Is your pregnancy causing pelvic pain? If so, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do. Then again, it’s not a good idea to be sedentary during pregnancy. Thankfully, with the right workout routine, you can dramatically reduce pelvic pain from your life.
We’ll show you a few exercises in a moment. But before we do, there’s something every pregnant woman should know about pelvic pain.
What Causes Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain during pregnancy is fairly common. In many cases, pelvic pain is simply caused by the pressure of your baby’s weight on your pelvis. This is called “Accommodation Pain,” and it’s fairly common, nothing to worry about. However, it’s important that you don’t treat pelvic pain lightly.
If your pelvic pain is accompanied by symptoms such as bleeding or unusual discharge, you should see your O & G doctor immediately. This could mean that your pelvic pain is the result of ovarian cysts which are being put under additional pressure by your growing foetus.
In some cases, the cysts might have been there already, but the pregnancy exacerbated them. If you’re having pelvic pain and you have a history of ovarian cysts, you should see a doctor immediately.
Another possible cause of pelvic pain is a slightly misaligned pelvis. A misaligned pelvis can greatly increase what would have otherwise been standard accommodation pains. In some cases, the misalignment could have been present for years, and simply exacerbated by the additional pressure of your baby.
The good news is that the stronger and more resilient your pelvic muscles are, the less pressure you’ll have to put on your joints. This can greatly relieve the accommodation pains mentioned above.
The following are three exercises which might help you manage pelvic pain. Please keep in mind that you should see doctor before starting any of them.
#1: Kegel Flexing Exercises
Kegel muscles are the muscles which you use to stop yourself from urinating. Having strong Kegel muscles can mean healthier pregnancies, more bladder control and, surprise, better sex.
Best of all, your Kegel muscles can be exercised at any time and in any place, even as you’re sitting there reading this article. Simply flex your Kegels and hold them for about 5 to 10 seconds. Then relax them for 15 to 30 seconds. Do this five or six times a day, 3 to 5 days a week.
#2: Weightless Squats
Squats are another great exercise for strengthening your pelvic region. They’re also easy to do, and you can do them just about anywhere.
Simply hold your feet at shoulder width, keep your back straight and squat down to where your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold that position for a moment before coming back up. Do this 5 to 10 times, and rest for 10 to 30 seconds before doing another “set.”
Do 3 to 5 sets a day, 3 to 5 days a week. It might take a few weeks to notice a difference, but once you do, you’ll be very glad you started doing this exercise.
#3: Diaphragm Exercises
Your diaphragm is the muscle which controls your breathing. Since most people spend very little time thinking about their breathing, this muscle is easily ignored and neglected, even for people who exercise regularly.
The problem is, pregnancy puts a LOT of extra strain on your diaphragm and the other muscles in your abdominal region. If these muscles are already weak, the extra pressure has to be absorbed by other tissues. This can cause pain, breathing difficulties and physical fatigue during pregnancy.
The good news is, your diaphragm is easy to strengthen if you exercise it regularly. Simply take a deep breath, hold it, and then slowly release it over a span of 10 to 15 seconds. As you do this, you’ll feel your diaphragm working. Repeat this five to ten times to complete one session, once in the morning, and another time in the evening.
Not only will this strengthen your diaphragm, it will help you gain conscious control over your breathing, which will be important when you go into labour.
Exercises NOT to Do
We suggest that you avoid any exercises which require heavy lifting or straining. This means squatting with anything more than your body weight is a bad idea during pregnancy. The same is true for movements which put weight on your pelvic region or which require you to move your legs into extreme positions.
For example, exercises like lunges (with or without weight) and/or hip adduction or abduction machines should be avoided. It’s also important to remember that even weightless exercises can be bad if they require you to do them from irregularly extended positions.
Please See Us Before Starting Your Exercise Routine
It’s always smart to consult a pregnancy doctor before you start any exercise program. Remember that your pelvic pain could be nothing more than a common symptom of pregnancy. However, it could also be caused by misalignment of your pelvis, or any of the other causes mentioned in this article.
If you’re experiencing pelvic pain during pregnancy, please pick up the phone and call us at (02) 4959 3883 to set an appointment with one of our pregnancy doctors. We’ve helped many women have happy and successful pregnancies, and we’re confident that you’ll be satisfied with your first visit.
Call us now at (02) 4959 3883 to schedule your appointment today.