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SPD/PGP sufferers - how am i going to manage 17 more weeks of this pain?

(20 Posts)
PrammyMammy Thu 21-May-09 23:20:43

I need some encouragement, advice, anything from anyone in a similar situation.
I really don't know how i am going to do this. I'm only 23 weeks pg and i can't handle the pain.
Here is my story -
I started getting the odd pain in my pubic area about 4 weeks or so ago, and thought it was just pregnancy niggles, but it gradually got worse. I spoke to my gp last week who told me to go see my midwife, when i spoke to her the next say she sent me to a physio who told me i had spd/pgp and gave me some big belts to wear. My gp then signed me off work for a week.
My work has been so unhelpful, my manager says i can't have a seat because i can't do my job seated and there is nothing else for me to do. I am in pain, it is getting worse by the day. I can't walk more than ten minutes (or slow, snail, shuffles) per day or i am in crippling pain. I went to the shop on Sunday - about 5 minutes away, and when i got home i couldn't physically walk up my stairs. I had to sit out in the garden for about 40 mins till i could manage.
I have to see my GP on Monday again, to see if she will sign me off work again, because my manager says she can't have me working and i need a line.
I can't leave the house because of the pain, sometimes i can't walk. I am scared to move in bed, i wake my self up in pain. I cant have a bath unless my dp is in top help me. I find it so hard lifting my son, playing, putting him in high chair etc. It is getting me down sooo much, there hasn't been a day this week when i haven't cried over this, i don't know what to do.
How will i get by the next 17 weeks?
How did you cope? Will it keep getting worse?

duzida Fri 22-May-09 13:05:56

it is horrible, I know exactly what you mean - I'm 29 weeks and have really bad pain, mainly at front of pelvis and in legs, but since this is my first baby I don't have to look after another child, which must be really hard for you! I also sometimes just cannot get out of the house, or walk 10 mins to the shops and feel exhausted and almost like I've got flu as well as all the pain.

My first visit to hospital physio just got me a belt and some exercises and the message that there wasn't much they could do, but after a couple of weeks I rang the physio back (fortunately she turned out to be really nice and sympathetic, which I'm sure isn't always the case) and begged for another appointment, and since then I have been given weekly physio appointments, crutches (depressing but worth a try), and leg massages which do help a bit more, even if it's only because I feel like someone is listening. If the physio at your local hospital is unhelpful, maybe try being really firm with your GP or midwife and insisting on seeing another one at a different hospital? or finding out if there's an osteopath that you can see - not sure if this is available on NHS, but if private and it works, it might be worth the money, if you can afford it. Your GP/midwife should also realise that this is making you depressed, which is not surprising. My boss said 'hmm, i think you're depressed', and I did think 'of course I am, you idiot'. It doesn't mean you were depressed to start with, but facing weeks of pain and immobility and being disabled, when you're normally fine, is very depressing. I have taken some time off sick because of the pain and lack of mobility, and finally realised this week that since I'm 29 weeks, I can and should start maternity leave early, even though I really didn't want to, and it means less maternity pay/time off after the baby gets here.

some other things that have helped me a bit are getting co-codamol from GP (I had to ask twice, first time the GP I saw said no, not in pregnancy, but the next week I saw a different GP at the same practice and he was fine with it); pregnancy yoga class, having explained about the SPD to the teacher before so she could tell me which exercises I can and can't do; ice packs held over the most painful areas (my crotch - thank god I'm not a work now as I don't think that would go down well); aquanatal classes; or just going to the pool and walking/paddling around, not proper swimming; warm baths; not sitting on chairs - either lying down propped up with cushions or sitting on a gym/yoga ball, which cost about £15 on amazon; using a long maternity pillow in bed to put between legs.

I also tried acupuncture this week, which seemed to make it worse, although other people say it has helped them. This was a private appointment, about £50 and way too expensive (especially if I'd ended up getting it every week), but I've just spoken to my midwife who says that the hospital I'm booked into has an NHS midwife trained in acupuncture, so she's putting me down for an appointment with her...if it comes through, I will give it another try.

All of this took a lot of persistence in asking for - really felt fobbed off the first time I asked GP and saw physio - so it's worth letting them know that you really are in a lot of pain, your life is very difficult at the moment, and that it's not true that nothing can be done.

I've also found that friends are really sympathetic, as most of their pregnancies were fairly straightforward, and that having people come over to see me is really nice, especially when they know in advance that I can't get up and need a bit of looking after.

this said, I also feel like I'm getting worse each week, and am quite daunted at the thought of another 10 or more weeks! I am really really hoping for an early baby - not premature or unsafe, but say 38 weeks instead of 40 or 42! the despair is almost (but not quite) as bad as the pain.

your work situation sounds horrible, is there a union or anyone in HR who can stand up for you? and can anyone (friends, family?) help you out at home when dp is not there? people do say that it gets much better very quickly after the birth, so if you can remind yourself that it's a horrible but temporary disability, whereas some people have much worse disabilities that are never going to go away, and they don't have a lovely baby at the end of it, it can feel a little bit better...maybe!

duzida Fri 22-May-09 13:10:32

p.s. there are quite a few threads on SPD/PGP here on mumsnet so there are definitely other people to talk with, who will have advice! nobody I know in real life has had it, so it's a relief to hear that other people out there have been through it and come through OK in the end

Hawkmoth Fri 22-May-09 13:29:07

You don't have to start mat leave earlier than 36 weeks if you don't want to, even if you are ill. You can be signed off sick up until then... this is what sick pay is FOR!

Now that's out of the way... the only way to cope is to stop doing everything except physio exercises and enough waddling/shuffling to stop yourself from seizing up.

If you get the right exercises and the rest you need, it won't automatically keep getting worse to a catastrophic level.

But it is SHIT. I'm 28 weeks and not as bad as I was last time. I feel like such a failure not being able to drive myself about or go round Asda without swearing and then crying when we get home.

I feel like a time bomb, that every week I get slowly worse... and I hate it.

Triggles Fri 22-May-09 13:34:31

Absolutely do NOT use your maternity leave early !!! SPD is something you can be signed off sick for and then your maternity leave won't kick in until 4wks prior to your due date! That's what I did, and my work fully understood and had no problems with it.

manamana Fri 22-May-09 13:58:47

Just wanted to add my support. Definitely get yourself signed off sick, especially as your boss is being so horrendous. I have a job I love and was gutted when I had to leave early but there is no fighting it, I echo everything everyone has said here - you can't fight it, just do as little as possible or it will get worse and worse... You will get through it but it is horrendous, i was housebound for 3 months in an new area where i had very few friends so was v lonely and depressed, luckily had a very supportive husband and friends who travelled to see me. Physio helped me a lot. And crutches were good too. Partly because they demonstrate to people that you really do have a serious problem and not just a 'bad back' as many people commented when I tried to explain... Take care and accept as much help as is offered. I also had another child who I could barely care for at all by the end of pg and it made me feel awful but we just perfected sitting down cuddles. Also be prepared that you may not snap straight back after birth - although some people do, keep up the physio and keep accepting help and support where offered. Take care <virtual hug>

WowOoo Fri 22-May-09 14:03:58

Just to give you a glimmer of hope...
Mine was quite bad at around 20 wks (not as bad as yours though)
Then, at around 25 wks it really really eased and now that I'm 30 wks has all but gone. Jsut very mild twinges. Trying to take it easy may have helped.

Really do sympathise. I was dreading my remaining pregnancy, thinking I could not cope if pain gets worse.
Needless to say I am a different woman now. Really hope it eases soon for you and jsut goes away like mine did.

PrammyMammy Fri 22-May-09 14:22:05

Thank you so much everyone who replied. Duzida, after speaking to people on here they told me you don't need to take early mat leave. My manager told me that i had to though, and tbh to save the hassle it sounds like a great idea!
Your post was great.
I am seeing my GP on monday, but dreading it. I can't even speak about it without crying, such a baby i am! Mil asked about it yesterday and said it was just part of being preg and i cried for about an hour lol.
Gah it just seems so long until my baby is due!

Hawkmoth Fri 22-May-09 15:14:49

If your manager says that again you should make a formal complaint. Also contact ACAS. That's absolutely disgraceful and she'll get herself in a huge amount of trouble for it.

It's such a huge shock to the system. The pain, the helplessness, more pain and the countdown you get yourself into. Don't worry about crying, expect that you will, and be gentle on yourself.

Get a LONG sicknote off your GP and don't accept any badgering from your boss - tell them you want things done in writing through HR department... at least they MIGHT have the common sense to read up on women's rights in pregnancy.

If you take early Mat leave because of this you will regret it for a long time... especially if it takes a few months for you to get back to normal after the birth. Six months on I still had back problems, and wouldn't have been able to do a standing up job. It's such a gamble thinking it will magically disappear after birth (though there's a good chance it will). You could end up finishing mat leave and going back onto sick pay, and that wouldn't be any good for anyone either.

Triggles Fri 22-May-09 17:59:29

They can't force you to take maternity leave early instead of going off sick. Check your maternity rights.

memoo Fri 22-May-09 18:21:26

I would see an osteopath. I am 22 weeks pregnant and have been in such pain in my back and groin with SPD that even standing for a few minuts has been agony.

I've had two sessions with the osteopath now and I feel fantastic.

I've gone from needing 8 co-codamol a day to not needing any. I also thought I would be off work now until i have the baby but I feel so much better now I am planning to return after half term.

I can't stress enough how fab the osteo was

mogwai Fri 22-May-09 18:53:52

I second the osteopath. Second pregnancy and I was in agony with worse SPD by 22 weeks. Osteopathy helped enormously and now I'm up to 37 weeks and it's probably still better than first time around.

Word of warning - re co-codamol.

You CAN take co-codamol during pregnancy (my husband is a doctor), however, you should try to reduce it during the third trimester. I don't think it does any long term harm but is linked to babies being born addicted to it and having to be weaned off it. These babies can be quite jittery and fretful as I understand it. I have had the same advice from my own GP.

I do still take it very occasionally but only at night if I'm desperate, so maybe two tablets a week. In any case, the osteopathy offered sufficient relief that I don't need it so much.

HairyToe Fri 22-May-09 20:48:59

My SPD disappeared altogether at 30 weeks. Not sure how common that is

PrammyMammy Fri 22-May-09 23:02:36

Woo and hairy - you give me hope. Thanks for that!
I will see my physio next week, so hopefully she can help a bit, she was really nice last time i saw her, she was helpful and told me just to go back when i needed it. I will make sure i contact an osteo if she can't help.
Mog, i have been taking paracetamol if i really need it, i've had two tonight, but i am not over doing it and am trying to rest more rather than rely on the tabs.

Kyte Sat 23-May-09 05:24:04

You workplace is also required to carry out a risk assessment for you once they're told you're pregnant. Check that HR actually know and ask them when they're going to do the risk assessment. Also tell them what your manager has said and explain that you wish to keep on working and that you'd like them to put things in place to allow you to do that. You'd be surprised at what's possible for them to do if they think it through.

In my experience managers often don't know what's legal, but the HR department will. You can also find out if they have an occupational health person who might be able to help further.

Failing that, ask your physio to write a letter to your work explaining your condition and what you need to prevent it worsening.

kitkat9 Sat 23-May-09 18:20:09

wanted to add my sympathies,I suffered terribly through my last 2 pregnancies - especially the last one. DH often came home from work to find me lying on the floor sobbing with the pain.

I can't really offer any more advice than you've already had. Accupuncture did work amazingly well for me with pg2, I would recommend giving it a go.

I know it seems so long til you have your baby, but you will make it! And the SPD will disappear and become a distant memory, I promise. Is this your first pregnancy? If you can, just stay still as much as possible. I also bought a variety of body pillows for bed at night, I found the support for my hips helped. Google pregnancy pillows.

My GP also prescribed me a muscle relaxant - I think it was called Flexoril. I took half a pill before bed some nights - it didn't really help with the pain, tbh, but it made me nice and drowsy so I slept a bit better. Worth a try?

Just focus on getting through each day. Have a warm bath every night. I always found the water soothed me.

Good luck!

PrammyMammy Mon 25-May-09 15:03:54

Thank you all
Kitkat, sorry to hear you suffered in two pregnancies. What a nightmare. I have a ds, he is 17 mo, but i was fine last time round.

My GP has signed me off work for the next 6 weeks. That takes me up to 30 weeks pg. So hopefully things are managed by then!

Grumpyoldcaaaaaaaa Mon 25-May-09 14:39:07

Just wanted to add my support and sympathy.

I'm 41+5 today and have suffered with SPD/PGP since about 20 weeks.

I'm pretty fed up, but you do learn to deal with it and focus around alleviating the pain in everyday life. It doesn't get better, as in cured, but you will find you deal with it better. At least I did!

Having said that, I am desperate to have this baby and be free of the pain (I suffered with it with DD2 and went 42+ weeks, so am dreading the same thing happening sad).

Definitely the osteo, learn to keep your legs together, wear silky pyjamas to make turning over in bed easier, sleep with a pillow between your knees, don't hoover, push trollies, do anything that will cause any pushing on your pelvis.

And give birth kneeling to ease the stress on your pelvis.

Hope this helps and chin up, take sick leave if possible, don't suffer in silence and all the best. smile

bird231 Tue 25-Aug-09 17:30:38

Hi i think i may have pgp , this is my 3rd pregnancy and with my 2nd i suffered with spd, i had pysio for it and i found that helped loads.

At about 16 weeks into this pregnancy i stated to get pain in my pelvis at the front but this seemed to get better on its own.

I am now 30 weeks and am having excrutiating sharp pains in my right buttock when ever i try n get up from standing or move my legs apart or try and move at all i thought at first i was sciatica but after reading this i think it might be pgp... I went to see my midwife and all she said was aw poor you i sympathise not much use there.... when i pushed her for anythin i can do she said gentle excercise and swimming now i have been for a little walk and am now in agony so i dont think so...

Do you think i should go and get my gp to refer me for physio cos my midwife wont and i'm not sure what to do.
thank you

KatyS36 Wed 26-Aug-09 14:20:46


I've got classic SPD / PGP. 32 weeks now.

I saw a physio privatly as NHS ones were being rubbish.

My main problem was walking, it was really really painful.

His advice was crutches and it has made so much difference and really improved things. It also means I get loads of sympathy and chairs just appear whenever I go anywhere!

It helped a lot that he put cruthes forward as a positive solution, and pointed out that in the garnd scheme of things it was only for a short time period.

Good luck and you have my sympathy.

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