Background: The aim of this study was to explore how pelvic girdle pain after delivery influences women's daily life in Norway. Knowledge about living with post-partum pelvic girdle pain is lacking.
Method: A phenomenological-hermeneutical design with qualitative semi-structured interviews was used. A strategic selection procedure was chosen to recruit participants from physiotherapy clinics and a regional hospital in Norway. Five women with clinically verified pelvic girdle pain after delivery were included. Data were imported into NVivo9 and analysed in three steps: naïve reading, structural analysis and comprehensive understanding of the text.
Results: Three themes influencing the women's daily life were identified: 1) activity and pain, 2) lack of acknowledgment of pain and disability, and 3) changed roles. A daily life with pain and limited physical activity was difficult to accept and made some of the women feel discouraged, isolated and lonely. Despite this, the women had a positive attitude to their problems, which may have positively increased their ability to cope. The findings also revealed the importance of a reciprocal influence between the woman and her environment, and that social support was crucial.
Conclusions: Pelvic girdle pain may influence women's lives for months and years after delivery. Health care professionals should appreciate and focus on the patient's knowledge and skills. Understanding the daily experiences of women with pelvic girdle pain might help improve rehabilitation strategies for these patients.