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SPD sufferers - has anyone successfully avoided a repeat of SPD in future pregnancies?

(55 Posts)
CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Wed 02-Apr-08 13:28:22

Is there any way of avoiding SPD, if you've had it with one pregnancy?

For example, has anyone found that Pilates before conception has helped, or yoga, or ... well I'm stumped, but basically is it inevitable or is it avoidable?

I would so love to have 3 DC, and will regret it for ever if I don't, but the pain of SPD scared me, frankly.

schneebly Wed 02-Apr-08 13:30:05

I didnt do anything differently with DS2 but had no SPD second time around - maybe I was just lucky? It might not happen or might not be as bad the next time.

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Wed 02-Apr-08 13:47:58

Did you have any treatment during your 1st pg, eg physio?

jeanjeannie Wed 02-Apr-08 14:40:58

I've not had it 2nd time around and, like schneebly, i've not done anything differently. I did yoga when I got it first time round and found it helped - although I did have to do the opposite to most of the class - as they were all working on opening their pelvic area - while i worked on it being closed. Have done it again this time - but think it's just luck that I've not got it.

i lost a lot of weight between pg's- no return of the dreaded spd until i was in labour- then my hips/pelvis hurt like hell!

ChaCha Wed 02-Apr-08 15:20:00

I had it at 35weeks with DS2 and ended up with crutches and now at 22 weeks am feeling a lot of the pain that i had then but not as bad. I have an appointment with osteopath next week and am hoping that i won't suffer again. Hope you get more replies here, would be interested to know x

ChaCha Wed 02-Apr-08 15:20:01

I had it at 35weeks with DS2 and ended up with crutches and now at 22 weeks am feeling a lot of the pain that i had then but not as bad. I have an appointment with osteopath next week and am hoping that i won't suffer again. Hope you get more replies here, would be interested to know x

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Fri 04-Apr-08 20:54:32

Am starting Pilates, have a hunch it might help.

Califrau Fri 04-Apr-08 21:03:00

I got significantly worse with number 2 and would no way contemplate going through that again. Sorry.

ejt1764 Fri 04-Apr-08 21:06:12

I had it much worse, and much earlier second time around (ended up using a wheelchair by 30 weeks) - I really do think it's luck of the draw.

However, if you do get it second time around, you are much more likely to bang on the table and get treatment for it - my experience this time around was so different, because I refused to be fobbed off.

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Fri 04-Apr-08 21:08:09

Califrau, did your SPD resolve itself quickly after the birth?

I ended up taking 3 months sick leave with my last pregnancy because of the pain, there's no way I can do that again without risking my job, but maybe I'm kidding myself in thinking SPD can be avoided.

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Fri 04-Apr-08 21:10:09

OMG a wheelchair shock. What did you do at night, ejt? Could you sleep in bed, or did you have to sleep upright?

Califrau Fri 04-Apr-08 21:22:10

No it did not. It took 4 yrs to resolve I'm afraid. I wasn't going to answer but you could find my answer so easily by searching the archives anyway. I still had problems when we moved over her. I used to get raging pmt and my hips would throw themselves out of whack EVERY MONTH hmm I saw a gynae over here and I suggested going on the pill for 6 months to "reset" my hormones as it was obvious to me that they were out of whack. It worked. Gynae had "read about SPD once" so was clueless.

agree that my experience was very different 2nd time round. I had the same GP and Midwife but between PGs the midwife had read up on SPD and was also much more BF friendly (as a by the by) and also turned out to be the next door neighbour of a friend of mine. She went out of her way to help me with teh SPD> I had a Mat Physo session v early on, she backed me up with a work parking space and chair etc and I knew what I was in for. PG1 I had only had it for 4 weeks (38-42) and then it lingered niggling for a while after. PG2 I was in agony from 4.5 months. I avoided a wheelchair. I also avoided crutches but mainly cos I had ds1 under 3 and I could not fathom how to handle crutches and him.

ListersSister Fri 04-Apr-08 21:34:22

I had SPD slighttly with dc2 in the last few weeks, and badly with dc3 from 20 weeks. I did pilates until 20 weeks with dc3 (stared about a yr before I fell pg), so it didn't prevent spd, but may have stalled it somewhat.

I agree the pain is frightening, and so hard when you have other lo's to look after.
I found chiropractic of some use, but most effective with the pain was acupunture (despite my initial scepticism). That and really not moving unless I had to go t me through my 3rd pg.

I would do it again as dc3 is obviously so worth it, but the prospect of SPD would terrify me tbh.
Good luck with yout decision - I feel for you.

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Fri 04-Apr-08 21:35:31

Aw shit. And my god, how awful for you sad.

Did you have a natural birth with pg2? I'd be tempted to ask for a CS this time, at around 38 wks.

Do you mean you have maternity physio sessions? That's good. Although they obviously didn't do all that much for you... Did you have a support belt?

thanks for replying Califrau, I'd rather hear the truth, however bad, and make an informed decision about another pg even if it is not good news.

Tigger13 Fri 04-Apr-08 21:35:37

I had it with DS2 and was in agony, nothing really worked, but it went as soon as he was born and only use to get the odd niggle if out running. Now 32 weeks with DC3 and no sign of it yet hmm I also thought twice about 3rd but my broodiness got to much!

I had reflexology regularly with DS2 and that gave some relief.

RubyRioja Fri 04-Apr-08 21:37:46

Nope coudl not avoid, but recovered much faster with help of osteopath (weeks cp months).

Finally went when stopped breastfeeding.

Coco - I haven't exactly avoided it this time but because I know what to look for I'm taking evasive action and it hasn't been allowed to get worse (fingers crossed).

I'm also finding that the level of fitness I achieved between babies is helping me - my legs are still toned and so my pelvis is very well supported and my posture is definitely better these days.

uptomyeyes Fri 04-Apr-08 21:40:55

I had SPD quite badly with DS2 but not with DS3. The only thing I can think that off may have helped was that I was really active when pregnant with DS3, whereas with DS 2 we were having a house renovation and I took to just sitting around relaxing, taking it easy and my pelvis/hips really seized up. Ante natal swimming helped a bit for a day or so after the session. 3rd time round I just walked and walked and walked to keep my pelvis open.

MarsLady Fri 04-Apr-08 21:41:08

Just to let you know... they are now calling it PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain).

Califrau Fri 04-Apr-08 21:43:52

natural birth. EPIDURAL. I know there are others who were MUCH worse than me (check the archives).
I have a friend over here who had never heard of SPD but a mutual friend mentioned that I had had it when she started having problems. I suddenly became the only person she had ever known and I was armed with facts and websites etc which she shared with her OBGYN . She was probably about as bad as me but she ended up with a wheelchair cos this is america - land of the over protected. She then went on to have preeclampsia and had her DD by ECS at 34 weeks. Her SPD melted away as if it was never there. By the time she'd recovered from the CS she was back to normal. I wonder if BFing may have made me worse but I that is something I feel VERY strongly about and I BFd ds2 for 21 months. That was my choice. This friend bottled from the start (as she did with her DS1 - no SPD with that PG but was preemie too so she may have had it had she got to 40 wks)

Califrau Fri 04-Apr-08 21:44:19

I think I prefer that Mars.

RubyRioja Fri 04-Apr-08 21:45:35

That is interesting - I don't think it actually means the same thing does it?

Presumably a body part can be dysfunctional without causing pain? PGP sounds like a whinge, rather than somethign actually wrong!

I think it plays it down - hurrumph!

sweetkitty Fri 04-Apr-08 21:45:54

I'm on pregnancy 3 and it's the worst by far but then again I have two toddlers to look after so it would be as I don't really sit down. In fact it's a catch 22 - sit down and rest you seize up and it's agony getting up or moving your legs, keep active and when you do eventually stop it's worse!

Support belt does sod all just annoys me, had maternity physio last time not that great TBH told me to not lift anything and rest! Am toying between chiropracter/osteopath/physio now anyone saw someone who has actually made it better.

Great article on PGP on babycentre.co.uk

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Fri 04-Apr-08 21:46:25

thanks for all these replies.

Acupuncture I have always been suspicious of, but willing to give it a try.

Ruby, I found my SPD cleared up after I stopped BF last time, even though everyone in the medical profession told me there was no link between the two. But it was instantaneous, so I'm convinced it was not coincidence. If the SPD was very bad, I would be tempted not to BF no 3 for very long.

Interesting to hear that exercise really might help. Even during the pg after the SPD has come on? I stopped moving once the SPD kicked in last time.

Any link with ventouse deliveries? I had a comfortable first pg, then a ventouse, then SPD with no 2.

RubyRioja Fri 04-Apr-08 21:49:17

I suppose it depends on the type of exercise - anti-inflammatories helped me too, so I would think exercise would have made it feel worse.

I bf dd3 for longest but as I mentioned made fastest recover , I think due to oseopth. All twinges went after bf stopped though. Decision needs to be made on balance I think.

Ceolas Fri 04-Apr-08 21:50:02

I didn't have it first time. Had it mildly second and very badly third time. Fourth time I had it for a few weeks early on and then nothing for the rest of the pregnancy.

I wonder if it's having other children to run after/pick up/carry that does it? I had a much bigger gap between 3 and 4 so none of that really. Only other thing I did differently was monthly reflexology

sweetkitty Fri 04-Apr-08 21:50:40

Mine is actually at the back in the sacro-iliac joints so feel like a red hot poker up my bum and also comes down my hips especially the right. Instead of having pain opening legs I have it lifting my legs up and down. Goes the minute the baby comes out though so I'm lucky, no problems with delivery either.

heres the link


ListersSister Fri 04-Apr-08 21:52:13

All my births were natural with no intervention.

I found exercise made my spd ten tons worse (although I did yoga and aqua natal and was very careful).

Like I said before I was sceptical about acupuncture, but it did help with the pain.

Chiro was not as effective with spd as I have found it with other things, but certainly worth a shot...

RubyRioja Fri 04-Apr-08 21:54:30

Apparantly I was unuusal (!) as got pain front and back -ohjoy!

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Fri 04-Apr-08 21:55:59

thanks sweetkitty, for the link.

this is interesting:

If you find turning over in bed becomes very painful the following strategy may help. Try sitting up directly from lying on your back. This actually moves your pelvis from an unstable position to a stable, 'locked' position. You may find this difficult to do as your bump grows bigger. If you do manage it, it is likely to cause far less pain. Arch your back and tighten your pelvic floor and lower tummy muscles before moving.

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Fri 04-Apr-08 21:57:43

Ceolas, what was gap between DC 3 and 4?

utterlyconfused Fri 04-Apr-08 22:06:42

I had it with all three pg's. With dc1 I was given faulty advice by a physio, and believed that hot baths and sitting down would help (ha!) and ended up on crutches. Baby was 7lb14. By pg 2 I knew an osteopath and saw him regularly (pain started before I'd even gone public!). It cost me a fortune but he saw me through from week to week - I had a v active 21mth old by that time. He explained it all to me, and that sitting would aggravate whereas lying would alleviate, cold better than hot etc. All about the ligaments becoming inflamed. That baby was 7lbs4. Pg 3 was about as much as I could bear. He was 8lbs15 and I could feel him in my pelvis from about wk 20. I could feel the pressure. With both the first two, the pain (pelvic, that is!) wasn't a prob during or after birth, but with dc3 I thought I was splitting apart, and had to be really careful afterwards too.

I always wanted four children, and I think if I could have been guaranteed a small baby I would have put myself through it again, but as it would it all likelihood be even bigger, there is absolutely no way!!!

Ceolas Fri 04-Apr-08 22:55:47

Just over 4 years, Coco

Ceolas Fri 04-Apr-08 22:57:03

I had the first 3 in just over 3 years!

ejt1764 Sat 05-Apr-08 16:24:57

Coco - although I was in a chair (couldn't walk), I slept ok (ish - was on very strong pain medication to help me sleep), thanks to a wonderful arrangement of pillows (dh was really glad when I was no longer pg, as there was space in our bed for him to turn over! grin

I've also found that it cleared up much more quickly this time, as I had persevered with yoga (and had had acupuncture) throughout the pg. DD is now 6 months old, and I have no regained my former sprightly self.

Incidentally, I had a natural water birth - I was having weekly hydrotherapy sessions at the hospital, and the physio in charge suggested that a water birth might be a good option for me - and she was right!

It was also a vbac - my first birth, I had an induction (and epidural), and ended up having an emergency CS after a failed instrumental delivery - it took me nearly 3 years to get back to normal after that, as I had been unable to feel the pain when in labour, and had done a lot of damage during labour, as none of the midwives who were with me during the birth had heard of ways to help women with spd.

This time around, I was a lot more bolshy (about everything!) - and my recovery has been much better - I am still having some pain when doing certain movements, but, not nearly as badly as with ds.

Also (sorry, this is faffy and rambling!), I bf both ds and dd (dd ex. bf still), and haven't found that it made the spd any worse ... as I said, I think it's the luck of the draw!

Good luck - spd / pgp is no fun - and we have made the decision not to have any more children because of just how bad I am at being pg ... (mind you, I also had hyperemesis with both successful pg, and had 2 mc, so the spd is not the whole story!)

CocoDeBearisCocoDeBear Sat 05-Apr-08 22:51:55

Thanks Ceolas and Ejt, appreciate the extra info. God, it's a horrible condition isn't it?

tomsmom2003 Sun 17-May-09 20:52:42

Hi, just joined as just found out pg with no3 - on purpose ! - despite vowing never again after SPD from about 17 weeks with ds2.

Had ds1 10 days early by induction cos on crutches by then. Paediatric chiropracter was brilliant during and after. Saw him last month and still in fairly good shape and alignment so hoping it won't be so bad.

He said swimming and other exercise to strengthen your pelvic muscles v important.

But I'd go for it anyway cos it's worth it - balance of a few months of pain and blessed baby...

Good luck in making a decision...

Tamlin Sun 17-May-09 21:46:35

I've been seeing a physio since the birth of DS (wish I'd seen her before for the SPD, the NHS physio was rubbish) and she says that breastfeeding helps keep your ligaments loose - everything tightens up faster if you do not nurse. I still did nurse DS for ages, but she told me that I needed to go on taking very good care of my joints while I was doing it.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 17-May-09 21:56:42

I had it with both of my pregnancies, and it came much sooner with the second. I knew what it was, though, and like everyone else, I wasn't she about pushing for treatment second time around. I went to a fantastic NHS physio, who helped me keep it under control as much as possible. That did involve limiting how much I walked, which meant that poor DD1 didn't get out as much as I would have liked. But DD2 was worth it. How much help would you have with your two other DC if you were pregnant? If you have family or friends who would be happy to step in, then that would remove a lot of the fear for me. Not that the pain is much fun, of course.

Good luck with your decision.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 17-May-09 21:57:06

shy about pushing for treatment

Verity79 Mon 18-May-09 20:49:14

I had bad SPD from 24 weeks onwards with my first. I had ligamentus (sp?) pain in the ligaments supporting my womb from 8 weeks that was so bad I was offer MORPHINE. BP would get to 150/105 whilst in pain crisis. I fell down the stairs as DD kicked me and the pain was so bad I lost my footing and fell.

I was wearing 2 belts (strechy wide belt to support bump and take pressure off SP joint and firm narrow belt to hold sacro-ilial joints together) crutches and ended up housebound or in wheelchair to leave the house.

After DD1 was born I had chiropractor treatment ands found out by x-ray that my pelvis was wonky and my vertabrae where all higgledy-piggledy. My legs are also different lengths which exaserbated to SPD by throwing my pelvis out.

I had about 6 months of treatment during which I got pg with DD2. I wore a belt with her right from 6 weeks but the pain was really mild if not non exsistant. I ran for a bus at 7 months with pushchair at that. I did give up seeing the chiro when I was told they would cure my DDs asthma for me....hmm i think you can't do that!

Fast forward to pg. 3 I've had almost no pain and can sit cross legged and alsorts. I wear my belt if I remember but with a 38 month old and an 18 month old I don't remember often!

Oh by the way I was told not to bf by a nursing auxillary as it would make my SPD worse. Didn't heed her advice and am currently tandeming DD1 and DD2 whilst being 19 weeks pg.

I hope you find a way to deal with your SPD and you go on to have as many children and you like!

Triggles Tue 19-May-09 14:02:22

I had SPD with third, and it started earlier and more painfully with fourth at about 16 wks. I got in to see physio the same day - they put me on crutches as my hip was agonising when I walked. Big improvement on the crutches. Used them religiously for about a month, then slowly started going with them a little more each time I felt comfortable and am now only yusing them for longer walks or when I've had a particularly exhausting day. For me, the big difference was getting treatment right away - In my third pregnancy (1st time with SPD) I struggled through it for awhile before getting treatment.

Katypeach Wed 20-May-09 10:55:57

I had SPD with my first baby - symptoms began at 10 weeks and by 23 weeks was on crutches. I was induced as a result and during labour, the baby was in difficulty so my legs were put in stirrups which exacerbated my problems completely.

I was in agony for the first 4 months of DS's life.

Unfortunately DS was 6 months old when I accidently (not planned at all) fell pregnant again. I'm now 13 weeks pregnant and struggling like mad.

It is good to hear that others can manage the condition. grin I've been referred to a pain clinic and have my first appointment this week so hopefully they will be able to give me some pointers!

CazandKy Wed 20-May-09 11:44:28

Hi Coco
I really feel for you. I had severe spd. I developed the first symptoms at just 15 weeks. It started with ligament pain in my groin and I couldn't walk without it really hurting. I got fobbed of by a male doctor who just looked at me and said it's normal cause your ligaments all stretch in pregnancy. Made me feel like I wasted his time. By the time a got to 20 weeks I couldn't even walk around Tescos without nearly crying in pain. Then I started waking in agony at night as I was trying to turn over with a huge clunking from my pelvis. Went back to docs and saw a much nicer lady doctor who refered me for pysio straight away. I can't say that it really helped unfortunately and the support belt they provided did absolutely nothing except dig in and pinch my skin. By 30 weeks I was on crutches and if I needed to be on my feet for more than 5 mins a wheelchair. I become so depressed as it pretty much made me housebound as I was signed of work for the last 3 months of my pregnancy cause I couldn't even walk the distance from my car into the large office building to my desk let along sit upright at my computer every day.
In your question to is it linked to ventouse deliveries, in my case definately not as this was my first pregnancy.
I'm really interested in the replies to your question as I have always wanted more than one baby. I love my Son so much who is now 10 weeks old and would love for him to have a brother or sister in a couple of years but can't bear the thought of ever being pregnant again

Zanynut Fri 06-Nov-09 17:49:31


I've got 2 children ages 8 and 3. I had spd with my first pregnancy and ended up on crutches and unable to go very far. It resolved it's self post birth and i've had a fab 5 years between children but during my second pregnancy it came back sooner and a lot harder. I ended up in a wheelchair and i'm still suffering 3 yrs on and in a wheelchair.

I have found from research that having joint hypermobility seems to be a link in it lasting post pregnancy. I had nautral births both time and breast fed both children.

Good luck with your decision and any forthcoming pregnancy. The key to remember if you decide you wish to go ahead and you get symptoms don't wait get early access to a physio and take it fairly easy (well as much as a mum can).

robino Fri 06-Nov-09 18:01:21

Can't remember who asked but I had chiro when suffering with SPD. It was getting really bad by about 7 months - reckon I'd have ended up on crutches (had a 15 month old as well at this point so no sitting down for me). Went to a chiro who I'd spoken to before appointment and knew about SPD and had done some research and an extra course in ante-natal treatment or somesuch. After one treatment my mum turned around and said "Look, you're walking normally - I hadn't realised how bad you'd got". Carried on having treatment throughout rest of pregnancy and after about 4 sessions had virtually no pain from there on in.

In short, chiro worked for me.

cpanda Fri 06-Nov-09 19:19:02

I have almost completely avoided it this time round by seeing an amazing chiropractor from about 10 weeks. She saw me intensively for the first 3 weeks and suggested that I could have started the treatment before conception/after the 1st birth to 'realign' everything. She has worked such wonders with me that I believe everything she says!

csqm Wed 02-Jun-10 22:41:58

I had PGP (I think that is how they call it when the pain is in you back rather than front!?) for the whole last 3 months of my 1st pregnancy. I am pregnant again and entering the last trimestre and there is not a single day when I fear it may be starting again. So far, I have been OK with just a mild discomfort when in certain positions, hoping it does not show up again as by the end of 1st pregnancy almost could not walk - it felt like I was having electric shocks. Also had to sleep in a sitting position. It was really bad. I had a CS and the pain completely went away whilst still in Hospital. However, my coccyx was really numb for weeks (not sure if related to that?). However, although the pain as I knew it had gone, when doing certain movements like opening my legs in parallel position more than normal - e.g., to go over obstacles on the floor - I was still feeling a bit of those electric shocks! I felt that for quite some time and for a moment feared I would stay like that forever, but it did go away (I cannot remember precisely when, but I believe it may have been by the time I stopped bf..although not sure if there is any relation?...). I did Yoga during 1st pregnancy but was painful and I do not think it helped at all. I also saw an osteopath but his manipulation did not help either. If it comes again, don't know what to do really...

had spd with dc1, got it aboout 30 weeks iirc, was hellish, was told no physio as the waiting list was so long. by the end i could no longer put my own knickers on and had to get dp to help me out of bed.

dc2-i was sooooooo scared of getting it back as dc1 was only 13 months when we found out i was pg again. weirdly no spd whatsoever.

dc3-34weeks now and started getting twinges down below at 6 weeks. got physio refferal at 15 weeks, got given support belt, no use at all. by 20 weeks was in absolute agony. at about 24 weeks to pain eased loads and only real pain was at night in bed. then at about 29 weeks the pain was back tenfold.

am managing at the moment by driving everywhere not walking, by lying down as much as possible with cushions supporting me, taking a high dose of codeine, using crutches, using shopmobility scooters where available and avoiding sex.

am really willing this babe to come early because of the pain im in. down below im very swollen up and icant bear for the mw to feel my pubic bone to measure fundal height because its too sore. getting out of bed in the night a massive problem because as well as the spd pain my lower back seems to fuse during the night, consequently ive had a few near accidents and have taken to sleeping with nothing on my bottom half.

i cant wait for it all to be over and dont think i could ever go through this again.sad
(hoping it goes immediately after birth as it did with dc1)

CMD83 Fri 24-Sep-10 21:53:47

I had it with my first from around wk 25. mostly in the front and underneath i could compare it to being kicked by an iceskate!! I was given a belt by the physio that helped most days. I was able to have a very active birth and deliver my DS who was 8lb 3 with no help. the pain completley disapeared after I'd given birth. I am currently 8 weeks gone with DC 2 and starting to get familiar pangs underneath but also from the top of my bottom down the backs of my legs I think it will be back - hopefully not with a vengance! Good luck to every one xx

loubaby1 Mon 27-Sep-10 12:19:02

I'm so glad i've just found this thread. I've been suffering pain in my groin since i was about 14 weeks pregnant, mentioned it the the midwife and because she told me it was nothing to worry about, i've just put up with it. Now 25 weeks and the pain is constant pretty much and spreading from my groin and now into my bottom too! Thank heavens i have my 25 week appointment tomorrow so this time i will not be fobbed off!

lee69 Tue 28-Sep-10 20:33:04

Can I join in too, Im 27 weeks with no4 and suffering badly, first time I have had this and the pain is awful I have the same feeling of being hit by an ice skate like CD83, managed to get to see physio last week and I was given a huge big tubi grip to put round my bump!!!! hmm which lifts me a little but nothing else, I cant walk very far and when I do I am so slow, been off sick from work for 2 weeks so far and have been advised to take maternity leave at 30 weeks, and it scares the heck out of me to think what the next 13 weeks will be like
First Doc I saw was a waste of time,and kind of shrugged his shoulders as if to say well "what do you want me to do??" I feel so sad sad and fed up.

partyhats Tue 28-Sep-10 21:09:28

its not inevitable you will get it again, I am 30 weeks with dc3 and am fine so far. Had a terrible spd with dd2 and sufferered horribly. I have seen an osteopath a couple of times this time round, maybe that has helped. I have also been using a cushion between the knees at night since about 12 weeks.

loubaby1 Fri 01-Oct-10 14:28:29

I spoke with my GP on Tuesday who was really supportive, referred me straight away to the hospital where i was given a maternity brace which seems to be helping a bit when walking.
Will it definitely get worse as the baby gets bigger? I have a long commute to work and wanted to work to 36 weeks if possible but at the moment the pain is bad and not helped when i don't always get a seat!
Were people able to have normal labours with it?

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