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Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes
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I'm a lady, but have never given birth. I'm also a bike fitter by trade, and have had only a handful of interactions with Ladies Who Have Given Natural Birth (LGNB's) who continue to ride. Some, but not all, compete on the road or in triathlon. A notable few have had tremendous problems with saddle discomfort, some I have 'solved' the problem, but I have one now who is challenging me (in a good way!).

I'm starting this thread to survey you LGNB's with these questions:
1. did you experience pelvic girdle pain during or after your pregnancy?
2. did you experience difficulty walking or a permanent change in gait afterwards?
3. were you no longer comfortable on a saddle what was comfortable pre-childbirth?
4. have you been, or are you now prone too, hamstring or adductor strains?

Would love to hear any input from a OB-GYN male or female on this subject as well. Thanks!

Anne Barnes
ABBikefit, Ltd
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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1) I have weird pelvic pain sometimes - often after I run. I have no idea what it is exactly - but it wasn't an issue before giving birth.
2) No
3) My saddles are still comfortable - although I find some "weirdness" (not pain - but uncomfortable) on the right side. It's like my sit bone isn't on the right place on the saddle or something. It bothers me more on my mountain bike than my cross bike, and both bikes were very comfortable pre-pregnancy.
4) No, and no
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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1. Yes, most of the time I would just describe it as discomfort, but there was definitely some pain.
2. No.
3. I don't have the experience to answer this. All of my "serious" riding started post-kids.
4. No.

Very cool to have a fitter who is trying to get some insight into this. I know my sitz bones widened a bit, so I can definitely see how some might need new saddles. Good luck with your client!
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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1. Yes. Some of the changes from pregnancy/childbirth can take years to improve, 6-12 months minimum. Some soft tissue changes are permanent. Bone/cartilage should heal up pretty well after a while.
2. No.
3. No.
4. No.
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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What you are describing sounds like SI joint dysfunction. It can happen from childbirth. I have it, but for different reasons, and it has led to many of the issues you are describing.

Here is what the pelvis looks like in aero:
http://thelowback.com/.../why_pelvic_tilt.jpg

and the issues that come with SIJD:
http://thelowback.com/.../why_disfunction.jpg
http://thelowback.com/...s/why_direct_efx.jpg

Your client might need manipulation by a PT, osteopath, etc to get lined up and stay lined up while she does other stuff to rehab. For me rehab has included tons of core work--not just abs, but back muscles (multifidi) as well. My PT also raised my bars and lowered my seat, to put my butt in a rock solid position (no hip rocking at all) until I could build the strength to hold a more aero position.http://
"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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THANKS!
That is absolutely wonderful information. How you describe your position (saddle down, front end up) I rather how I was setting her up, if only to alleviate the pain. If I"m understanding correctly, the laxity of the SI joints allows excess rotation of the pelvis forward? And without the anterior abdominal strength or tension in the sacrotubral ligaments the structure is out of balance....

She's not mentioned any L5 sacral pain and I didn't observe excessive tilt when standing. But that is beyond my ken so she needs to follow up with a doc as you say.

Dr.TriKat - yes, thanks she and her husband have both said she was 'cut open' for the birth and there was much pain post natal. It's two years on now, but surely there is still tissue damage.

I"m considering that she try out the ISM Touring saddle, any thoughts?

Anne Barnes
ABBikefit, Ltd
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with si joint dysfunction or pubic symphysis separation if there is a gait change post birth. That is not normal. Also evaluate for sciatic nerve issues and radiculopathy as some of the issues described could be stemming from that. Any severe grade perineal tear or episiotomy could cause local pain from the scar tissue with radiation.

Except for the soft tissue issues in the first couple of months post delivery I have had no issues post 2 kids.
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
If I"m understanding correctly, the laxity of the SI joints allows excess rotation of the pelvis forward? And without the anterior abdominal strength or tension in the sacrotubral ligaments the structure is out of balance....

yes, this is exactly the issue

She may not have L5 pain now, but if it is SIJD she will unless it is corrected.

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: Birthin' Babies and riding Bikes [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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One kid. Rode up to about 7 months pregnant and then was back on my bike 11 days post-baby. Some road riding but I'm more of a mountain biker.

1. No.
2. No change in gait that I'm aware of. My feet were really sore off and on for a few months post-baby which was odd because I had no foot problems at all during pregnancy. It went away eventually.
3. No saddle problems.
4. YES!!! I had never had hamstring problems in my life but around 7 months post-baby I started having hamstring problems and was later diagnosed with a torn hamstring. My PT said that I have "significant weakness" in my hips and that my glutes aren't firing. I also suspect a lack of core strength post-baby might have played a part. This does NOT bother me on the bike at all but it bothers me a lot with running and it's been incredibly frustrating to try to heal.

Not to threadjack but I'd love to hear the experiences of anyone else that has had hamstring problems post-baby. I should note that I don't know for sure that my hamstring problems were caused by having a baby but I find it odd that I NEVER had a problem before this ... I also ramped up my running mileage pretty quickly this summer so that might have had something to do with it too.
Last edited by: mtbchick: Nov 26, 13 10:38
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