30 weeks has really seemed like a major turning point in my pregnancy. It just feels like, “Okay! Here we are! The final count down! EEEEk!”. In my pregnancy with Luna, I went into spontaneous labor towards the end of my 37th week. Based upon that information, I’m thinking we’re looking at another gestation of around 38 weeks. (We’ll see!) If that is true, I could be looking at only 8 weeks left!
I thought it would be fun to journal what is going on with me and baby in these last several weeks. My goal is to write a minimum of 1 post per week with updates, tips and tidbits. So, lets get started!
About 2 weeks ago I started to feel some pain in my inner thighs close to my pelvis as well as around my hips and glutes. I remembered experiencing some soreness in these areas with my last pregnancy, but not quite this early on. A few days went on and the pain just kept getting worse and I mentioned it to a friend midwife (not my own) who suggested to speak with a physical therapist. Well there just so happened to be this gal everyone in my birth community kept talking about so I almost immediately shot her a message and asked what she thought. We chatted and scheduled a consult.
At my appointment with Jenny Archer, we found that my adductor tendons were aggravated and my pelvis was out of alignment. We discovered that I wasn’t using my gluteus muscles nor my lower abdominal muscles properly which was basically throwing everything out of whack. I was diagnosed with an early and more mild case of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). We believe that I had gotten to this state due to the hormone that is produced in pregnancy called relaxin, but also mostly due to lack of movement and improper sitting. I sit at a computer desk 5 days a week, cross legged and really hadn’t been getting much conscious movement or exercise. BOO! (PS, I teach how important this is in my childbirth class, yet here I am FAILING. Why do we not take our own advice?) Jenny did some muscle work on me for about an hour and we worked on exercises for another 30 minutes. By the next day, I saw a pretty significant improvement. Within a week of being diligent with my magnesium (both orally & topically), doing my exercises and being conscious of how I am sitting as well as getting up and moving around throughout the day, the pain was pretty much gone! I went for another visit this week (week 30) with Jenny and she had seen improvements as well. We did some more muscle work, chatted a bit and decided to hold off scheduling another appointment unless symptoms get worse. I will likely do at least one more if not two more visits with Jenny before I give birth.
In conjunction with my physical therapy appointments with Jenny, I had been seeing DeAndra Herndon with Generation Chiropractic. Really, I started seeing DeAndra at the beginning on my pregnancy, aiming for a minimum of 2 adjustments per month but it was around 28 weeks that I decided it was time to start seeing her a minimum of once per week. Chiropractic work is so important during pregnancy and I personally recommend all women take advantage of this care throughout their entire pregnancy, regardless of having any known complications or not.
Fun tid bit – DeAndra is also growing a baby and is expecting in the same month as me AND we share the same Midwife and Doula. Its been great going to her and chatting about how we both feel as we are going through the same stages of pregnancy together. Once I started to get the painful symptoms of SPD and aggravated adductor tendons, I immediately brought this to DeAndra’s attention and she started adjusting me in ways to better support my unique case. I would give her Jenny’s feedback and give Jenny DeAndra’s feedback and they would adjust accordingly. It was definitely a collaborative effort and I’m truly thankful to have both of these ladies on my team!
During my 30th week I also picked back up on teaching my childbirth classes. Currently I have a group course going as well as a private course. It has been really fun and engaging teaching a group of women and their partners about pregnancy, birth and postpartum while I am also pregnant. Many of the women in my class are expecting pretty close to the time I am. I feel that this has allowed me to connect even more to these families plus it has been a great refresher and reminder on what is important as I’m navigating my third trimester.
Week 30 Tips:
- If you haven’t already started seeing a chiropractor, start now. During pregnancy women’s tendons, muscles and ligaments tend to get short, stiff and tight causing all the familiar discomforts we feel in pregnancy. Back pain, pelvis/hip pain, leg pain, rib pain, neck/shoulder pain, round ligament pain, the list goes on – chiropractic adjustments can help! In addition to the discomforts that we often feel, another huge benefit of chiropractic care in pregnancy that often times we can’t see or feel from the outside is positioning of baby! The more tight and rigid we are in the areas mentioned above, the harder it is for baby to obtain optimal positioning, thus affecting the rotation and descent of baby when it’s go time which can cause irregular and more painful labor symptoms. Talk about positioning… the dreaded word we all hate to hear in our third trimester… BREECH. Our baby is hanging out in our uterus with feet or bum down and head up and while this IS considered a variation of normal, many providers do not practice breech deliveries and will push for a Cesarean if baby does not turn. SOUND THE ALARMS! I hear it a ton in my doula practice and the first thing I typically recommend to help a baby turn is… you guessed it, Chiropractic Care (along with exercise from Spinning Babies). Do be sure to see a Chiropractor in your pregnancy who is familiar with pregnancy and is preferably Webster trained as they tend to have a better understanding of the unique needs of a growing and expanding pregnant body. Visit HERE for more information on chiropractic care during pregnancy and how it relates to positioning of baby.
- Pelvic Floor Health! You would be surprised how many women do not know about their pelvic floor (I didn’t until I took my childbirth class) yet have signs and symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction. In short, the pelvic floor is the core of the female body. It is the group of muscles and tissues that support all of the organs in the pelvis, vagina, uterus, bowel and bladder. These muscles control urinary function, bowel movements, sex, orgasms and birth. Because we sit so much many of us have a weak pelvic floor (cough, cough…me) and often times due to the nature of pregnancy and birth our pelvic floor becomes damaged. We go years and years of having symptoms that although are common (leaking of the urine, painful sex, difficult bowel movements, inability to orgasm, etc), they are not normal. Furthermore, our pelvic floor is directly related to our ability to birth our babies. All of this sounds extremely important, right? So my tip is, see a Physical Therapist who specializes in pelvic floor health. Ideally at least once in pregnancy and once postpartum and ESPECIALLY if you are having any incompetence. Their care is often covered by insurance and it is truly invaluable.
Week 31 Goals:
- Continue aiming for half my body’s weight in ounces of water and grams of protein per day. Hydration and protein is so important in pregnancy and can truly make a huge difference in how you feel. Protein is broken down by amino acids in our body and used to repair/build body tissues and organs. Our babies are built from these amino acids and if we are not providing ourselves with the adequate amount our body will begin to break down its own tissues to get the building blocks needed for baby. My current weight is around 155 lbs so I am trying to get in about 75-80 ounces of water and grams of protein per day. (Check out the Brewer Diet for what I believe to be the best diet to aim for in pregnancy)
- Continue doing my exercises from Jenny to keep this SPD at bay and manageable. Prenatal Cat to Table, Wide Knee Child’s Pose, TA Activation (Baby Hugs) and Supine Glute Set. Aiming for twice a day.
- Set time aside every day to take a 20 minute minimal Epsom salt bath. I can really feel the difference when I’m regular with this.
- Start developing my birth plan for if my home birth turns into a transfer as well as my postpartum sanctuary plan.