Pregnancy and childbirth brings a beautiful bundle of joy, but with it can also come some serious pelvic pain. If your baby is resting low or drops as you get ready to go into labor, getting around can become painful. Relaxin also relaxes your muscles and ligaments around your hips in preparation for childbirth, which can also cause pesky pelvic pain. Finally, the recovery process after childbirth can be painful as your body is putting itself back together (I couldn't walk fast or for long periods of time for more than a month). Many of us just chalk the pain up to pregnancy and childbirth, but what if there was something we can do to help combat this pain and recover from it more quickly?
Glute and core exercises are key to aiding with pelvic pain. The three exercise listed below are safe with modifications for wherever you find yourself in the process. After 3-4 days of doing these exercises 2x a day, I found myself already feeling the difference!
Three Exercises That Can Alleviate Pelvic Pain
Glute Bridge Hold
Lay on your back and put your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your hips up off the ground as high as they can go (overextend) and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat x2.
*If you are pregnant, use a yoga ball or the edge of the couch for support. Your head and shoulders will be higher than the rest of your body.
** If you have Diastasis Rectii keep your stomach level with your shoulders and knees. Do overextend as it will put more pressure on the separation in your stomach.
Use a wall as your support. Balance on your left leg. Slowly tighten your glutes and bring your right leg back, toe pointed forward. Hold for 2 seconds and slowly release.
Do 12 reps on each side. Repeat x2.
*If you are pregnant, go back as far as comfortable. As long as you are tightening your glutes, this will help you.
For this exercise you can lay on your back or sit in a chair or against a wall. With your spine in neutral (there will probably be a small space between the flat surface and your lower back), tighten your abs and bring your hips toward your head. When you do this your lower back will touch the floor. Hold for 2 seconds. Release.
Tighten your abs and bring your hips toward your feet. As you do this, your lower back will come further off the ground. Hold for 2 seconds. Release.
Do 12 reps and repeat x2.
Why are glute and core exercises able to help combat pelvic pain? Many of us, whether it be from sitting at a desk or sitting from bedrest, have under-active glutes, which causes the hips and hip flexors to do more work to stabilize our bodies. The key is to activate your glutes to not only create more stability, but to also help repair and strengthen your body after childbirth. Strengthening your glutes will also aid in alleviating any imbalances there may be with your pelvic girdle, as lower back muscles may pull one side of your body out of balance. Diastasis Rectii is another situation which can cause pelvic pain, since your core is not working as it should and thus puts more pressure on your pelvic girdle. These three simple exercises will make a tremendous difference with easing your pain and repairing your body.
As always, check with your doctor if you begin feeling any discomfort or pain and refrain from doing these exercises until you are cleared by your doctor to begin them again.