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Pubic Bone Pain in Pregnancy

Pubic Symphysis Diastasis

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Labor  - Station Pelvis

LifeART (and/or) MediClip image copyright 2008

Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.- Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.

Pubic bone pain in pregnancy is also know as Pubic Symphysis Diastasis. This is where, usually in later pregnancy, the hormone relaxin causes the pelvis, particularly at the pubic bone, to loosen. In general, this is a good thing as it makes birth easier for mom and baby. However, sometimes the separation is exaggerated and can become quite pain for the mother at the end of pregnancy or in the early postpartum period.

While pregnant women have been known to waddle, the relaxin and loosening of the pelvic ligaments is the reason behind the waddle. When there is too much laxity there can be instability and pain. You may notice this pain when walking, standing or trying to move your legs apart like stepping into pants or the bath tub. Most of the pain is typically centered up front in the pubic bone area, above your mons pubis (below pubic hair).

There are a couple of treatments for pubic bone pain:

  • Stabilize what you can via a pregnancy/maternity binder like the Prenatal Cradle.

  • Avoid situation that cause pain. For example, sit down to put pants on, sit on the side of the tub and swing both legs together.

  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.

  • Use a rice sock to help provide moist heat.

  • Occasionally, pain medication is appropriate and your practitioner can help you decide when and what.

The good news is that shortly after delivery you should be feeling much better as the production of relaxin stops.

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