31 answers

HELP!! 29 Weeks Pregnant and in Horrible Pain!

hello again moms! i need your advice once again....i am now 29 weeks pregnant with #2 and i am in horrible pain. the pain is generally located in my pubic bone and occasionally in my left hip, but more the pubic bone than anything else. it feels like everything is swollen down there, it hurts to cross my legs while sitting...i have to pull my leg onto the other one just to sit like that, it feels really weird when walking too, thats when i realized things are swollen.....the other night i got up to tend to my 2 year old and it hurt so bad i almost had to drag myself up the steps to get back to his room. i mean i could barely walk, i was almost in tears it hurt so bad. i had talked to the doctor about it at my last appointment and she said it's nothing and to take tylenol if it bothers me that much. well....tylenol doesnt work for me for pain like that, just headaches if im lucky....i read online that she should have done a pelvic exam to make sure nothing was broken/fractured and to make sure im not dialated. my question is, has anyone else experienced this and what did you do to help ease the pain and what was the outcome..i.e.did you have a large baby, did you deliver early, etc? staying in bed really isnt an option for me being i have a 2 year old that i chase around all day, but i do rest and/or sit frequently throughout the day as to not make it any worse. is this something i should be worried about or is it normal? i know that there are many discomforts in the last trimester but i didnt have this with my first...i didnt have any problems with him actually. i just need some help as to what i can do to ease the pain until the baby arrives...all advice is appreciated! thank you!

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Its possible the baby is engaged. My son was head down and engaged at 24 wks! I felt like that for the remainder of my pregnancy. It wasn't fun, but atleast I knew he wasn't going to end up breech.

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I had that with my third baby (but for me it was all of the 3rd Trimester and part of the 2nd).

It has to do with where and how the baby is sitting (and for me it also had to do with the shape of her head). She was sitting low and had an oblong head.

As it was explained to me: the Pubic Bone has two pieces, one on top of the other. When I'd walk, use stairs and other activities one bone was grinding on the other.

I know it hurts like nothing else, and I'm sorry for your pain. I found no relief (which obviously won't help you feel better as you likely have 10 wks or so of this to look forward to). The hip is likely the baby sitting on a nerve.

You can take Tylenol. Also, maybe try soaking in baths or a pool if possible (may relieve some pressure) though it will only help while you're doing it.

Mostly, just keep in mind that pregnancy (for most women) often gets harder and more painful with each subsequent pregnancy. You may need to cut back on activity with the rest of this particular pregnancy and keep yourself in situations where 'lady-like' sitting is not such a priority. Your hips are opening more and sooner, this time, than before (hence the discomfort when trying to cross your legs). Try to keep your feet up more. I know that sounds laughable as you have 2 yr old to keep up with- I understand as my two youngest are only 18mo apart...!

If it helps at all: I did NOT have this problem with any of my other pregnancies - only the third.

Oh, I've since heard that a good Chiropractor may be able to relieve some of this pain. I recommend an awesome one if you need.

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You probably have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (or SPD). I had it with both my pregnancies, but it was much worse with my second. Rolling over in bed and getting our of bed were excruciating. Walking was very painful. I asked to be induced a week early b/c I couldn't handle it anymore. I never had imaging done to prove it, but my symptoms were obvious. It's caused by the space between your public bone widening by mere millimeters more than the norm. Obstetricians in this country are totally dismissive of it, but I was able to get some relief from a chiropractor. I never took any medications. I couldn't imagine they would help anyway. You should avoid yoga and anything that requires you to spread your legs (until you're delivering!). Keep them together and sleep with a pillow between your legs. I had to use the pillow at least 4 months post-partum too. My babies were not large and neither am I, but I do have a history of lax joints and pelvic alignment issues. I don't want more kids, and knowing that this condition would get worse in future pregnancies is good birth control!! Here's a link with more info:
This last trimester will not be easy. Try finding a chiropractor with experience with pregnant women. I went to Arlington Neck and Back Center - Dr. Maggs. They have offices in Gainesville too.
The good news for me is that natural delivery didn't make it worse. I was induced and skipped the epidural probably because I was so used to a high degree of pain down there! Sorry if this is what's hapenning to you. Get help on your own, don't let your doctor blow you off.

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I agree with the posting that spoke of SPD. Time for a good chiropractor that specializes in pregnancy. I have several referrals in the MD, DC and VA area.
Also, I'd be concerned about a caregiver who dismisses this pain and tells you to take a tylenol! I'm not surprised though. I'd run to the nearest midwifery practice where they are woman centered and know about SPD and will listen to you and take plenty of time with you each visit.
Please feel free to contact me for referrals to a chiropractor and/ or a midwifery practice. ____@____.com
L. M
HypnoBirthing childbirth education and birth doula services in the MD,DC, and Northern VA area.

I hade this problem with my third baby. The only way that I could control it was to make sure I sat as much as I could. Try not to walk for any long distance. I am sorry to say that there isn't much you can do other than that. I did not deliver any earlier with my third baby, but the pain did seem to lesson the further along I was. Just hang in there and good luck!

Sounds like the baby is pushing on nerves and spreading your pelvis. My pelvis didn't spread but my rib cage did. Same type pain but I couldn't breath without pain either. I found Yoga and stretching helped. Moving helped more than resting for me.

I had that problem. And every once in a while (later in the pregnancy it was anywhere from 2-5 times a day) I'd get a crippling pain shooting down my leg. It was my sciatic nerve. My little angel was just kicking it or something and literally made me fall over twice because of it-the pain was that bad. Unfortuantely, drugs didn't help, and there wasn't anything the dr. could do about it. It was just however my daughter was moving. Good luck!

i would check with your doctor to be sure but it could be just regular pains. i had intense pelvic/lower back pain with all 3 pregnancies and it got worse each time. with the 3rd, i was limping and having a lot of trouble standing, sitting, and walking. turns out that my sons face was crammed into my pelvis so badly that his face was entirely purple with bruising when he came out. i am one of those women not built for child birth and had to have an emergency c with my 1st and the other 2 were scheduled. i would suggest having a pelvic exam just to make sure that the baby's positioned ok but, other than that, it sounds like it could just be regular pregnancy woes. i agree with the bath. it's messy but put a towel in the tub so you have cushion on your tailbone and lower back. the hardness of the tub always aggravated my discomfort. hope that helps! good luck!

Hi TC,

Sounds like you could be out of alignment, I would get to a good chiropractor right away! Not sure where you are located, I know some great ones in the Hampton Roads area. If you want their info you can email me at ____@____.com luck, S.

I say get a second and third opinion from a doctor, maybe one of them not an obstetrician. The pain is telling you something- I think you should know exactly what it is so YOU are deciding if it is something to live through or needing attention.
I had a really bad batch of morning sickness with my second. When it got too much for me, I saw the doctor and he "poo, poo -ed" me. I put up a fuss and it turned out I had a virus. At least I KNEW my baby wasn't suffering and with the decrease in stress and proper attention, my life improved as well.
Good luck, and congratulations!

Hi I know what you are feeling, this is my third and I am only 4 months but have been having the same pain for a few weeks now. It hurts so bad sometimes I can barely walk. I called my dr about it and they said its just cause the baby is hanging out down really low in my pelvis and its just causing ligament pain, even though it feels like its the bone that hurts. You should still call your dr to be on the safe side.

Hello TC
I had the same thing you were describing happen to me during my pregnancy. Unfortunately, I don't have any good news to share with you. My pain started in the beginning of my second trimester and lasted until delivery. In addition to that I had terrible pain with my sciatic nerve, I mean to the point that my leg would give out on me when I was walking. I am the only person that I know who had that pubic pain consistently for so long. It got worse as I got bigger and my doctor couldn't help me. My mom thought the pain was due to me carrying very low but... who knows. I didn't take any medication for it but laying flat on a bed with my feet elevated on a pillow would give me temporary relief but I worked everyday and that was not something I could do in the office. I delivered one week before my due date and my baby was average size but he had a very large head. I don't know if the large head thing factored into my pain but... since no one was able to explain it, this will remain a mystery.

I agree that it sounds like your sciadic nerve. If it is, I know your pain, and I'm sorry.
This happened to me with my second one at 37 weeks. I couldn't eat, sit, stand, was making frequent bathroom visits, etc. I even debated sleeping in the bathroom to make life easier. I first thought that I was in labor, but timed it out and it wasn't it. Then friends thought I had a kidney infection and bought me a ton of cranberry juice. I finally went to the ER, and at first they yelled at me for coming to the ER when I was pregnant, and not L&R. Its not labor I told them, they didn't care. If you're pregnant, you go to L&R, regardless.
Anyway, the dr. came in and said it wasn't labor that it was probably just the way that the baby was positioned. He gave me a prescription pain med.
Since then, I have visited a chiropractor for reoccurring pain. He has me do the following:
1. Long warm showers with the water on my back.
2. Low heat heating pad.
3. Massage from hubby.
Good luck

Hunny I dont know what it is about the seconed preganacy but you feel like you were run over by a mac truck LOL!!! My first pregnancy was wonderful and so easy going and no akes or pains.Then I got pregnante with my seconed at 23 and I felt like I was 100 because everything hurt.I know the exact pain you are talking about in your pubic bone...it felt like I had been kicked in the crotch with steel toe boots(sorry to be so explicit,but it is what it felt like!!)Unfortunatly there realy isnt anything you can do to get rid of it but what did help eleviate the pain for me was soaking in a warm/hot bath or if i didnt have time for a bath I would just let the warm shower run on my "sore" spots and it seemed to loosen things up a little and relieve some of the pain for awhile.I didnt end up having a realy large kid,he was 8lbs...pretty averege,but he did come slightly early at 37 weeks.I think unfortunatly for some women pregnancy just hurts there bodys and that is just the way it will be from now on for you.Good luck swetty and hang in there..."this too shall pass". A..

I had the same pain with my second as well...turns out it was just because he was "sunny side up". He was facing the wrong way and the back of his head was pushing on all of those sensitive nerves and veins (BTW, this means the dreaded back labor, which is torturous compared to regular labor, forwarned is forearmed, be prepared). What helped for me was a little inversion therapy. I have a couch that has a gently inclined chaise in place of one of the cushions and I would lay on my back, put my feet on the back of the couch and my head at the bottom of the chaise with my knees bent so it didn't hurt my back. I stayed this way for about 20 minutes to let the swelling go down a little and to ease the pressure on my nerves. I had to do this a few times a day, but every time I did it, the relief would last for an hour or two afterward. When I did this right before bed, the relief lasted throughout the night because I was laying down and therefore not letting gravity re-aggravate the condition. A word of caution, the incline has to be gentle, I tried a few other angles and the more severe angles made it very hard to breathe because of the weight of my uterus pressing upward on my lungs. Much as I hate to agree with anything that disgusting Rosie O'Donnell says, inversion therapy worked for me. :)

However, pain like this is not a symptom that should be written off by your doctor. Go back and DEMAND that she examine you or explain why she won't. If she won't then tell her that you are seeking a second opinion and go get it.


Sorry to edit my response, but I disagree with the sciatic nerve theory. I have permanent damage (including loss of feeling and function) to my sciatic nerve from herniated disks, and let me tell you, if it was your sciatic nerve, the pain would be shooting all the way down the back of your leg, making the bottom of your toes tingle, and if the pressure was bad enough (as mine was in the beginning before the nerve was too damaged to transmit pain) it would be giving you a muscle spasm which is basically a specifically located muscluar seizure that's impossible to stretch out and is excruciatingly painful like one huge weeks long charlie horse. The sciatic nerve also doesn't cause pain in the pelvic region, lower back yes, pelvic no.

This happen with my number three... I felt like I was walking around with the baby between my legs- Lots of pressure. The did an extra ultrasound to check if I might have a preterm baby- and it came up negative(my doctor said sometimes this can be a sign of preterm, but also just what happen sometimes after your first). They baby came a little early, but not premature. I couldn't find anything that helped either- including for the headaches, so I did as much resting as I could, considering it was number three and the other two were only 2 and 4. I found it tended to be worse on days I was overly busy and stressed...

Good luck

...I also had a lot of pain with my 3rd son. He was just so low that was causing the pain, also sometimes one leg/hip would hurt so bad, I'd have to walk sort of sideways or backways to make it stop hurting so much!

And it's hard when running around after your other little guy. Do you have family around to help with him? I think a little break every day would do a lot. Maybe join a gym so he can be in the kid care and you can just relax (read a mag, take a hot shower).

Definitely ask you ob/gyn but from what mine told me, they aren't much help!

Hang in there girl!!! God bless!

Hello T C:
It might be your sciatic nerve that is causing your pain; pressure from the baby sitting on that nerve can cause pretty severe pain and definitely swelling too... try laying on your left side for a little while, or get on your knees and elbows, head down, butt up and sway your hips slowly; that might relieve some pressure- its kind of 'earth-mother' but it worked for me. That position shifts the baby off that nerve, at least for a little while. I had the same kind of pain, but more in my hip and leg. It hurt so bad and felt so weird, and it was normal and fine. But I think if you're really worried, you should call the doctor again (second opinion maybe) or even go to the ER. If you really think something is wrong, it's not worth it to wonder. I can't believe she didn't check you - even if she 'Knew nothing was wrong', she should have just double checked even if it would ease your worries. She should have at least explained to you why you shouldn't be worried (pregnant ladies with 2-year-olds have enough to worry about). If you go to the hospital they will probably hook you up to a non-stress test and see how the baby is doing, and they would be happy to check you out, too.
Good luck, I hope you feel better- you're almost there!

I had horrible hip pain during my pregnancy and a chiropractor and pregnancy massage made it a lot better. Give that a try!

I had this a lot with my youngest. I thought that I broke my pubic bone. My ob told me it was the way the baby was positioned. I think it was b/c my body was primed already from having one baby that it was just loosening up for the big day. My delivery was much easier w/ my second child. She was a large baby at 8 lbs. 8 oz., but I don't think it had anything to do with my pain. Anyway, what helped for me was sitting on a birthing/exercise ball and rotating my hips. It relieved the pain for a while enough to where I could walk for at least a few hours without pain.

It is probably pain from your ligaments stretching out; your pubic bone has 2 parts, a left and right that join in the middle where you are experiencing pain. It has probably separated slightly and come out of correct alignment. The pain you sometimes get in your hip may be at your sacroiliac joint (a couple of inches above your butt bones and closer to midline), again due to loose ligaments. I had this off and on and it eased some by using a cane. Mine actually resolved on its own doing this, and I knew several self-mobilizations to realign my sacroiliac joint as I am a physical therapist. I doubt it is nerve pain by how you describe it; it is local and not radiating down your leg like sciatic pain does. It does not mean that your baby is huge or you will deliver early. If it is really unbearable after a few more days, I would see your OBGYN again and if he/she clears you of any problems w/ baby, I would ask for a referral to a physical therapist specializing in pelvic pain.

First of all, STOP crossing your legs! You're cutting off your circulation! Second, try Prenatal Yoga to stretch out those hip muscles. Third, consider chiropractic therapy. I was so out of whack after I delivered my 2 kids (both C-sections) I was couldn't feel my arms sometimes. Yes, chiropractic works. My PMD suggested I go to a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon for therapy suggestions. HA! I told her, not going to happen. So, I made her a deal: let me go to the chiropractor for 6 weeks (she had to write up a referral), up to 3 times a week and IF THAT didn't work, I would go for therapy. I have never needed 'therapy' for my back, just an occasional adjustment from "Captain Crunch". :)

Oh, I feel for you!!! I had this sort of problem with both of my children. My OB said it was normal and wrote it off. When I stopped being able to sleep, I went to see my primary care physician. They sent me to a physical therapist. Thank goodness!!!

I had slightly misaligned pelvic bones and it was causing a nerve to be pinched right at the pubic bone area. The pain was shooting from that spot down the thigh. It happened on different sides with each child. The PT person helped find stretches that I could do to help strengthen the muscles to pull the alignment back into shape. It took a l;ttle while and then I was able to sleep some more. (And the stretches were very easy to do, like lift your leg sideways a little, hold for 7 seconds, relax and repeat 5 times. Almost no effort and at most 15 min of time total.)

When ever I laid down, I had to be on my side. The nerve was pinched worst then. I would be in horrible pain and putting 1-4 pillows between my legs didn't help so the little sleep I was getting was from sitting straight up. When I had to get up to use the restroom (and you know how often that happens when you're pregnant) I would be almost unable to walk. I stumbled a few times and almost fell so my husband insisted that I try the primary care doctor. The pain was so severe that it made my legs give way and I couldn't help it. Getting up for the kids was particularly horrible because if they were crying I would want to go quickly but I could barely walk. Crossing my legs was not an option (and just thinking back... makes me a little nauseous to imagine trying).

I was so happy to get a few hours more sleep. I was able to get to a reasonable point within about 2-3 weeks. For the second baby, I went much earlier so she could diagnose if any different routines were needed.

I think a chiropractor may be a great idea too, but PT helps your body maintain the alignment by strengthening the muscles required to keep it straight. I do not believe just going to the chiropractor would have done much good for me, unless I went daily. The PT person would straighten me out and by the end of the session, she would check and see that I was slightly out of alignment again. Let me know if you want the name of my PT place. Insurance paid for it (with co-pay) with a referral from my PCP... but I would have paid out of pocket if necessary because the pain was that bad. Lucky for me, the problem was on different sides. Insurance would only pay for one series of visits if the problem was in the same place. I was able to get coverage both times because the pain was in a slightly different location :)

Best of luck to you. I feel for you and hope that this helps you in some way. It makes me almost want to cry to think about that pain and know someone else may be experiencing it. I know how horrible you feel. Hang in there and remember that it is all worth it in the end. Thank goodness it isn't longer than 9 months.

By the way, my pain went away with the delivery. It was the weight of the baby that was causing the problem to show itself. I am probably out of alignment now, but not being pregnant, I don't feel it. Take care.

(check out Vera C who posted on Feb 3. Her terminology sounds just like what they said to me... but I thought they said it was a nerve being pinched in there too. I may have the details wrong, but she is knowledgable and I'd suggest you check it out - soon)

Its possible the baby is engaged. My son was head down and engaged at 24 wks! I felt like that for the remainder of my pregnancy. It wasn't fun, but atleast I knew he wasn't going to end up breech.

hi tc,
exactly the same thing with my second. i thought my pubic bone HAD to be broken, but the docs just looked at me like i was nuts. i didn't take any meds and i'm sure tylenol would not have done much for that pain. and sure enough, 9lb 10oz baby with a head like charlie brown.
spend as much time as you possibly can with your legs elevated, and take soothing warm baths. i know that sounds pretty wimpy, but hang in there! once that baby isn't putting all that pressure there any more you'll be fine.
going to a chiro is a great idea. i shoulda done it.
:) khairete

I have two suggestions. I went through this with my daughter and my doctor sent me to a phyical therapist. My hip bone had somehow slipped from the socket. You could try that. With my second I wanted to make sure that didn't happen again and went to a Chiropractor. And that made all the difference with my second baby. Good Luck.

I agree with the last responder.....check out a physical therapist, it is very common to see them while you are pregnant and it can relieve a LOT of pain! Good luck.

I had the same promblems with my last two. If it bothers you to much go to the hospital and have them check you out you might of started to dilate since it is your sec. I was early for both my other ones it is possible. Both mine was small so it might or might not be the size thing. It could be your pelvic expaning for the watermelon to drop out. hope any of this helps good luck....

I'm in the same boat, about. My R hip pops out of socket, my sciatic nerve is pinched and I'm really swollen down there. I'm at 31 weeks. With my other pregnancies I had the sciatic nerve problem, but not the swelling.
My midwife suggested that when the swelling is bad to lay down with my feet elevated. I have not been able to try it yet, since I have 2 preschoolers.
She also recommended a chiropractor if my hip keep bothering me, but I've been doing a ton of leg and butt exercises which seems to ward off the pain from the sciatic nerve. Good luck!

I had something similar with my second pregnancy that started at 28 weeks. My condition was varicose veins of the vulva- it caused major swelling and discomfort. The main advice I read online suggested using a contraption called the Fembrace- it's a special pair of underwear with high compression straps. Sounds scary, I know, but it did help a lot. I am not positive that this is what you have, but maybe? Look it up online and see if the symptoms sound like yours. I delivered just two days early, so I was pretty uncomfortable for those last 12 weeks. Good luck and hang in there!

i had a weird feeling there in like my last trimester i think. not sure if it was what you are describing though. i just felt uncomfortable when i sat. like babies head was pushing on things. maybe his head is rubbing your bones. normally id suggest a hot pad but you arent supposed to let your body get hotter than normal. i'd tell my dr to tell me what it was making me hurt next time. sometimes just understanding what it is helps.

you should either make your doctor examine you and figure out what's going on or change doctors. It is not normal to have such pain.

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