If you are referred to an obstetric physiotherapist for Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)/Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) they are likely to advise you on exercises that strengthen your pelvis, stomach and back. You may also get a pelvic support belt to give more support in this area.
If you’re having pain, you should talk to your doctor or midwife about this as soon as possible.
Aside from physiotherapy exercises, you should still continue to stay active in any way that is not painful. Your level of activity will depend on how severe your SPD is. It can be very frustrating if you used to exercise regularly and have to stop.
It is important to remember that, although common, SPD/PGP affects women differently. So what works for one person might not work for another.
If you are able to, try different exercises until you find one that works for you.
If swimming works for you, just avoid the breast stroke, as this is likely to cause you pain.
Stop any activity that causes pain.
Exercise classes and SPD/PGP
If you try yoga, Pilates or another group exercise class, go for a pregnancy-specific one, or make sure your instructor is used to teaching pregnant women. Tell them that you have SPD/PGP and they should be able to help you find out how to exercise as safely and comfortably as possible.
Stuck at your desk feeling uncomfortable and achy? Have a go at our simple pregnancy excises - you don’t even need to leave your desk.
Many people find it helps to set exercise goals to help them stay fit during pregnancy.
Most types of exercise are fine even if you are overweight. Being active during your pregnancy is safe and healthy for you and your baby.
Yes it is. In fact, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated, it is safer to exercise than not to as it brings down the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure.
Frequently asked questions about exercise in pregnancy, including what exercises to try and which ones to avoid.
Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly will help prevent you accidentally leaking wee when you cough or strain, both during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.
These simple pregnancy-friendly exercises don’t take very long to do and you can fit them into your everyday life, at work or at home.
If you're having a normal pregnancy you are safe to stay active comfortably right up to the end of your pregnancy.
Being active during your pregnancy is safe and healthy for you and your baby.
Walking is a safe and simple way to stay active during pregnancy. It’s the perfect activity to start with if you’re not used to exercise.
Yoga is an activity that focuses on mental and physical wellbeing. It uses a series of body positions (called postures) and breathing exercises.
Swimming and doing other exercises in water is a particularly good way to stay active during pregnancy.
- Macdonald S, et al. (2012). Mayes Midwifery, fourteenth edition. Balliere Tindall.
- NHS Choices. (2016). Pelvic pain in pregnancy. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pelvic-pain-pregnant-spd/. (Last review: 28/07/2016. Next review: 28/07/2019.)
ℹLast reviewed on July 31st, 2018. Next review date July 31st, 2021.