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Coping with the Aches and Pregnancy Pains

pregnancy-pain-585There are so many things I love about being pregnant. Top of the list is feeling little kicks and thumps — and when my husband can finally feel those thumps just by touching my belly. I love the anticipation of the little person who will arrive at the end and make it all worth it.

But as well all know, there are a few things to dislike about pregnancy. Nausea. Vomiting. Heartburn. Exhaustion. And pregnancy pains. Oh, glorious pain. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was doing fabulous. I was feeling great, had so much energy, was taking exercise classes and generally had no complaints other than being insatiably hungry and peeing a lot. (Like, really? Taking a break halfway through Zumba to pee when I had just gone right before class?)

But all of those are fairly minor inconveniences. And I guess so is my biggest complaint, considering it’s not a major medical issue and there are far worse things that could be happening. But I am in pain. AGAIN. The stupid pain I had during my second pregnancy, where I felt like my pelvis was going to crack and break apart is back, with a vengeance. It’s better at some times than others, but when it’s bad, it’s worse than last time. I’m talking shooting, stabbing pains down my inner thigh that seriously piss me off. It comes and goes, with mornings being worst, and then it strikes throughout the day. Thigh stab! Just baby saying hi in a roundabout way through hormones!

At least, it turns out, that it’s totally normal, which I knew from last time. Many bizarre pregnancy issues are totally normal. According to the What to Expect gurus, it’s called symphysis pubic dysfunction.

It’s caused by a relaxation of the ligaments that normally keep the two sides of the pelvic bone tightly bound together at the symphysis pubis, the joint in the pubic area. (The culprit here is the hormone relaxin, which softens those joints to give baby an easier path out into the world.) Sometimes, the ligaments loosen too much and quite early in pregnancy (symptoms may start around the middle of pregnancy) causing instability in the pelvic joint. One side might shift more than the other when you are walking or just moving your legs — especially if you separate them, as you would to get out of your car — causing a world of hurt.

Middle of pregnancy? Check. One side hurts more? Check. A world of hurt? Check! The doctor said I could get a support belt or that she could prescribe another kind of belt, but I just feel like that would get really annoying — not to mention hot in the coming summer months. So I’m just toughing it out. Taking it easier when it hurts to move. And remembering the instant relief I got last time once the baby arrived!

Have you dealt with this type of pregnancy pain? Did you get a belt — and did it help? —Erin

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