day to day activity by reducing the size and speed of your steps & taking care when turning not to pivot on one leg. Taking one step at a time and avoid crossing your legs can all help to prevent aggravating the pelvis and the surrounding ligaments & muscles.

  • Sleep in a well supported position with a pillow between the knees to steady the pelvis and roll gradually in bed, keeping shoulder, hip and knees in line.

  • Move well in pregnancy by gently rocking hips on a fit ball using a figure eight to improve pelvic flexibility. Your cat and cow stretches are ideal to relieve that forward weight shift as well as reduce that pressure on the pelvic structure. Exercising or floating in the water (ocean pool) can also offer relief to pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy.

  • Strengthening your pelvic floor and core muscles will help to support and strengthen your pelvic girdle and offer some pain relief.

  • Applying heat to your lower back and pelvis can be beneficial when pelvic girdle pain flares up.

  • Wearing an external pelvic support belt or band can provide relief from pelvic girdle pain as well massage to provide much needed relaxation and relief to those pelvic muscles and structures.

If pelvic girdle pain is effecting you in your pregnancy, don't hesitate to give any of these suggestions a go and come in for a pain relieving pregnancy massage.

Author: Kyla Mayer, Chinese Medicine Practitioner. Kyla began her acupuncture journey in 2007, when she embarked on her 4-year, full time training that included an internship in BeiJing. After graduating from UTS in 2010 and working in many styles of clinics it was very clear that her passions lie in women’s health. Women’s health has been the focus of her practice for the last 8 years and with already being a practising midwife for the las1 17 years, combining her acupuncture and Chinese medicine knowledge with her midwifery skills happened organically.Find out more about her work HERE.


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