Introduction: Pelvic girdle pain (PGP) is a universally disabling condition affecting three of 10 pregnant women. Qualitative studies on the subject are lacking.
Objective: To describe pregnant women's experiences of PGP as related to daily life.
Methods: In all, 27 women with PGP participating in a randomised controlled study were interviewed during 2010-2011. Qualitative content analysis was used.
Results: Five main categories emerged: PGP affects the ability to cope with everyday life; Coping with motherhood; Relationships between partners often reached the breaking point; Questioning one's identity as defined by profession and work, and Lessons learned from living with PGP. The categories illustrate how women's everyday lives were interrupted. Their inability to meet their own and others' expectations put a strain on their lives causing disappointment, sadness and frustration. It made them question and doubt their roles and identities as mothers, partners and professionals, and kept them from looking forward to future pregnancies, in the absence of effective treatment for PGP. Knowledge gained was that women with PGP should seek help immediately, listen to their bodies, and acknowledge their limitations.
Conclusion: PGP severely affects pregnant women's everyday lives. There appears to be a lack of knowledge and awareness in general, as well as among caregivers and employers of PGP that needs to be highlighted and rectified. There is also a great need to learn how to support those suffering from it. Appropriate support during this important and rare phase in a woman's life is highly warranted.
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