Stylist Nadia Bartel On Experiencing Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction |

“Every time I stand or take a step I have sharp nerve pain… I waddle and I limp…” – Stylist Nadia Bartel On Experiencing Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction



Blogger and stylist Nadia Bartel, 33, is currently pregnant with her second baby (she and her husband, ex-AFL player, Jimmy, are already parents to two year-old Aston)...

But it’s not all smooth sailing for the ultra glam mum. She’s just taken to Instagram the weekend to document her struggles with pelvic girdle pain. “… Here I am, unable to move, pretty much house bound because every time I stand or take a step I have sharp nerve pain shooting up my front and back, my hips click when I take a step and feel wobbly and ache. “I waddle and I limp – this is all because of my pelvic girdle pain (also known as pubic symphysis dysfunction or PSD) I didn’t listen to my body this pregnancy and kept pushing through.” She goes on to say the last month has been “particularly hard”. Her post has certainly struck a chord with her followers, of which she has over 400,000. And, she’s been inundated with comments and likes. While lots of those comments are support for Nadia, many echo her feelings towards this condition. One poster, who says she has a five month-old baby, divulged she had to use a walking stick for the last eight weeks of pregnancy. (“It was soooo painful”). But, this poster notes, there is hope. While she walked into her delivery using the stick, the pain disappeared “the moment” she had her baby, and she hasn’t needed that “horrible stick” again. Another commenter talked about having to crawl from her bed to the bathroom at night because her hips felt so unsteady. A different woman agrees that the pain is “the worst”, but adds it’s amazing how you forget about it so quickly when it’s over. Many advise Nadia to rest, use heat on the area and seek professional help. As those comments show, Nadia’s far from the only mum-to-be who’s suffered pelvic pain in pregnancy. In fact, according to an article in The Australian Journal of General Practice published in July this year, lower back and pelvic girdle pain are common in pregnancy, with an incidence of around 4-8 per cent. The onset of pain usually occurs around 14-30 weeks. Thankfully, there are ways you can help manage the pain. The article goes on to detail some of these. One way to do that is to modify your activities. Start by working out which movements aggravate your pain – and then come up with strategies to avoid them. Seeing a women’s health physio can not only help you come up with those strategies, but it can also assist you in other ways, including devising an exercise program. Wearing low-heeled shoes can also help, as can avoiding standing on one leg (such as when getting dressed – it’s, therefore, best to sit while doing that). Heat applied directly onto the painful area can also help. If you’re having an acute flare-up, ensure you rest along with using appropriate painkillers. If you’re really unable to move, it’s important to speak to your doctor. That’s because both pregnancy and prolonged rest increase your risk of blood clots, so your doctor may recommend preventative treatment at this time. And, if you’re struggling, it really is worth seeing your women’s health physiotherapist for specialised help. Nadia makes it clear in her post that she’s not saying all this “for pity”, acknowledging she is “damn lucky”. Rather, she wanted to let people know that Instagram pics don’t always tell the full story. She also wants people to know that she’s “forever grateful” to be carrying her “little dude” and that she can’t wait to meet him. And, when she has her baby, chances are Nadia’s pain will resolve, with 93 per cent of women reporting their symptoms have gone within three months of giving birth. While the pain of what Nadia – and others like her – are going through shouldn’t be downplayed, at least the outcome of pregnancy is worth it. As one commenter put it, “You get the best prize in the end”.


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