Thursday, July 02, 2009

Update on pain...

I forgot to mention, in the fun logistics of needing more tests done yesterday, that I did ask the doctor about the severe hip pain and whether there is anything I could do differently or exercise or vitamins, or... ANYTHING! LOL He explained a few things to me which I thought I'd share simply because I find it interesting :) Some of it I knew already, some I didn't!

During pregnancy the placenta releases a thing called Relaxin, which acts on the cartilage of the body, allowing it to loosen. This is especially important for the rib cage to expand allowing more room to breathe :) But it's not 'specific' to one area of the body, so it works on every area of cartilage.

The pelvis/hips are made up of 4 bones, connected with cartilage. So with this 'loosened' the bones have more freedom than usual. What this means is that some people have this pain or sometimes just some discomfort during pregnancy. He said it essentially feels like two broken bones rubbing against each other. YES! And it HURTS! LOL

He said that I'm getting to the point in pregnancy where I can't take anti-inflammatories (which I'd rather not take at all when I'm pregnant anyway!) and that Aspirin would be a big no-no at this time too (which I believe is ALWAYS the case in pregnancy...). But then he said "because of the heart". Hmm... how so? I was curious... I know you can't take certain meds during pregnancy, but the 'why' of many of them I never thought about. Apparently, Aspirin can cause the baby's PDA to close prematurely resulting in pulmonay hypertension. Who knew? (ok, maybe YOU did, but I thought it was interesting anyway!).

So, I got my little mini-medical-lesson at the doctor's yesterday, I find it fascinating to learn the why's and how's of things. I started out wanting to go into the medical field and going through the CNA training and certification in high school. Then God brought me through a few other 'changes in plans' and eventually I got my teaching degree. I am often glad I took all those medical terminology classes and such all those years ago, though, because I am sure that it helped me to understand much more of the medical complexities that each of my kiddos presents!

Oh, and as for managing the pain that comes with laying down that feels like broken bones rubbing together-- there's pretty much nothing I can do about it. Sleep on a soft matress cover (already doing it, thanks Mom for getting the one you had out for me!) and with a pillow between the knees to keep the hips level (yep, do that too). And if it gets to where the pain isn't subsiding after a little bit... take some Tylenol. Otherwise-- Grin and bear it :)

I gotta say, she's worth it :)


  1. actually some people have take baby aspirin during pregnancy. Like me :). I had to take a baby aspirin every day right up until my csection. I had severe preeclampsia with my first ad blood clots formed in thru placenta. He was delivered at 33 weeks. I miscarried twice and had testing done and found that I have antiphospholipid Antibodies. Long story short is that they attack the placenta and cause blood clots. So during my pregnancy for my daughter I took baby aspirin everyday and still has preeclampsia but not as dangerous ( and I didn't miscarry!) and delivered at 32 weeks. anyways. Just some info :). Hope your hips start feeling better. Do u sleep with a pillow between your knees? That helped me.

  2. Wow, I never knew that about aspirin. Well, I'm sure there is lots and lots and lots and lots that I don't know because I've never been pg. :)
    I work in the NICU and we use ibuprofen to medically close PDAs. I have never before thought about what might happen if a pg mom took it. Wow.

  3. Hi there,
    long time lurking midwife coming out to contribute something :-)
    Is it the front part (symphysis) of your pelvis that hurts (and more so when you are walking)? Then try to use some kind of a tight, strong "belt" (either an actual broad belt or some kind of strong fabric or shawl will do), not around your waist but right around the symphysis (you can find it easily - it's the bone below your abdomen, and the belt will go around it and the hip joints), looks kind of funny but might actually help if it is the two pubic bones rubbing each other (because by pushing them together with the belt they don't move quite that much)
    If it is more of an ischiadic pain (in the back of your pelvis, running right down your thighs) you might want to try this with the help of your husband who has to sit on a chair: Lay down on your back, resting your lower legs on his thighs, one on each thigh. Now let him gently push down your feet so that your pelvis rises just a little above the floor and then "swing" a little from right to left and back for a couple of minutes. That relaxes the sacroiliac joint and sets the jammed nerve free. Obviously you can ask any person (as tall or taller as you) to do this for you if your husband isn't available.
    (Hope you understand everything I try to tell you as English isn't my mother tongue... - but please do contact me (email in my profile) if you have further questions)

  4. wow, sorry for all the typos. I submitted it with my iphone and that touch pad typing is hard to get use to!!!

  5. In conjunction with Dagmar's post, I'm seconding using a belt (I'm a physical therapist, and I can verify that they help). There are specific "SI" belts, available online, and one of these might help decrease your pain...basically, the belt will just help hold the pelvis together, and should be put on low enough that it won't hurt the baby at all. You can see if it will help with a belt that is more adjustable than one with notches. Feel at your sides for your hipbones, and put the belt a couple inches below that. Tighten it really tight, and then squeeze it some more. Wear it for awhile to see if it helps control some of your pain. If a regular belt helps some, you might consider shelling out the $40-$50 to buy one online. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Here's one online option that looks pretty good to me.

  6. I always just understood that the hips spread a bit more to make the baby comfortable and the mom not too much so. You also have pressure on them that is not usual and I hope the tylenal helps you some. Glad the big faom thing helps some. Love mom

  7. I have a friend who had similar pain who went to a chiropractor for adjustments--worked wonderfully! It sounds like you've got some other good input as well--hope something works so you are no longer in pain!