Relaxin is responsible for keeping your body loose so that your baby can squeeze his or her way into the world. While it is really only useful for the moment of labor, it often shows up early and can cause many strange side effects early in the pregnancy. Relaxin can make it easier for you to pull muscles when you’re pregnant, and it can even cause your shoe size to change by allowing your foot’s arch to lower. Unfortunately, one of the major side effects of relaxin is a condition known as symphysis pubic dysfunction.

Symphysis pubic dysfunction occurs when relaxin causes the ligaments around the pelvis to become loose. You might feel like your bottom half is all disconnected, and you’ll probably feel great deals of pain when moving around. If one joint moves more than the other when climbing stairs or shifting positions, you might feel like you need to re-arrange your legs and manually put them back into place.

The condition won’t cause you any serious harm unless you dislocate something, but it will certainly cause you pain and discomfort. Although, you should be extra careful to avoid dislocation during your pregnancy. The best thing you can do to ease the pain is remain still and use pillows to keep your body from shifting too much while in bed or on the couch. However, we can’t always remain sedentary, so another alternative is to go to a chiropractor.

A recent study showed that women who had symphysis pubic dysfunction during their pregnancy and visited a chiropractor for pain management and minor realignment were more mobile and were in less pain. Since a chiropractor is trained specifically in the alignment of bones and joints, he or she could offer you valuable advice on keeping everything in its proper place. Even if they don’t physically align you at your appointment, they can guide you and offer ways to stay comfortable when you return home.

After your pregnancy, the relaxin should go away and your joints and ligaments will go back to normal. If the pain of symphysis pubic dysfunction is interfering with your daily life, you should speak with your health care provider about pain management. Not all pain medication is safe to take during pregnancy, so make sure you find out which you should take to manage the pain of symphysis pubic dysfunction until your baby finally arrives.

Source: Emily Howell: Pregnancy-Related Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction Management And Postpartum Rehabilitation. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association Volume 56 Issue 2 pp. 102-111 June 2012