With my past two pregnancies, around 20 weeks I started to experience TERRIBLE hip, pelvic and lower back pain. I couldn’t even walk a mile without almost being in tears. I would describe my problems to my doctor and they would just write it off as pain that is common with pregnancy. I would go to the grocery store and end up leaving early, because the pain was so unbearable that I could barely handle pushing the cart. Lots of crying. Lots of frustration, that only got worse the second time around having to chase after an active two year old. I started going to a chiropractor, which was a great temporary fix, but later that night, I was back to the same pain. Turns out I suffer from Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction or (SPD), and no one could give me any answers on how to make it better.
After giving birth to Verona, I still struggled with that back and hip pain, it was so bad that I wasn’t even able to pick up my right foot to get dressed, I could barely handle carrying Verona to and from the car, and walking up and down stairs became almost impossible. It was pretty scary to be 31 years old, unable to sit on the floor with my kids or take my kids for walks and push them in the stroller. I felt weak. So I decided to take matters into my own hands, bought a stationary bike, started stretching, yoga and taking spin classes and I ended up feeling so strong and the SPD pain was completely gone.
When I found out I was pregnant in November 2018, I made my husband promise to make sure I don’t give up on cycling and that I stay active. Now at almost 32 weeks, I feel great! Granted, I’m still pregnant and there is always a level of discomfort that comes with that, groans when getting out of bed, getting up off the couch, etc. But last weekend, we almost walked/hiked three miles and there was no complaining on my part. These stretches have helped me immensely, and when I start to feel a little sore, I stop what I’m doing and make sure I stretch to reset my body. I hope these are able to help you as well!
- Start with a few rounds of Cat/Cow. (3-4x)
- In a cross-legged seated position, right foot in front of left, walk your hands forward and keep your back long and straight. Hold for 10 sec. Walk hands to the right and then the left & then back to center, holding for 10 sec each way. Switch feet and repeat. (To modify, I sit in a butterfly pose and use a block on my feet to rest my head) Then I added a few side bends.
- Lower your body to the mat, feet should be hip width apart, and bridge your back and bum up, then slowly articulate your spine back down to the mat. Concentrate on getting each vertebrae to touch the mat individually, upper back, middle back, lower back. (Repeat 3x)
- Marching Flow- lift right leg to the sky, cross over left knee letting your leg relax and open up, then back to the sky and back down to the mat. Repeat the same with the left leg. 2x each leg.
- Repeat again with your right leg, cross over left knee, but this time hold it and press down on your hips making more space in your spine and hips. Then thread the needle, by placing both hands around your left leg and pulling it into your chest, holding for 10 sec. Then slide both legs, and grab your ankles for “cow-face pose on your back” and hold for 10 sec. Place both feet on the mat, reset with a bridge and repeat with the left side.
- Walk your feet to the edge of the mat, and bring your knees together so you are “pigeon kneed” then drop both legs to the right, then both legs to the left, almost like windshield wipers. Repeat this 4x total. Then both knees to the left and take your left foot and place it on top of your right knee. Repeat on Right side as well.
- Using your block, place it at the base of your spine, lower back. Pull your right leg to your chest, then stretch your left leg long. Try to rotate your left knee inward to feel more stretch in your hip. Hold for 10 sec. Repeat with other leg.
- Happy Baby: On your back, grab the inside of your feet and rock from side to side.
- Come to a seated position, and repeat the second step, seeing how much more loose and open your lower back and hips feel.
Please let me know if this has helped you, or if you would be interested in more posts like this. We need to stay active! I refuse to go back to all that discomfort and back pain, when carving out 20-30 min a day to make yourself a priority is so easy! Happy Tuesday! <3