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Symphysis Pubis Disfunction - ouch!

(24 Posts)
wmf Wed 16-Oct-02 14:19:49

I'm 31 weeks pregnant and have just been diagnosed with this. Has anyone any experience of it? I'm particularly concerned about positions for labour and what happens afterwards.

(SPD is when the joint at the front of your pelvis loosens too much during pregnancy.)

PamT Wed 16-Oct-02 15:37:36

I don't know much about it but from what others have said you need to be referred to a physio for exercises, best ways to move and advice about the labour. Your midwife should be able to point you in the right direction or get you a referral.

grommit Wed 16-Oct-02 15:40:41

I had this at the end of my pregnancy and courl barely walk! It is very painful. I don't think this caused any problems during labour and it disappeared shortly after the birth. I know it sounds a bit OTT but I found crutches the only way to relieve the discomfort. There is a WEB site dedicated to sufferers - I will try to find the address for you

grommit Wed 16-Oct-02 15:47:08

wmf - I just checked - there are quite a few sites - just use a search engine like to find out more...

leese Wed 16-Oct-02 18:15:45

wmf - you should be referred to a physio. she can give you a support to wear around your abdomen (not very sexy, but may be helpful!). In all honesty tho', this will not really improve until you deliver. It can be very debilitating, and difficult to get those who have never experienced it to understand.
The physio should also go thru positions in labour with you - there are some you should avoid. You shouldn't open your legs too widely whilst semi recumbent, and should avoid the use of stirrups if possible.

ariel Thu 17-Oct-02 13:03:21

I have 3 children, the youngest is 8 months, i never suffered with spd in my first or second pregnacy, but i did with the third, it started very early on and it was very painfull, i was referred to a physio which helped alot.She showed me how to sit, lie down, get up ,get in and out of a car along with alot of other things to limit the amount of pain i was in, i was given a very unatractive support band which i wore around my bump, but it helped alot. Labour was ok , i tried to limit the amount of time i had my legs too far apart, thankfully withen a week of delivery the pain had completly gone, i do completly sympathise with anyone who has suffered with this.

pupuce Thu 17-Oct-02 22:08:29

There are several threads on this, just do a search and type : pubic bone pain or SPD
Good luck

P.S. The pain is mainly during pregnancy (no real issue during labour)... and somewhat after birth but it then receeds (sometimes slowly)

pupuce Thu 17-Oct-02 22:12:16

Oops Leese - just read what you wrote.... I was in stirrups during my first labour at one point and suffer from heavy SPD... I don't think you actually feel SPD in labour ... some pains are stronger
And just to reiterate what I have posted on other threads... osteopath is far better than physio at treating this, even some physio will admit to that, except they are under the NHS and the others aren't... so you have to pay... but what is 30£ but it will make you feel better so I think it is worth it!

Harrysmum Thu 17-Oct-02 22:22:09

Hi, I was diagnosed with this at 26 wks after several weeks of discomfort increasing to crippling pain. It's not as constant as a friend of mine had; it does seem to come and go (but have just worked out that this having been a good week may have been because I have been off sick with a tummy bug and doing not v much beyond sleeping...). Physio said that it takes up to six months post delivery for all of the hormone (relaxin) to leave your body. Fingers crossed for a shorter time than that. Hope you find the support that you need (still looking for an osteopath)

pupuce Thu 17-Oct-02 22:29:02

Harrysmum, isn't there a society of Osteopaths you can call and ask for one near you who specialises in pregnant women ?
Mine was fab I have to say. He was recommended by several midwives.In both my cases the pain got milder and milder but the very big discomfort was gone 4 weeks postpartum. I could still feel it but not in a disrupting way. I suffer from EDS* which is why I get SPD.
* Before I get asked : Ehlers Danlos syndrom... to do with very very bendy ligaments.... not helped in pregnancy !

pupuce Thu 17-Oct-02 22:31:27

Harrysmum, isn't there a society of Osteopaths you can call and ask for one near you who specialises in pregnant women ?
Mine was fab I have to say. He was recommended by several midwives.In both my cases the pain got milder and milder but the very big discomfort was gone 4 weeks postpartum. I could still feel it but not in a disrupting way. I suffer from EDS* which is why I get SPD.
* Before I get asked : Ehlers Danlos syndrom... to do with very very bendy ligaments.... not helped in pregnancy !

pupuce Thu 17-Oct-02 22:31:38

Go here :

canbloved Tue 15-Jul-03 00:22:47

I also use the belt and crutches that dont realy help, i still suffer if its not from cramps in my back and legs, its swelling of my privates(that have to be iced every 3 hours) so i have a hard time walking numbing of the thigh, sweling of the feet,i can hardly walk or sleep.(i cry most of the time) Im sure my G.P. is sick of me, my midwife hardly returns my calls.I cant wait for my body is mine once more.

boyandgirl Tue 15-Jul-03 09:43:12

Oh you poor thing! Sending sympathy vibes...

My friend used to build a nest in bed so that she could rest on her side, with a pillow supporting her bump, another supporting her back, and a third between her legs. Strangely she said that it was the only way she could get comfortable in the heat.

canbloved Thu 17-Jul-03 09:30:09

I cant believe that ive been told this late in my preg..... that i am now considered HIGH RISK.. and no longer able to have a water birth. im 37 weeks along and have been preparing for this, they say its because of spd. Help me is that true. i cant see my self on some bed lying on my side with my leg up pushing, i love water its the only time i feel relaxed. Please LADIES HELP ME i need some thing to tell these doctors!!

pie Thu 17-Jul-03 09:50:35

canbloved, what a load of s**t. I am 27 weeks today, have had SPD since I was 12 weeks and I'm in a wheelchair.

The SPD in itself no way makes you high risk, and as for water, it is thought to be very helpful in SPD.

I started a thread recently here about SPD and birth. Most would be lucky to have it recognised but I think your medics are going over board. Yes they should be taking precautions, but not freaking you out.

Download the Info booklet at . It says that water shouldn't be considered if the pain is severe, so obviously there is no set rule. Its up to you how much pain you are in and can stand in the water. If it helps then the water will be a bonus in bearing the weight of you body and so taking the pressure of your pelvis.


pie Thu 17-Jul-03 10:32:40

Also meant to point out that women on this board, such as motherinferior had homebirths with SPD, so I'm wondering what your doctor's definition of 'high risk' means. Possibly any birth were they might have to do extra work

Gumdrop Thu 17-Jul-03 13:25:55

Oh huge sympathy, I had SPD for the second time round and it hurt like hell.

What I found comfortable for labour was kneeling by the side of a bed with my knees cushioned on a bean bag for the early stages. Being upright also seemed to make it go a lot quicker.

For the latter stages the MW originally wanted the "spatch cocked chicken" pose, lean against pillows at end of bed, heels up to bum. As soon as she started trying to move me into it, I started shouting "No, no turn me over", and bless him, DH insisted they comply, so I ended up kneeling up holding onto the bed head.

I found this put massively less amounts of strain on the front of my pelvis.

Good luck.

boyandgirl Thu 17-Jul-03 15:11:25

canbloved - that is utter bollocks! OK, I'm not a midwife, but I had SPD in my last pregnancy and several other things too (don't wnat to make myself *too* recognisable!) and wasn't high-risk. I wanted a water-birth but didn't make it, and gave birth on my side instead. It was far more comfortable than the spatchcock position that gumdrop describes (good name for it) which is how I gave birth first time around, and I think that position may have been an influence on my developing SPD second time around.

Don't let 'them' browbeat you. You're entitled to a second opinion - as many as you want. Perhaps Mears can help you out here (she's a midwife and will know where you can look for advice).

As for water, you can still use it during labour. I was in the bath several times before we decamped to the hospital. *Very* helpful. And if I have another baby then, unless I can get to abirthing pool in time (another story) then I definitely want to deliver on my side again.

smartie Thu 17-Jul-03 21:16:06

I too had spd with my third and needed crutches to get about confidently. I was told by a midwife that a water birth would be best for the very reasons described below, support etc. Anyway some other labouring mother got to it before I did, leaving me only the bath, not a bad substitute, the actual birth gave no other extra pain that was recogniseable apart from the obvious.

I too used three pillows, in the posiotions described by boyandgirl, they were marvelous. In fact I became quite attached to them!

After giving birth I suffered with milder, but still debilitating pain for several months, was told this was because I was bf-ing meaning my body was still producing relaxin, the hormone that relaxes our ligaments in preparation for labour. Why does it prepare prematurely?

On a brighter note a friend of mine with 5 (!) children suffered with the 2nd and 3rd but not the last two.

Thinking of you canbeloved, not long to go, good luck!

pie Thu 17-Jul-03 21:38:35

smartie, out of interest, who told you that you were still producing relaxin when breastfeeding? Relaxin is produced by the corpus luteum, decidua and placenta, so that means ONLY when you are pregnant or have ovulated. I have heard of some women being told that b/f made it worse and not to do it. But as far as research goes there is no correlation.

Just curious as to who told you though. As with what is going with canbloved being told that SPD means no water and puts her at high risk and the info on relaxin there still seems to be alot of misinfo going on.

Glad you b/f despite the info though

pupuce Fri 18-Jul-03 18:27:28

I agree water birth helps a great deal in SPD.... and I did not find BF made my SPD worst as it slowly went away.

motherinferior Sat 26-Jul-03 15:56:19

Not only did I have a home birth, I had a water birth. At less than 38 weeks. And I'm 40. Water helped me get the baby out with three pushes.

boyandgirl Sun 27-Jul-03 15:18:36

canbloved - how are you doing? Any improvement now that it's no longer quite so hot? And have you managed to de-high-risk yourself? Hope things are going well for you.

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