Objective. In this longitudinal cohort study, we assessed the prevalence, associated delivery-related and psychosocial factors and consequences of self-reported pelvic girdle pain during and after pregnancy in the Netherlands. Methods. A total of 412 women, expecting their first child, answered questionnaires regarding back and pelvic girdle pain, habits, and biomedical, sociodemographic and psychosocial factors, at 12 and 36 weeks gestation, and 3 and 12 months after delivery. In addition, birth records were obtained. Possible associations were studied using non-parametric tests. Results. The prevalence of self-reported pelvic girdle pain was at its peak in late pregnancy (7.3%). One out of 7 women suffering from pelvic girdle pain at 36 weeks gestation, and almost half of the women suffering from pelvic girdle pain 3 months after delivery, continued to report symptoms 1 year after delivery. Women reporting pelvic girdle pain are less mobile than women without pain or women with back pain only, and more frequently have to use a wheelchair or crutches. No association was found between obstetric factors and pelvic girdle pain. Women with pelvic girdle pain report more co-morbidity and depressive symptoms. Recommendations. Normal obstetric procedures can be followed in women reporting pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain. Prognosis is generally good, however, women reporting pelvic girdle pain 3 months after delivery need extra consideration. Attention needs to be given to psychosocial factors, in particular depressive symptoms.
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