Donations Provide Extra Layer of Care for Pregnant Women

The Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy team (POGP) working across the BSUH NHS Trust are immensely grateful for the maternity belts that have been purchased through donations to BSUH Charity. These belts really do make a difference to women in all stages of pregnancy who are struggling to cope with symptoms of Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP).

We know that up to 20% of women may experience symptoms of PGP, and as a result, struggle to cope with daily living activities due to pain in the pelvic region or lumbar spine. The symptoms can be particularly difficult to manage when young toddlers need to be looked after or work requires extended periods of standing or long commutes. Catherine Radford, Clinical POGP Lead, shared that in her experience women are now making choices to work later into their pregnancy. The POGP team sees women working until almost full term, sometimes stopping at 36-38 weeks. Catherine explained, “This may well explain why we are seeing increasing numbers of women presenting with these symptoms.”

Following Physiotherapy assessment, pregnant women are advised on a plan of treatment. This plan includes postural advice, help with recognising the need to pace activities, and individualised exercise programmes. For some, an additional piece of equipment called a maternity belt may prove really helpful. The belt straps around the women’s pelvis and provides additional support to the joints and ligaments in this area. The maternity belts are not part of standard physiotherapy, and are only used following on-going assessment when the global plan does not relieve the symptoms.

When asked about the equipment, Catherine shared, “The entire POGP team are immensely grateful for donations to the BSUH Charity. It is through the support of the community that allows us to provide an extra layer to our services. The belts really change the lives of women coping with temporary pain.”

Thanks to the generous donations from the local community, the POGP team have been able to purchase enough belts to cover a year’s supply which will support women at the RSCH, PRH and Hove Polyclinic. The belts will ease the symptoms for over 350 pregnant women, helping to maintain their mobility and keep them emotionally stable so they can focus on staying healthy and nurturing their developing baby. By reducing the stress and anxiety that accompanies the physical pain, women have a better overall experience of being pregnant.

For more information about how charitable support to the BSUH Charity makes it better for patients, please visit our webpage: www.bsuh.nhs.uk/charity. To give to the Physiotherapy Team, please reference ‘Fund #0080061’. Donation information can also be found on the website above.