From about six months pregnant on, I was having this consistent pain in my lower left abdomen. “Ligament stretching,” they said. OK, I thought, that makes sense. After all the obsessive googling I was doing, out of natural paranoia, I was in agreeance even though the pain was only getting worse. Little did I know that this pain would escalate into the worst pain I would ever experience in my life, even more than giving birth! A pain that was caused by a pretty rare condition called pubis diastasis.
The Pubis Diastasis diagnosis
Diastasis Recti, THAT’S the most common condition we hear of. I was not familiar with pubis diastasis (PD) (also called diastasis symphysis pubis) until five days after birth I decided to go to the emergency room. After speaking to a plethora of different health professionals and having an x-ray, I was finally diagnosed with PD, a condition more prevalent while pregnant. It usually goes away after giving birth, mine did not!
Let’s rewind to when the pain really began for me. Two days into my postpartum I was feeling surprisingly great. The third day I started having pain when I walked or even stood up. I mentioned it to the nurse, and she didn’t seem to be concerned, so home I went. I just figured it was normal and would go away just like all the other after birth symptoms would.
Within a day I could barely walk, and within two days I couldn’t at all. I couldn’t even turn from my back to my side without excruciating pain. My husband kept saying, “You literally just gave birth, you’re fine.” I KNEW this wasn’t normal. I had never known of a woman being in excruciating pain and not being able to walk after giving birth. It just isn’t a typical symptom. I desperately talked to several doctors after office hours and wasn’t getting any answers. Finally, one doctor mentioned that I may have pubis diastasis. “What the heck is that?” I thought. I had never heard of it, not even from any medical staff. So, to the emergency room I went returning home with strong meds and a walker.
Will this ever go away completely?
I can’t fully explain how I was feeling during all of this. I mean, my emotions were already at an all-time high from just giving birth. It didn’t help that the doctors I had seen had never had a patient with PD, so not only did they not have any definite answers, but they couldn’t 100% confirm if it would fully heal.
I was vulnerable. I was emotional. I felt helpless. I couldn’t take care of my newborn baby the way I so yearned to do. Worst of all, I didn’t know if I would fully heal. What if this was permanent?!
How did this happen?
I was never told exactly what caused my pubis diastasis, but I can tell you what makes sense, what healed it and YES that you can completely heal from PD.
The pain I was feeling during pregnancy was my baby pushing on my pelvis beginning the separation process. He stayed in that same position for months assisting in the uneven movement of my pelvis. I was having ligament pain, but the ligaments were becoming loose too soon, and this was never caught nor addressed. Had I known, I would’ve worn some sort of belly band or belt to lift my belly relieving pressure on my pelvis.
Also, during labor, I was flat on my back and I had 3-4 people pushing down on my legs adding even more pressure on my pelvis. One last hurrah to my pelvis.
You can heal!
What got me through this was strong Tylenol, a walker, extra help from family and physical therapy. The small movements I was ordered to do WORKED. Each week I got better and finally, I was able to ditch the walker. I’d say it took just as long as a woman to normally heal after birth, six weeks.
My advice would be to trust your body and your instincts. If you feel that your pain just doesn’t seem normal, it probably isn’t. I also really wanted to give women with pubis diastasis hope because I didn’t have much. I had minimal answers from doctors and the internet and no definite answer to if and how long it would take to heal. So, I am here to say you can fully heal from PD and it doesn’t necessarily take months. It took me weeks and mine was pretty bad. So, get your mama booty to a physical therapist and know that the future is bright!