Today in Facebook Mom’s Group land…
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely positives to these groups and they can be really awesome for support and advice from time to time.
Today is saw a mom (pregnant) complaining about pubic/pelvic pain at 19 weeks and asked “is this normal? What can/should I do?”
Such a good question – even if you’re a seasoned mama – because every pregnancy is different and you never know how your body is going to respond.
As you can imagine, there were a ton of moms willing to give their advice and suggestions on what to do. For the most part however, it was other moms, sharing their same stories of dealing with pain, and not having any answers.
One mom wrote “it’s just your body getting ready, mine was the same”.
And here is where I need to speak up, as someone that now knows, there is SO much more to it than that. What pains me about the “advice” this mom is giving, is that she probably never had anyone else tell her that the pain is not normal and that she could get support and relief for it.
In this instance, Yes, the mom’s body IS getting ready to have a baby – but does that mean that pelvic pain (or back pain, or any other pain for that matter) is normal?
Regardless if you’re pregnant, postpartum or an athlete with pelvic/back pain, you should NOT have to accept pelvic pain and “deal with it”.
Don’t you think that as women we “deal” with enough crap when it comes to our bodies!? I sure do!
And pain is our natural indicator that something is WRONG and it should be dealt with like any other injury. During puberty, pregnancy, postpartum – our bodies are constantly changing and that means we have to adapt with it and use the tools we have to keep it strong and feeling GOOD.
I can tell you from experience – living with hip & back pain for over a year, is not a quality of life I want for anyone else. Had I known back then, what I know now – that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (yes, it’s an old saying but WOW do I ever believe it now!) I would have saved a lot of time and money, avoiding physio/chiro/massage/etc.
So let me impart some of my wisdom on you (I am no guru, but I’ve become educated and dedicated too pelvic health and pre/postnatal fitness and wellness since my last pregnancy)
Here are my top five methods to help you find relief and work towards a pain free pelvis and/or back!
- Breathe – Exhale on Exertion. When you lift, squat, etc. Yes I know, it might seem weird, especially if you have been taught otherwise. On exhale, feel your pelvic floor rise in conjunction with your diaphragm (which is pushing the air out of your lungs on exhale) This creates a positive intra-abdominal pressure and stronger core.
- Check your alignment – You want to try to keep your ribs stacked over hips, making sure your ribs don’t flare up or scoop inwards. Bum should not be “twerked” or tucked under. How you move all day is really what defines how your body feels – we can’t out train 15 hours of poor alignment in 1 hour of exercise.
- Always weight the RISK vs REWARD. If running causes you symptoms, is it worth heading out for a 5K? Just because it feels OK to jump while pregnant – is it worth the damage you could do to your core & PF? If you were deadlifting 200# before baby, but now it hurts your back – should you really push through the pain just to say you did it? Probably not.
- Seek out a Pelvic Health physical therapist – YES! there are docs out there trained specifically in pelvic health! they can do an internal exam and help you pinpoint exactly what the issue is and provide a plan forward to relieve the pain.
- Call or Email your local Pre/Postnatal Fitness Specialist (that’s me BTW!!) We are trained in pelvic health and can support the advice of your PT to ensure you stay active, strong and pain free.
There are some simple basic tips to help you navigate your way around pelvic and/or back pain. But there is SO much more we could get into, this is really just the tip of the iceberg. And of course – each of you is different! We all need some individual support when it comes to overall well being during or after having babies.
You do not have to accept that pain is part of the process. Live better – you deserve it!
Stay strong & pain free my friends!