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Managing SPD and PGP in Pregnancy

If you’ve ever had the feeling of a steel toed boot kicking you in your pubic bone and been told “it’s because your baby is low”…

If you’ve ever tried to get out of bed in the morning only to feel like your pelvis is about to snap in half and been told “oh that’s just because you need to do prenatal yoga”…

If you’ve ever had pain radiating from your SI points down your legs, like electric shocks and firey needles and been told “that’s just normal pregnancy back pain!”…

I’m here to tell you honey, that ain’t normal. And I hereby give you permission to tell your Aunt Barbara, Dr. Know-it-All, and Queen Earth Mother Yogi where to hang it.

I can’t tell you how many times I have read posts like these in mom groups, only for “veteran” moms to tell other moms that it’s normal. Can back pain in pregnancy be normal? Sure. Should normal pregnancy back pain debilitate you? No. Do women experience round ligament pain? Even though that concept seems like a made up term to push mothers out of OB and Midwife appointments quickly, sure, it exists. But is it normal to feel like your pubic bone is about to snap in half? No, ma’am, it is not.

Let’s talk a little about Symphysis pubis dysfunction aka SPD and PGP— that’s pelvic girdle pain. (I’m not a medical professional, so this is in super laymen’s terms… laymoms? That sounds weird. Laymen’s.) SPD is what occurs when your body produces too much relaxin and your joints get all mushy. Your ligaments stretch out, and become useless, because your body thinks it’s time to push a baby out. Except, for most is us with SPD, this hits long before it’s baby time, and often lasts for some time after baby has left. With your joints and ligaments in an uber relaxed state, your pelvis becomes unstable. Nerves get stuck between bones, your ability to balance becomes iffy, and your pubic bone and SI points click and grind. In a nutshell, it’s a little taste of torture, often with no real end date in sight. This can lead to depression, agoraphobia, PPD, PPA, and a whole lot of frustration.

From Pregmed.org

This is my 5th pregnancy, with SPD and PGP. I am taking several proactive measures to (hopefully!) help make for a smoother journey with my SPD this time around!

Here’s what’s worked in the past that I’ll be continuing:

Physical Therapy: I actually didn’t have success with PT during my previous pregnancies. I had PTs who didn’t know what to do with me, handed me a cane or a walker and said “Sorry, we don’t know what to do with you.” However, after Peachy was almost a year, I connected with a great PT who took me seriously and got me strong again! I’ll be working with him this pregnancy, and I look forward to seeing how that will help in the midst of pregnancy!

Acupuncture: I was so hesitant to try acupuncture, partially because I thought it was fake and partially because I had given up on anything working. But at the urging of a physical medicine doctor, who assured me there was science behind it, I gave it a go! I had tremendous results! Now, mind you, tremendous results for me meant 2-10 hours worth relief or maybe 24 hours without a walker, but when you are living in constant pain, those breaks are what keep you going! The acupuncturist I saw, focused on needling and massage, not on herbs. We were a good fit, and I look forward to connecting with her sooner than last time.

Quality medical equipment: I have a wonderful and trusty cane at my ready! I started out with a walker that was for a much shorter person last time, and I was crouched too low. This time, I’m planning on getting a walker that suits my height better! And in time, hopefully I can snag a great wheelchair (my last one was a little rickety!)

Here’s what didn’t work in the past, that I will be doing without:

Chiropractor: I have been to MANY chiropractors. 2 certified in the Webster technique. What I got was really high quotes for treatment, cockiness (two chiropractors told me they were going to hang my cane on their walls for a trophy once they “fixed” me— which neither accomplished!), worse pain that before each adjustment, and no relief whatsoever. Because this is an issue of your ligaments and joints constantly failing you, even if I found a chiropractor who could set me straight, I would be out of alignment within an hour with how loose my pelvis is. Some have found relief, but overall, the ladies I’ve talked to with SPD, there are many of us who have not had success with chiropractic care.

Ill-fitting, poorly made supports: I have 6 or 7 belts, braces, and harnesses in my collection from my last 4 pregnancies. Some given to me my bewildered physical therapists that aren’t even made for pregnant people. Some from amazon, some hand me downs. Some are full over and under the belly braces, others just under the belly belts that cut off blood flow. None of them have worked, but I’ve held on to each one, maybe hoping it might work one of these pregnancies. None of those are made for people with SPD, so none of them address the problems caused by SPD! So, the crappy, useless braces have got to go!

Here’s what I haven’t done before, but am doing this time:

When I was pregnant with Peachy, I read an article about a man in England who had a wife with SPD and had fashioned a brace specifically made for women with SPD and PGP. I told Milkman about it, and he said “if you ever get pregnant again, we are getting that thing!” Well, I got pregnant again, and so guess what? I got “that thing”. The brace is called the Harness Gravidarum Maternity Support Belt. The first time I put it on, I was 10 weeks pregnant, and as I fastened the last strap I let out an audible “ahhhhhhhhh!” The relief was immediate. I’m going to be talking a lot more about this harness and it’s creators in posts to come, but I gotta tell you, I’m already impressed with it! I have high hopes for a better quality of life in this pregnancy!

Yes, please!So! That’s what’s going on with me and SPD this pregnancy! And the next time someone brushes your SPD or PGP off as “normal pregnancy back pain”, you send ‘em to me, and I’ll set them straight!

Have you struggled with SPD and PGP? What helped you find little bits of relief and sanity?

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GIVEAWAY! Cheeky Tummy Diaper Bag!

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I love me a good bag.  Once I had kids, I had to give up my giant purses that I loved so much, because carrying a diaper bag AND a big ol’ purse is just not practical.  I had seen some designer diaper bags here and there, but I couldn’t believe the price tags on them.  I really hate spending loads of money on something that is going to be hit with serious wear and tear and  possibly WILL end up with some sort of bodily fluids on it.

 

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When Captain was a baby and my only child, other moms would see me lugging my huge diaper bag around and say, “Oh, just wait til he’s older, you’ll go back to a purse and just carry one lone diaper and a few wipes in a baggy in it.”  Four years later, and I’m still carrying a huge diaper bag with my entire world in it.  Clearly these mothers didn’t know me before kids, when I would carry a purse large enough to cart multiple crochet projects, one-eighth of the historical fiction section of the library, a Costco-sized tub of Advil, and many tubes of red lipstick. I plan for disaster at all times.  I ALWAYS carry an extra change of clothes for each of my 3 children, enough diapers to last us a couple of days, snacks, activities, and wipes galore.  (You can never have too many wipes on hand!)

 

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What’s In My Bag: iPad mini, journal, Amazon Wipes, 8 diapers, muslin blanket, nursing cover, Cheeky Tummy changing mat, toy, sun screen, Era Organics Honeybuns balm and powder, diaper cream, Contigo water cup, snacks, pacifier wipes, sunglasses, change of clothing for Peach, Mamitas, and Captain, and Captain and Mamitas’ note pads and pens! Whew!*

 

I came across this bright, playful bag from Cheeky Tummy and I thought, “It’s been too long since I had a cute bag.  It’s time to carry something cute again!” and I am SO glad I did.  This bag is not only adorable, it is HUGE inside.  It holds everything I need to have with me without being stuffed to the zipper.  Oh! And it comes with a matching changing mat!  I feel so fancy whipping our my pretty little mat (its cushion-y, too you guys) to change a booty and folding it and fastening it to go back into its spot in my bag.

 

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Another feature I love is that it is incredibly versatile.  Prefer handle straps?  It comes with those.  Like a shoulder strap instead?  Oh, yeah, comes with that, too.  What about a bag that attaches to your stroller?  Um, yeah! Also included. (PSA: never put an overloaded bag onto the back of your stroller handle without a firm grip on your stroller, we don’t want any babies tipping backwards!)  I threw this on the back of my Uppababy Vista, and it looked super purdy.  I’m telling you, I feel fancy.

 

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Here’s the deal, it is a great bag all around while still being affordable.  After talking with Diana at Cheeky Tummy, I was able to really see the heart behind her company.  As a new mom she felt overwhelmed by the amount of bags and price points on the market, and out of that frustration Cheeky Tummy was born.  I liked her bag so well, that I asked Diana if we could give one of these gorgeous orange and white chevron bags to one of my lucky readers and she agreed!  So, head over to She Rocks the Cradle on Facebook, and enter the giveaway!

 

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Want one of your own right now?  Head to Cheeky Tummy’s store and grab a bag for yourself. If you use the code CRADLE10, you get 10% off your first order!

 

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See you on Facebook at the Giveaway!  Its over on July 3rd, so hurry to enter!

 

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Giveaway! Era Organics Baby Care Line

As a mom, I am always looking for healthy, safe, natural products to use on my little ones.  With 3 very young children, I try to research the heck out of anything I put on their skin and in their bodies.   I’m sure you’ve seen the news stories that have popped up within the last year about Johnson & Johnson having cancer causing chemicals in their products, and also Jessica Alba’s company Honest Baby and their mini-scandal of using a chemical in their products that they tell consumers to avoid!

 

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With those being two top contenders in the baby care world, you may be wondering what other options are out there.  I am really excited to share about my new favorite baby care line from Era Organics!  I’ve always used natural skincare products on my children, but haven’t ever been blown away by the products I’ve used, so I thought I would take a break from our usual Babyganics and try something new for Peach’s sensitive skin.  Queue a middle of the night nursing and Amazon perusal and Honeybuns baby wash showed up 2 days later on my doorstep. (Thank you Amazon Prime!)  That night we gave it a test run for bath time and I was an immediate fan.  The texture of the baby wash was concentrated, and a little went a really long way.  The scent was calming and pleasant.  I really dislike heavily scented skincare products (so I’ve never been able to stomach the scent of products like Burt’s Bees for babies). The scent of the Honeybuns wash is very mild, but appealing and calming.  

 

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I started talking with the folks at Era Organics because after trying out a lot of other brands like California Baby, Mustela, Babyganics, and Aveeno (which is owned by Johnson & Johnson!), I was so glad to be using a product that was natural AND effective, a combo really lacking in the natural product world. They informed me that they had just released an entire Honeybuns baby care line, and I knew I had to try the rest!

 

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One of the great things about the Honeybuns line is that it cares not only for baby but for MAMA!  YAY!  It’s really telling when a company chooses to care for moms, too!  Their baby and mama line includes Honeybuns Baby Body Wash, Healing Balm (incredible for dry skin and also works on cradle cap!), diaper balm, and Baby Powder (talc-free! Uses organic cornstarch and arrowroot as its base).  The mommy components of the line are Mommy Balm for sore nursing breasts (I’m past the ouchie newborn latch stage, but I love this for when I am tender nursing during my period), and Belly Oil for stretch marks and dry irritated skin on your tummy and thighs– this stuff smells like HEAVEN, it’s like a mini-spa treatment every time i put it on!  Each of the products are organic, cruelty-free, and non-GMO.  There are NO PARABENS!  This is a big deal to me, and the reason why I switched to all natural products as a new mother 4 years ago.  

 

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As I mentioned earlier, I feel like there’s a great divide between products that are natural and safe, and products that pack a powerful punch but are full of stuff I don’t want on my baby’s skin.  You can tell that the formulas that Era Organics uses are thoughtful and science based, not just thrown together willy nilly.  These products have made a difference on my skin and on Peach’s skin (and its been great on my toddler and preschooler’s skin, too!)

 

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I truly believe in these products and I am SUPER excited to share with you that Era Organics has offered a set of their ENTIRE  Honeybuns skin care line for one lucky winner on our Facebook page, so head over to She Rocks the Cradle on Facebook to enter through April 24th!  Era Organics has also offered a 25% off discount for She Rocks the Cradle readers using the code CRADLE25 through the end of May in their Amazon storefront!  I am so thankful for their generosity, and I can’t wait for you to try out their products.  You’ll have to let me know how you like it once you try their products out– you wont be disappointed.

 

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Here are the quick links to the Honeybuns products on Amazon! Don’t forget to use our CRADLE25 coupon code for 25% off, and be sure to share your purchase through the social share buttons on Amazon when you add these items to your cart!

 

Honeybuns Baby Wash

Honeybuns Healing Balm

Honeybuns Diaper Balm

Honeybuns Baby Powder

Belly Oil for Mama

Mommy Balm

 

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