Hello Pregnancy: adjusting my workout routine 

When it comes to my fitness activities, I like to forget that I am pregnant. I keep up whatever I’m used to as long as it is comfortable. After all, I know my body and can respect my limits. Well, let’s just say that I’ve reached some limits.

A few weeks back I went on a 5 mile run. I felt great the whole time and was especially jazzed to be running for two. The Runner’s High had me soaring until a few hours later when I realized that my pelvis was at risk of splitting in two. It was as if some jackass had come up and struck me in the crotch with a hammer. The pain was sharp as a mother effer. I struggled to move. Struggled to sit. Struggled to stand. Struggled to not cry like a baby. It seemed that my pelvis had aged 65 years in the course of one morning.

Unfortunately, I experienced this in my second pregnancy too, so I am not too alarmed. HOWEVER. Unlike last time when the pain waited until the 3rd trimester to show up, my pelvis was already screaming at 16 weeks. I will save you the detailed explanation and just say, this literal pain in the crotch has a name -symphysis pubis dysfunction. (Gosh, that sounds so sexy.) In this case, relaxin – the hormone released during pregnancy that relaxes the joints and ligaments to make room for the baby – causes the two pelvic bones to separate too much. And given that extra room, they’re free to rub up against each other. Cue the screaming.

The good news is, this is not an injury. Once I deliver and the relaxin slows it’s roll, the pain will go away. The bad news is, I have to cut back on: running, motions that create pelvic rotation and high impact activities. Basically, I should focus on keeping my legs glued together when performing any sort of movement at all (i.e. getting in and out of the car, getting dressed, sitting down, standing up, shaving legs, etc). Also, I am bringing sexy back with this little number. I cinch this darling belt around my hips to limit the pelvic rub, all while creating a very flattering silhouette. No, I don’t wear it on the outside of my clothes.

Needless to say, I have had to adjust my workout routine. Running is pretty much a complete no-go. No sprints. No jogs. No trots. Ugh, and just when the weather was warming up enough to have fun with field workouts. Lunges of any kind are sure to trigger the pain. Cue: booty sag. Split leg or single leg activities cause the pelvis to rotate and increases the pain. So, this basically kills interval training as I know it. Also, things like walking while carrying heavy objects (like either of my two children) add unnecessary strain on the pelvis and exacerbate the problem. Folks, the above activities make up like 75% of my waking hours. And so I have felt a little bit discouraged. BIG TIME.

BUT. There’s a BUT!! But, thank the Goddess of pregnancy and maternal health, there’s more good news. First, I found a local physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor function and pre/post natal health. After a brief consultation a few weeks ago, she was able to identify the above activities and cutting back on those has helped tremendously. I have another appointment with her this week for a deeper dive. Second, my acupuncturist (and all around guru) is able to help treat some of the pain. Plus, her treatment includes a 45 minute nap. And last, but certainly not least, not ALL of my favorite workouts cause pelvic pain. Oh my saving grace.

So, for the time being at least, the new workout regime includes lots of indoor cycling, interval training at BurnCycle, walking and hiking (as long as it doesn’t cause pain), yoga (bridges for the booty) and some weight training. Oh, how did I forget to mention Kegels?! I shall be doing Kegels until the cows come home. (Btw, I just did five.) I’ve considered adding in some swim workouts too… but I’m hesitant. It just feels like such a cliche pregnant lady thing to do. I’d rather suffer than be cliche – what is my problem?!

Aside from the crotch pain, all is going great. We’re having a BOY! And the little dude is already moving around a lot – my family even got to feel him kick around recently. I’m soaking up all of the second trimester comforts and it’s finally warm enough to wear my favorite maternity shorts. And yes, they are as Amish looking as they sound.

Anyone else out there experience SPD during pregnancy? Any tips or tricks to offer up?

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