As “D” day approaches, we’re now down to fortnightly appointments. The good news is that the results of my fasting blood glucose tolerance test came through with flying colours. Not only do I not have gestational diabetes, but my blood glucose levels are excellent. Great! Looks like I’ll still be able to taste test for The Haute Food Co.
In anticipation of bad news from the doctor, I started exercising and restricting my diet (a tad – I won’t go so far as to say that I was really good, just a little better). It seems to have helped. I only put on one kilogram over the last two weeks which is considered an acceptable weight gain and not excessive.
Gareth, however, remains a large baby. He is still about two weeks advanced in size compared to the average-sized baby at this stage of development. He also currently weighs about 2.75 kg and appears to be larger than Gavin at this stage of development. If he continues at this rate of growth, we might be looking at an early induction (as in before the due date) to minimise the trauma of delivery.
As it stands, we know I can deliver a 4kg baby through vaginal delivery so we can still afford to wait. However, as I recall, it was quite a strain. The thought of delivering an even larger baby is seriously worrying me. If we’re going to have to induce anyway, I figure it will be better to induce Gareth earlier while he’s smaller.
The levels of my amniotic fluid seem to be back to normal range. My health checks are all good – BP 110/70 and urine clear.
Symptoms – it appears I have developed sciatica which is basically nerve pain due to compression of the sciatic nerve that runs from the back down the back of the legs. According to Baby Center, the pain experienced during pregnancy is not sciatica but another similar problem called Pelvic Girdle Pain.
My experience was rather brief and occurred while I was lying in bed and shifting positions. It felt like a shooting pain that ran from my behind down the back of my legs. Based on this description, it sounds a lot like pelvic girdle pain. The pain was not severe and it has only happened a couple of times, so I guess we’ll monitor it to see how it goes.
Baby Center recommends the following to help reduce the occurrence of PGP:
- Avoid pushing through any pain. If something hurts, if possible don’t do it. If this type of pain is allowed to flare up, it can take a long time to settle back down again.
- Move little and often. You may not feel the effects of what you are doing until later in the day or after you have gone to bed.
- Rest regularly, either by lying on your side or sitting upright with your back arched and well supported.
- If you find turning over in bed becomes very painful, try sitting up directly from lying on your back. This actually moves your pelvis from an unstable position to a stable, ‘locked’ position. You may find this difficult to do as your bump grows bigger. If you do manage it, it is likely to cause far less pain. Arch your back and tighten your pelvic floor and lower tummy muscles before moving.
- When you are walking, arch your back (by sticking your chest and bottom out) and swing your arms as though you are marching. This locks your pelvis in a stable position and activates the muscles responsible for stiffening your pelvic joints.
- Avoid lying on your back or sitting slumped, particularly with your legs straight (with your feet up on the sofa or in the bath). If you do have to lie on your back, place a rolled towel under your back, at waist level in order to support your back.
- Avoid heavy lifting or pushing (supermarket trolleys can be particularly painful).
- When dressing, sit down to put on clothing such as your knickers or trousers. Pull the clothing over your feet and then stand up to pull them up. Don’t try to put your legs into trousers, skirts or knickers whilst standing.
- Sometimes sleeping on a softer surface can help. Try placing a duvet under your sheet.
- Performing regular pelvic floor exercises and lower abdominal exercises can help to reduce the strain of the pregnancy on your back. To perform a safe and easy lower abdominal exercise, get down onto your hands and knees and level your back so that it is roughly flat. Breathe in and then as you breathe out, perform a pelvic floor exercise and at the same time pull your belly button in and up. Hold this contraction for 5-10 seconds without holding your breath and without moving your back. Relax the muscles slowly at the end of the exercise.
Personally, I did notice an improvement in both back pain and any funny twinges that occur while moving in bed when I did the Pregalates exercises. Although the pain doesn’t go away entirely, it certainly made the difference between having to grunt through the pain while shifting positions in bed and being able to move with a minimum of discomfort.
Interestingly, I didn’t find myself getting quite as much relief from the pain when I did the Yoga Zone Postures for Pregnancy. I don’t know whether Pilates just worked better for me, or if the Pilates exercises in Pregalates were more appropriate for dealing with the discomforts I experienced or if Pilates really is better for dealing with pregnancy discomforts. Nevertheless, I did buy another Yoga DVD called Yoga During and After Pregnancy by Avneesh Tiwari. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll let you know how it goes.