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Does anyone know anything about SPD prevention exercise/measures for subsequent pregnancies?

(11 Posts)
sedgiebaby Fri 29-Jul-11 09:34:55

Not pregnant, but scared about getting SPD if I do given I had it badly 1st time around. Hoping someone might be in the same boat and have some information to pass on, perhaps about pre pregnancy exercise that might help? I'm trying to get hold of my (obstetric) physio without success.

StainlessSteelCat Fri 29-Jul-11 09:53:47

First of all, I had bad SPD with my first, but just mildly with my second, so it's not inevitable! Unfortunately, am now pregnant with my third and it's come back with a vengeance sad

From what my physio has said, anything that strengthens the core muscles/pelvic muscles will help. The particular muscles that will help will depend on where exactly the pain is, or which ligaments are relaxed. Abdominal muscles help stabilize your pelvis and keep you in a good posture. both of which will reduce/mitigate SPD pain to some extent. I have been given some exercises that involve muscles from my waist to my thighs and been told to keep moving - walking in particular with my pelvis in the correct alignment. Aqua natal is also recommended.

Keep trying to speak to your physio, and when you do get pregnant be aware of early symptoms of SPD, if you do get problems the earlier you get help the more they can do for you.

iWILLdothis Fri 29-Jul-11 13:00:10

Swimming and pilates is excellent for strengthening tummy/core muscles, helps hold things together down there.
Also, if you do get pg and find SPD bothering you again, my top tip would be buy a serola belt. It is excellent. I was on crutches with previous pregnancy, but this time, so far, have managed to avoid them and I put that down to the swimming and belt.

sedgiebaby Fri 29-Jul-11 14:30:53

Thanks so much both. I'll get on with some core strengthening exercise. I totally loathe swimming its the whole communal bath thing I can't get over!

StainlessSteel may I ask please, if you think either babies position; your weight gain; babies sex had any bearing on why it was not so bad for the 2nd pregnancy?

Scheherezadea Fri 29-Jul-11 14:43:03

Sorry, but I was told there's nothing you can do, it's down to hormones. Pelvic floor exercises can help lessen the pain, but SPD is due to the relaxin hormone, so you can't prevent it from happening through exercise.

jamama Fri 29-Jul-11 15:02:29

I am a 1st-timer, but have practised Pilates for years, and even did Kegels etc before I was pregnant; I am still suffering (started getting twinges at about 20ish weeks). Swimming does seem to help a bit, but I think as Scheherezadea says, the relaxin has more of a significant effect than muscle tone (I have been endlessly complimented on how good my transverse abs are and how 'neat' my 26wk bump is... not much help when I am contemplating how far it is to walk to the nearest loo and how long I can leave it between breaks so as not to have to walk too far). I don't know how much relaxin levels and response vary from pregnancy to pregnancy, this may be more responsible for variation in subsequent pregnancies than muscle tone. I am hoping to go back to the antenatal physio, but posturally I am doing everything I can to reduce this problem. I am contemplating chiro to see if there is an underlying pelvic misalignment issue - but rather suspect am clutching at straws.

sodthehousework Fri 29-Jul-11 15:19:15

As a Physio who sees patients with pelvic pain I think trying to get your gluts and abdominal muscles stronger before the later stages of pregnancy may help. Pilates is great for this especially if antenatal classes. There are still some hcps who say nothing can be done to help except waiting til the baby is delivered. Frankly this us rubbish but you do need an experienced Physio preferably a womens health specialist and there are not enough of them! I think it's great that you are thinking of how to prevent this before it may be an issue. I am not saying exercising will prevent all women from getting pelvic pain but it's worth a go

HighFibreDiet Fri 29-Jul-11 15:25:30

I had spd to a certain extent in my first pregnancy, worse in the second and worse still in the third pregnancy. I don't think I had a very good physio third time round: she basically gave me a belt and told me to stop doing things that were keeping me fit (but bad for the spd) like walking everywhere - but didn't give me anything to take their place. I already knew all of the standard stuff like keeping your legs together when getting out of a car, keeping a pillow between your knees in bed blah blah. But I had hoped to get a bit more help from the physio and it wasn't really forthcoming. I had a terribly long transition when ds3 was born, probably because my pelvis was misaligned and it took a long time for his head to rotate around. And I had really bad pains down the outside of my thighs, which stayed even in between contractions. I think the combination of having been fairly inactive during the last few weeks, and my pelvis being misaligned, made that labour quite difficult.

This time round I had a brilliant physio who gave me loads of exercises to do: some core strength ones and some stretches (particularly for my glutes and hamstrings as they were getting very tight from overcompensation when I was walking). Not only that but she did some physical manipulation to move my pelvis back into alignment.

I was very diligent about doing the exercises, cut down on walking around and carrying heaving things, but I went on the exercise bike nearly every night as she had said that would be okay for the spd. Also I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and was trying to manage my blood sugar levels with diet and exercise alone.

I first saw her at about 26 weeks, went back at around 34 weeks and she found my abdominal muscle separation had hardly increased at all, so I was very pleased with that.

I started seeing a traditional chinese medicine practitioner at around 34 or 35 weeks, mostly due to the diabetes, but she did some acupuncture for the spd later on as I did start getting some sharp pains towards the end of the pregnancy. I was sceptical about acupuncture beforehand but feel that she did make a difference.

After all this I went 'overdue' by 5 days and still felt so much fitter and healthier than I had done the last time! The spd was really not a problem during labour.

So I would definitely recommend finding a good physio - one that can give you lots of exercises to do and help you to stay fit. And possibly going for acupuncture towards the end.

notcitrus Fri 29-Jul-11 16:13:10

As was explained to me last time round, SPD can be caused both by too much relaxin and also by imbalanced joints that are vulnerable because of a more typical amount of relaxin.
If the latter, physios and osteopaths should be able to help quite a bit.
If the former, you're buggered (ie me in last pregnancy).
And there's a large spectrum between the two.

I was advised not to swim breast stroke (it hurt anyway after ds was a year old) but otherwise any exercise that doesn't twist the pelvis is apparently good for getting fit.
Currently 10 weeks and getting twinges and been referred to the obstetric physio. Will see if they have any advice other than lots of walking while keeping knees together...

KateeTheBump Fri 29-Jul-11 20:32:03

I've found that reflexology has pretty well sorted my spd, I've tried physio (and got pretty well fobbed off I'm afraid), swimming and pregnancy yoga help too and I got a support belt which helped me when I was feeling achy, but I think the cumulative effect of the reflexology has had the biggest impact (have had three one hour sessions) - worth every penny!

wearenotinkansas Mon 01-Aug-11 16:35:46

Strangely, the one thing that helped me this time around was sleeping on a harder bed. Our spare bed has a much harder mattress and I end up sleeping on it by accident - and it was so much better I stayed there for a few days and it seemed to clear up. I even slept on a mattress on somebody else's floor and it seemed to help. I know it's not very scientific - but there you go.

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