I read all the books, absorbed all the advice, but I never heard of or expected this postpartum complication.
I knew getting up multiple times a night to feed, change and soothe a crying baby was going to be exhausting.
Yes it was going to be hard and I was going to be tired, but I was shocked that I was in so much pain that I physically couldn’t do it without help.
For most, the pain of child birth ends shortly after your baby is born. For us unlucky 1 in 300, the pain is far from over.
Why? Because we have Pubic Symphysis Diastasis.
The Rare Postpartum Complication I Wasn’t Ready For
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I am not a doctor. Nothing on this website should be considered a substitution for medical advice from a doctor. I highly suggest you consult with your doctor with any symptoms you’re having.
What Is Pubic Symphysis Diastasis?
Your two pubic bones are connected with ligaments that form the symphysis pubis joint.
During pregnancy your body produces high levels of the hormones relaxin and progesterone.
Those hormones relax muscles and loosen ligaments and joints, especially in the pelvic area, to allow your body to stretch and give birth.
During regular birth the symphysis pubic joint does separate and then goes back together within time without pain.
Pubic Symphysis Diastasis is excessive separation of the pubic bones causing trauma and intense pain with movement such as walking, sitting up or down, climbing stairs, etc.
As you can imagine, this postpartum pain can make taking care of a newborn extremely difficult.
What causes excessive separation?
Doctors don’t seem to know exactly why some women experience Pubic Symphysis Diastasis while others don’t.
They think a fast delivery could increase your risk.
In my own experience, while my labor only lasted 7.5 hour, I pushed for 3.5 hours. So I definitely wouldn’t consider that fast.
Considering my baby was 9 lbs 3 oz I’m led to believe a bigger baby and maybe a narrow pelvic region are to blame?
But I’m not a doctor, just a woman who went through it, so what do I know? 🧐
How long does it last?
For myself, pain started to subside after three weeks. With no pelvic pain after two month.
Pubic Symphysis Diastasis pain can last up to 8 months postpartum.
How do you manage the pain?
Postpartum pelvic pain from Pubic Symphysis Diastasis is hard to cope with while caring for a newborn, but there are a few things you can do to help. Here are my best tips for coping.
You need to speak up and ask for help.
That first night in the hospital after my daughter was born was a nightmare I wish I could forget.
I had given birth. I had been awake for over 24 hours. As expected, I was tired.
What I didn’t expect was the excruciating pain in my pelvis every time I had to sit up to get my baby and then again getting back in bed.
There are nurses there who are more than willing to come into your room and hand you your baby, or even take care of your baby so that you can sleep.
I didn’t realize, because it was my first birth, that the pain I was feeling was not normal. I felt weak, like a failure for wanting the help, so I didn’t ask for it.
Looking back I realize now how ridiculous I was. Don’t be like me. Ask for help.
If you experience intolerable pelvic pain postpartum please discuss this with your doctor.
They may suggest over the counter pain medication or give you a prescription pain killer.
Support bands and belts like this one can help relieve pelvic pain during your pregnancy and postpartum recovery.
Most cases of Pubic Symphysis Diastasis resolve on their own.
If this is not true for you your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist.
While Pubic Symphysis Diastasis after birth is said to be rare, I fear that’s because it is goes undiagnosed.
New mothers who don’t know what to expect could easily think this pain is normal when it is not and then not receive the help they so desperately need.
The best way to prevent this is awareness and we can spread awareness by speaking up about our concerns and spreading knowledge on the subject.
Please share this post to help others!