Pregnancy and birth with PGP

It is natural for any woman to feel excitement tinged with a certain amount of uncertainty when it comes to the prospect of giving birth. As many babies are weighing in at well over 9 lbs, it is not surprising that you may worry about how you will ever be able to stretch to accommodate a large baby, and even a small one seems an enormous challenge. With PGP these kinds of fears can increase as the pregnancy develops. You may already be finding that your mobility is limited, that you are already experiencing pain and that you cannot move your legs more than a few centimetres apart.

PGP does require careful management during childbirth, but it need not limit your birth options. There is still a wide range of possibilities open to you and with an understanding of PGP and how the condition affects you, it is possible for you to make an informed choice about the kind of birth that you would like to have. Even women with severe pain, including those on crutches and using wheelchairs, can have a positive vaginal birth experience when they are well supported by the team caring for them.

PGP can be safely treated during pregnancy by a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor with expertise in manual therapy of the pelvic joints, and women usually find that the deterioration can be halted and, in many cases, they will improve during pregnancy (see our Treatment section for more information).

This then increases choices for birth as your mobility is likely to be better and your pain less. It also seems to speed up your recovery after you have had the baby. If your pelvis is well aligned for birth, recovery can be much more rapid than if you have had no treatment, and have to start it once the baby is born (and when you have a baby to feed and care for as well as sort out your own recovery).

By planning ahead and thinking about all possible eventualities, many pitfalls can be avoided. Day-to-day life during pregnancy can be made easier with some simple changes to your home and also to your expectations of what you should be able to do (see Practical suggestions for managing PGP).

Women with PGP who have told us that they have had a positive birth are those who have been supported in their choice of birth, whether this is choosing a home or hospital vaginal birth or deciding to choose a caesarean section. The information in this section is provided to help you to make an informed decision about labour and birth with PGP.

Content reviewed and updated in 2017.

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The Pelvic Partnership consists of volunteers who have had pelvic girdle pain (PGP) and wish to support other women. We aim to pass on information based on both research and the experience of other women with PGP. We are not medical professionals and cannot offer medical advice and the information we provide should not take the place of advice and guidance from your own health-care providers. Material on this site is provided for information and support purposes only.

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