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It’s a cliché but a change of scene can help to lift your mood. Ask friends and family to help you get out of the house, even if for a short trip. If you can’t get out, encourage people to visit you at home. Visitors can help your mood and distract you from your pain. Here are some practical tips from women whom we’ve supported:

  • make sure that you are with people you trust and feel confident with so that you can tell them when you’ve had enough or need help
  • ask a friend to help you go to a regular meeting/activity to meet other mothers, such as a toddler group, coffee morning, or activity
  • if you have a child, try activities which provide a crèche, such as discussion groups or classes where you and your child get a break and some company
  • if you are visiting someone and are kept standing or are in an uncomfortable chair, say so – most people are unaware of the problems that PGP causes and will not realise that you are in pain, but will want to help to make you more comfortable
  • if you go to a park or have a picnic, take a camping chair so you don’t need to sit on the floor
  • try to pick a meeting place where you won’t have to walk far from your car, bus stop or train station, and leave enough time so you don’t need to rush
  • try to find cafes or meeting places where there are comfortable seats – friends may not realise that it can be painful for you to sit for long periods
I was pregnant with my third baby during a hot summer. My other two children wanted to be outside so we would take a picnic, a camping chair and a ball to the park. My husband would play with the kids while I sat and watched. This meant I could still be near them even if I couldn’t get involved. I learnt to take my book too so he could take them off for a walk and I could stay with the bags and a cold drink! We looked for places where he could drive me as close as possible to the picnic spot, then he could find somewhere to park and walk back.
Laura, service user


Being able to drive is often key to independence and getting out and about. You may need to make some changes while you’re experiencing pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP).

Getting into the car

Keep your knees together and sit down first, then swing your legs in together. You can get a swivel cushion to help you turn round or use a plastic bag to help you slide. Remove the plastic bag before driving as it can make you slide about. Swivel cushions can be provided  by an occupational therapist. 

Getting out of the car

Open the door wide, then swing your legs out with your knees together. Pull yourself up or ask someone to help you stand.

Getting your baby into the car

Avoid carrying a baby car seat with the baby in it. Where possible, put the seat in the car first, then put the baby in, and vice versa. If you need to carry your baby, cradle him/her in both arms close to your body in front of you for the shortest distance possible. 

It is possible to get a lightweight wheeled car seat frame (like a pram) that attaches to many baby car seats. You can then lift or slide the seat out straight onto the frame, and push the baby from there. 

Using an automatic car

If you have the opportunity, it may be easier to drive an automatic car as you don’t need to lift both feet to change gear. If you have a company car you may be able to exchange it for an automatic. If you are changing your car anyway, it is worth considering.

Parking badges (Blue Badge scheme)

Blue Badges allow you to park in disabled spaces. These are usually closer to shops or venue entrances and have more space for getting in and out.

In some areas, you can apply for a temporary Blue Badge. Your local council decides who is eligible for these, so this can vary from place to place. 

If you are severely disabled by your PGP, especially if you have had your baby, it is worth applying for a badge and appealing if you are unsuccessful. If you have been housebound, a Blue Badge could make an enormous difference to your life by helping you access all those places you would like to go.

If you have experience of this that might help us support other women, please get in touch with our co-ordinator at [email protected].

Find out more about Blue Badges (GOV.UK)


If you are planning a shopping trip (depending on how much pain you have), think about what will make the trip easier.

If you are not able to walk around the shop and prefer not to use a wheelchair, ask a friend or partner to do the shopping while you sit in the cafe. This can help to give you a feeling that you are still having some control or input into daily living.

Using trolleys

If you can walk but cannot push a trolley, many supermarkets will provide a member of staff to wheel the trolley for you. Some supermarkets provide wheelchairs or trolleys that can be used with a wheelchair. Ask at customer services or check the store’s website in advance.

If you have to push a trolley, choose a small shallow one, as they are easier to move and unload. Avoid the ones with wobbly wheels!

Don’t be tempted to use a basket. By the end of the shop, you will be unevenly loaded which will strain your pelvis.

Using bags

If using shopping bags, divide the load equally between your bags to stay as symmetrical as possible. Try using a backpack for small amounts of shopping.

Online shopping

Please consider online shopping to limit the amount of time you have to be on your feet. 

By the end of my pregnancy the weekly supermarket shop was about the only time I left the house – and I didn’t want to give it up! It gave me a sense of normality, of participating in family life. I could manage about ten minutes at a time on my crutches – so I’d choose my fruit and veg, fish and meat, etc, then go and rest on a bench for a while whilst my family got on with the boring stuff.
Pelvic Partnership service user
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