5 common questions about pelvic pain after birth

5 Common Questions about Pelvic Pain after Birth

Many women will experience pelvic pain after birth. This could be from trauma sustained during birth, from referred pain following intervention or from ongoing PGP or SPD which started during pregnancy.

Most medical professionals will advise it will go away in time but it’s really important that if it isn’t showing signs of getting better, you get help for it. 

If you have sustained trauma to your pelvic floor or perineal area, let it heal and allow any swelling to subside. If you’re struggling to walk or pain is persistent it’s really important you get further help.

Pelvic pain after pregnancy and birth

Will it go away on its own?

Most pelvic pain should go away shortly after birth, once any initial trauma or swelling eases. But if you notice no improvement or it gets worse and starts to affect your ability to move freely, please get help.

You can either visit your GP and ask for a referral to a pelvic health physiotherapist or self refer to a pelvic health physiotherapist (generally a much quicker pathway). Many pelvic health physiotherapists offer a Mummy MOT, which is a single appointment where the physiotherapist can check your pelvic alignment, pelvic floor function and test for abdominal separation. They can refer on to practitioners like me who can help guide you back to exercise and they’ll usually give you a series of exercises to help. In some cases they may need to refer you back for medical intervention.

What’s really important is that you get a diagnosis. Given how busy life will have become, it’s tempting to continue with your PGP diagnosis and assume ongoing pain is that and that it will go away. With a diagnosis you’ll know what you’re working with and physiotherapists or Pilates teachers will know how best to help going forwards. It takes away the guess work and starts you on a clear recovery pathway. 

Can I get back to exercise?

Yes. But! Read the above! It’s important that you don’t guess at what the problem is if you still have pelvic pain. It’s even more important that you start with exercise to help with recovery. Trying to run or lift weights with PGP is not going to make the problem better. It is highly likely you will be able to run/lift weights again but there’s a bridge to get you there safely. Even if you were fit and active before pregnancy, you’ll have become deconditioned due to being more sedentary and you’ve undergone massive physiological changes. Take your time and build your strength back up.

What can I do to help pelvic pain after birth?

  • Rest when you can.
  • Return to exercise slowly.
  • Get an accurate diagnosis from a pelvic health physiotherapist.
  • Build core strength and leg strength.

What’s the best exercise for pelvic pain after birth?

I’m a bit biassed but Pilates is brilliant after pregnancy and birth. Pilates focuses on core strength and alignment. The emphasis is on building stability around joints and re-training movement patterns whilst at the same time creating opportunities to mobilise joints. It’s like taking a garden hose that’s got wedged into a kink and stretching it out whilst strengthening it to make sure it doesn’t get kinked up again!

That said, Pilates without a proper diagnosis of a known issue is still guessing. So find out what the problem is before getting started. This might also mean arranging a short course of private sessions with me or another Pilates instructor who specialises in post natal exercise before joining any classes.

If you aren’t someone who likes the slower pace of Pilates, I can always put together a bespoke programme to help you train in a way you prefer. 

For a pelvic health physio in West Essex visit: ​​https://www.eggletonphysiotherapy.co.uk

For a Mummy MOT practitioner near you visit: https://www.themummymot.com

For early days Pilates after pregnancy and birth I’ve got short ‘do with me’ Pilates workouts on my YouTube account: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfgNzMSZS6BC7-wbDNUqRFWl3Twk_09W2

For more information on post natal exercise and rehabilitation, sign up to our post natal list.

We have pre and post natal Pilates classes in Epping and post natal fitness classes. Babies welcome in all our post natal classes.

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