Baby Hints & Tips

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is a common condition in pregnancy that occurs when there is an increase in the hormone relaxin.  Relxin allow ligaments to relax allowing for delivery of your baby, however this can effect the ligaments that keep the hips aligned.  The relaxed ligaments can result in misalignment of the pelvic joint, called the symphysis pubis.  SPD occurs in approximately 1 in every 300 pregnancies.  

SPD can result in difficulty walking and a tearing pain through the pelvis.  The pain can be worse with walking and weight bearing activity.  

What can I do to help my symphysis pubis dysfunction?

Attending a physiotherapist for a correctly fitted support belt will help to support your pelvis.  A physio can also provide exercises to help strengthen the relevant muscles around your pelvis.  

Do regular pelvic floor exercises!

Pelvic floor exercises will help to build the muscles around your pelvis to strengthen and support your pelvis.   Ensure you avoid weight bearing activities where possible. And ask for help!

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction in pregancy Can anyone please share their experiences with symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD)?

Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 – to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.

  • Lots of physio, limited physical activity, support belt. I also did prenatal yoga which was great. Once my boy out instant relief!! Laura
  • I ended up with SPD at 38 weeks and was induced at 39 weeks for unrelated reasons. I was able to have a natural birth. Because it was so late in my pregnancy I didn’t bother with support belts etc and I had already been seeing a chiro for the pelvic pain I’d been having. I’m 6 weeks post partum and I’m still having chiro treatment for pelvic pain. It’s slowly getting better but I’m very worried it will be worse in my next pregnancy. Kellie
  • Physio who specialises in woman & pregnancy I found helped a lot and a pelvic girdle belt or pregnancy belt have helped me. Staying active avoiding stairs and I find it comfortable to sleep with a pillow or two between my legs Kate
  • Don’t be tempted to overdo things, it can be done very easily.. but also don’t sit on the couch for weeks. I found walking laps and floating in the swimming pool every morning to be very theraputic because i couldn’t even walk and had to leave work nearly 3 months early. Found the support belt both a curse and a blessing. Definitely sleep with a pillow between your legs, get referred to an appropriate physio and ask about pain relief options when it gets bad. 7 months later I’m still not back to normal but absolutely nothing like when pregnant. Emily
  • Support belt, sleeping with pillow between legs but had to place mine as far up in groin as possible for relief, no slouching on the couch so keeping pelvis and hips aligned as much as possible. Physio gave me temporary relief. I got most relief after the baby turned 1 once my relaxon hormone settled. But I know plenty of people who say much better as soon as baby is born. Definitely recommend as physio though, they can give you the info that would be right for you. Good luck! It can be so painful! Sarah

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