Pregnancy hormones left me in a wheelchair for months


Like any mother, Carolyn Jess-Cooke is looking forward to the birth of her fourth child this month with nervous excitement.

But for Carolyn giving birth is going to be especially life-changing, because after spending months in pain, she should be able to walk without crutches.

The mother-of-three has been dogged by crippling pain in her lower back and pelvis throughout all of her pregnancies — for two of them she even needed a wheelchair.

Carolyn is one of an estimated one in five women who develops pelvic girdle pain (PGP) in pregnancy.

The condition occurs when pregnancy hormones cause the tendons and ligaments that secure and stabilise the pelvis to become more lax, leaving the bones susceptible to sheering out of place.

The pelvis is made up of two bones that are joined to the base of the spine in two places, and then at the front to the pubic bone.

The structure is designed to be strong enough to support the body, but flexible enough to absorb the impact of feet hitting the ground.

PGP occurs when the bones become misaligned at the pelvic joints. Sometimes these can lock, leaving the woman temporarily unable to move one or both legs.

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