Trouble walking during pregnancy is nothing new. It’s a symptom of pelvic girdle pain or PGP, a pregnancy discomfort that physicians have been treating since the time of Hippocrates. During pregnancy, the growing baby causes a woman’s center of gravity and posture to change. This, along with pregnancy hormones, can cause the pelvic joints to become unstable leading to a variety of mobility issues ranging from minor discomfort to significant pain and sometimes the inability to walk.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to lighten the pain and walk easier.
1. See a Physiotherapist
One of the first things you may want to try is seeing a physiotherapist. They’ll know how to best treat your specific case and can keep the problem from getting worse. Treatment usually includes manual therapy where the joints are gently moved and pressed on in order to help them work normally again (although they probably won’t completely return to normal until after the birth).
2. Alternative Medicine
Many mothers report benefits from alternative medicines such as chiropractic and acupuncture, both of which are known to relieve pain.
Exercise can help you strengthen your pelvic floor, back, stomach and hip muscles, improving your ability to walk. Here’s a list of exercises that can help. Many women also enjoy doing underwater exercises to work out these muscle groups.
4. Pelvic Support Belts
Support belts, also called maternity belts, help support the belly, reducing pressure on your lower back. The compression can also reduce pain and even increase blood flow to the pelvis.
5. Mobility Aids
For those having trouble walking, a mobility aid may be necessary. Many women with pelvic girdle pain use crutches and canes or even wheelchairs depending on the severity of their situation. These may not directly reduce the pain, but they’ll help you get around until your baby arrives.