SPD (PGP): My experience

I was diagnosed with SPD when I was 5 months pregnant. I had actually developed SPD much earlier, but hadn’t realised. It was only when I attended my first ante-natal class and mentioned that I couldn’t lift my feet more than an inch off the ground, that the Ante-natal teacher suggested that I had SPD and would need to see a Doctor. Within a month I was on crutches.

SPD, also known as PGD, happens when the weight of the baby becomes too much for your hips. Some say the pain is also caused by the loosening of the ligaments, in preparation for giving birth. All I know is that it hurt and it was progressive. Apparently SPD is more common these days because babies are heavier due to Mum’s having better diets. My little one wasn’t that heavy when she was born, she was just under 8lbs.

The last four months of pregnancy were a blur of pain for me.

I went to physio at the hospital for a few weeks, but when I was 7 months pregnant they said there was nothing more they could do for me. I spent the last two months of my pregnancy signed off work (oh and they made me pay back a month’s wages). I could barely manage to get off the sofa.

I would get up in the morning, try to shower (which was unbearably painful as I had to try to crawl into the shower) and would spend the rest of the day recovering, waiting for my husband to come home from work to help me back up the stairs. I even tried not to drink too much as we don’t have a toilet downstairs, so I would literally crawl up the stairs to go to the toilet. It was a 20 minute process to get up and down the stairs.

I cannot describe how painful the grinding of my hips became. As my little one became heavier, as she came to full term, the more pain I was in. It was impossible to walk, let alone drive. Two years later I still have flashes of pain and still remember what that intense pain was like. I still can’t push a trolley, so if you see that Mum struggling in Sainsburys with a toddler who keeps wanting to run off, it’s probably me! 😉

The reason I am sharing this is because, if you are like me,  you may not have realised that anything was wrong. I found a great physiotherapist, Ian Harrison, who managed to keep me mobile enough so that I could get up and down the stairs in the last few months (even if it did take 20 minutes each time!). If you are pregnant and can’t lift your foot more than an inch off the ground, you need to get this checked out as there is support for you.

I also found a fantastic website: The Pelvic Partnership

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel if you are suffering. Two days after the birth of my little one, I no longer needed crutches. Last weekend, I actually sprinted (little one likes to run off!) for the first time in 20 years. It is likely that you will get your mobility back, and possibly very quickly, but it depends on many factors.

If you suffer, or have suffered, from SPD, you have my sympathies! I urge you to get some kind of support if you are suffering with this pain.

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