How to Relieve Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman

Experiencing pelvic pain during pregnancy is a common discomfort that many expecting women may face.

The increased weight and pressure from a growing baby, hormonal changes, and the strain on the pelvic muscles and ligaments can contribute to this discomfort.

Finding effective ways to relieve pelvic pain is essential for maintaining comfort and well-being during pregnancy. By implementing various strategies, pregnant women can effectively manage pelvic pain and promote a more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancy experience.

What Causes Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?

Pelvic pain during pregnancy can be challenging, but understanding its causes can help you find relief.

There are several factors that can contribute to pelvic pain during pregnancy, including:

  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy hormones – such as relaxin – can cause the ligaments in the pelvic area to relax, leading to instability and potential pain.

  • Increased pressure on the pelvis: As the uterus grows and the baby expands, bloating may occur. This may lead to added weight and pressure on the pelvic area, causing discomfort and pain.

  • Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD): This condition occurs when the ligaments connecting the pubic bones become too relaxed and can cause pain and instability in the pelvic area.

  • Round ligament pain: As the uterus grows, the round ligaments that support it can stretch and cause sharp or stabbing pain in the groin area.

  • Poor posture or misalignment: Changes in the body's center of gravity during pregnancy can lead to poor posture and misalignment of the pelvis, causing pain.

  • Urinary tract infections or other medical conditions: In some cases, pelvic pain during pregnancy may be caused by a urinary tract infection or other medical conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids.

How Can You Relieve Pelvic Pain?

The first step in relieving pelvic pain is determining its cause. It’s important for pregnant women experiencing pelvic pain to speak with their healthcare provider to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Exercising the pelvic floor

Establishing a strong pelvic floor and core can help relieve increased pressure on the pelvis and pain from SPD. It will also help with alignment.

There are various exercises you can try to help strengthen the muscles that help you carry your growing baby. These exercises may include pelvic tilts, hip stretches, and gentle core strengthening movements to support the pelvis and reduce pain.

Doing pelvic floor exercises – also known as Kegels – can help strengthen the muscles in the pelvic area and provide support to the pelvis.

Prenatal yoga, barre, or stretching can help improve flexibility and reduce tension in the pelvic area.

Engaging in regular physical therapy sessions and incorporating prescribed exercises into your daily routine can help to promote better alignment, reduce pain, and improve overall pelvic health during pregnancy.

Getting massages

Whether you go to a physical therapist regularly or opt for massages when you’re experiencing pain, there are therapeutic options specifically for pregnant women with pelvic pain.

Massage therapy and hot/cold therapy can also be effective in relieving pelvic pain during pregnancy. Gentle massage techniques – such as Swedish massage or myofascial release –can help relax tight muscles, improve circulation, and reduce tension in the pelvic area. This can provide temporary relief from discomfort and promote relaxation.

Additionally, applying heat therapy – such as a warm compress or heating pad – to the pelvic region can help to increase blood flow, reduce muscle stiffness, and alleviate pain. Conversely, cold therapy – using an ice pack or cold pack – can help to numb the area, reduce inflammation, and provide relief from acute pain.

Alternating between the two can also be beneficial in managing pelvic pain and promoting comfort.

Maternity support belts

Wearing a maternity support belt can help provide additional support to the pelvis and alleviate pain and discomfort.

Maternity support belts are specialized garments designed to provide support and relieve discomfort in the abdominal and pelvic regions during pregnancy. These belts are typically made from elastic material and adjustable straps that can be worn around the lower abdomen to help distribute the weight of the growing belly more evenly and reduce strain on the back and pelvis.

They also provide gentle compression and stability to the pelvis and lower back. This may help improve posture and reduce the risk of developing conditions such as diastasis recti or SPD.

With various styles and designs to accommodate individual needs and preferences, material support belts can be worn comfortably throughout the day during regular activities or exercise.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before using one to ensure proper fit and to determine if it is suitable for your specific condition or concerns during pregnancy.

Pain relievers

Acetaminophen – such as Tylenol – is an over-the-counter pain reliever with a well-established safety record for use during pregnancy.

It’s important to steer clear of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – such as Aleve and aspirin – as they may pose potential risks to the developing fetus.

How Can You Manage Pelvic Pain at Home?

Managing pelvic pain at home during pregnancy can be achieved through various simple and effective methods. Applying heat or cold packs to the pelvic area – just as a massage therapist might – can provide immediate relief from discomfort and reduce inflammation.

Using pillows to support your body while sleeping can help alleviate pressure on the pelvis and promote better alignment, improving overall comfort.

Additionally, considering prenatal relaxation techniques – such as deep breathing or meditation – can help to relieve tension and muscle tightness in the pelvic area, promoting relaxation and reducing pain.

These at-home strategies can be integrated into your daily routine to manage pelvic pain and enhance your overall well-being during pregnancy.

Should You Seek Professional Help for Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?

It’s always important to seek professional help during pregnancy to ensure your safety as well as the baby’s.

When you have any sort of pain or discomfort while pregnant, it’s especially beneficial to consult your healthcare provider.

Whether they determine its cause to be a more serious problem or reassure you that everything is okay and give you tips on relief, knowing that your pregnancy is going well can reduce stress and help you have an enjoyable pregnancy.

A healthcare professional may also recommend exploring alternative options – like acupuncture or chiropractic care – that may offer additional pain relief and support during pregnancy.

Be sure to remember that everyone’s experience during pregnancy is extremely different. While some methods may work for some, they may not work for all.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency.

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