12 Tips to Help Your Partner Through SPD

Partners, Pregnancy, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, Tips | 4 comments

On our blog, you can find some great info about what Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD) is and some practical tips for pregnant women on how to cope with SPD.

But one area we thought was lacking information was regarding info for PARTNERS of women with SPD. So for anyone whose partner has SPD or Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) – another form of severe pelvic pain – read on!

If you have found yourself here, you might be in the same position I was ―I had no clue what SPD was. I had never heard of it in my life. Unfortunately, it came crashing into our lives when I saw my partner crumple to the floor in agony.

Oh No!!

Once we (finally) figured out what was affecting her, I found out quite quickly that SPD meant two things:

  1. My partner’s pregnancy was about to get a whole lot tougher.
  2. I was going to be a whole lot busier over the coming months.

Here are a few tips from someone (me!) whose partner went through pretty serious SPD and was bedridden for several months. There might be a few things I may have missed, but this list offers a good prep for what’s heading your way.

1) Believe and support your partner!

This should be a no brainer. Pain from SPD can be anywhere from a persistent annoyance to a full-on, crippling. Your partner will know what is going on in her body and she will be the best authority to know if something is not right.

Don’t brush it off and for Pete’s sake don’t tell her to walk off her pain or toughen up! Doing so could mean lasting and serious pain or discomfort even long after the baby is born.

You might also have to help take up the fight to get a proper diagnosis. Depending on what country you are in will depend a lot on how good doctors are at identifying SPD, so don’t be afraid to question your doctor and push until you are satisfied that SPD can definitely be ruled out.

2) Get ready to work

 There’s no way to say this gently. You are about to get very busy.

Your partner may have a very difficult time with very basic things – climbing stairs, sitting down, walking around, carrying things, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and more.

You are going to have to help as much as you can.

Also, make sure she is not doing lifting. Heavy lifting of any kind will bear down on her pelvis and add extra pressure. If ever there was a time to do the heavy lifting…the time for you is now.

3) Prepare an area for your partner

What do I mean by this? Your partner’s mobility could be severely affected by SPD. Once she is settled and comfortable, getting up for a drink, a snack, the phone, etc. might require a Herculean effort.

This is true if your partner finds being in bed more comfortable and especially if your bedroom is upstairs. I learned very quickly that stairs are the mortal enemy of any woman with SPD!

Try to create a little area for your partner with everything she might need close at hand. Think about having a little cooler with drinks or snacks close to the bed or chair. Make sure phone are computer chargers are nearby. Pillows, blankets, hearing pad, etc. – whatever your partner needs should be nearby to help her get comfy and stay comfy.

This is how stairs look with SPD.
4) Clean up!

 No, I’m not trying to get in your partner’s good books by confirming you’re a slob. Really, I’m not trying to get anyone in trouble, but hear me out.

SPD can make walking very difficult – even a few steps to the bathroom can seem like a triathlon. Every step can be an effort, and the last thing your partner needs is dirty clothes, shoes, etc. all over the place. Don’t turn your home into an obstacle course!

Her ability to bend will likely become more difficult, let alone being able to see something before she trips over it. Keep the walking path clear.

Don’t wait until fire is the only option!
5) Drive Miss Daisy

If you need to drive anywhere, take it as easy as you can!

Without a doubt, one of the most difficult times for my partner was when we had to drive anywhere. The worst was the pressure on her tailbone and the side-to-side motion going around corners, etc.

  • Some things that can make a drive a little easier are:
  • If you can, take a smooth route to wherever you’re going.
  • Park as close as you can or drop her off so your partner doesn’t have to walk far.
  • Remind your partner to keep her knees together when she gets in and out of the car. Opening the pelvis up can be a very painful movement with SPD.
  • Keep a plastic bag for her to sit on so she can turn easily on the seat.
  • Take a pillow with you so she can lean against it to help reduce side-to-side motion.
  • Make sure to give yourself extra time to get to any appointments, etc, especially if your partner has to walk any distance.
  • We also have a great portable seat cushion to reduce tailbone pressure.
“Look, honey – I can see the doctor’s office from up here!”
6) Help her sit/stand

The simple act of sitting down can be very painful with SPD.

Help your partner get into and out of chairs if she needs it. We make several products to help reduce pressure on the tailbone at home, the office or when you’re out.

A recent study showed that one of the most stressful movements on a woman’s body during pregnancy is the act of standig up from a eated position. Our Sit & Sigh ORIGINAL cushion can be a helpful aid in providing a boost from almost any chair and reducing to effort to stand.

7) Stay healthy

The last thing you need is to get sick. Make sure you look after yourself, too. You’re supposed to be looking after your partner during this time, not the other way around.

Something that can turn into a real problem for someone with SPD is a serious cough because coughing tends to shake the entire body, which in turn can irritate the tailbone (for someone with SPD) and be very painful.

Make sure you don’t pass something on to your partner while she’s pregnant!

No Man Flu here.
8) SPD can happen anytime during pregnancy – so be prepared

Thankfully, not everyone will get SPD or severe pelvic pain when pregnant. Studies show it will happen to at least 1 in 4 women during pregnancy.

Unfortunately, SPD doesn’t follow any rules. Some women can have it as early as 11 weeks into pregnancy and some can have it for years after giving birth. Sometimes it can even develop after giving birth.

 So you may have to prepare for the fact that if your partner develops SPD, you could be in for the long haul.

9) Give a little TLC

A little massage or foot rub can go a long way. Have your partner sit or kneel and give her a gentle back rub.

If your partner has tailbone pain, try rubbing an ice cube on the tailbone and surrounding area.

Hopefully it will give a little relief and score some brownie points, too!

Nice and gentle
10) Help into/out of bath

A bath can be a real source of relief from SPD pain BUT you need to prepare.

Try to be around to help your partner into and out of the bathtub since the combination of SPD and a baby bump can make this tough. The last thing you want is for her to slip!

One major problem we found was that almost any bathtub makes you sit so your body weight is directly on your tailbone. That’s why we developed our BATH cushion to help those with SPD have a bath without pressure on the tailbone.

More fun, but not the recommended way to get into the bath.
11) Be the angel (or devil) on her shoulder

Nobody likes to say they can’t do something. It’s even worse when you physically can’t do something.

It might be your responsibility to keep your eyes open and be that little voice to remind your partner not to do (or do) some things.

You’re welcome to read through our blog entry with tips for women who have SPD to see what kind of effects it can have on them to get an idea.

12) SPD is like going through pregnancy on EXPERT mode

Your partner is already pregnant, and that comes with a long list of pains, changes, quirks, highs and lows. Go to any bookstore and you’ll see hundreds of books about most of those things.

If your partner develops SPD, it means she has to deal with potentially excruciating pain ON TOP of all those things that happen during a normal pregnancy.

Hopefully SPD isn’t something that will happen, but if it does, you need to be the first line of support for your partner.


Remember, most of the things on this list aren’t difficult, you just need to be ‘there’ and supportive to your partner. And yes, try to plan ahead. Most importantly, these tips are just a lot of common sense. If your partner is struggling with anything or looks like she needs help, seize the chance to jump in and help!

Knights in Shining Armour can come in all sizes!
If anyone has any other tips or ideas to help your partner, please leave a comment below.

And we saved the shameless self-promotion until the end! Be sure to check out the links below to our products and see if they might be right for you.

Until next time…

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