Our top 10 tips for alleviating hip pain while pregnant


Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but it often comes with its hurdles. Among these, hip pain is a common complaint that can affect your quality of sleep and overall comfort. As your body changes to accommodate your growing baby, hormonal shifts and the additional weight can lead to discomfort in the hips, making it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Finding the right sleeping position plays a crucial role in alleviating hip pain during pregnancy. Adequate sleep is essential for expectant mothers to cope with the demands of pregnancy; it contributes to better mental health and enhances physical well-being. To reduce the pressure on your hips and get a restful night’s sleep, you can adjust the way you sleep, exercise, and use supportive tools like pillows. 

Let’s explore the top 10 tips that can help alleviate hip pain during pregnancy. Whether you are in your first trimester or approaching your due date, these recommendations are designed to help you achieve better sleep and enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy.

The importance of addressing hip pain during pregnancy

Throughout pregnancy, the female body undergoes several biochemical and hormonal changes that can cause swollen feet, and body aches such as lower back pain. Hip pain is one of the most common complaints. During the third trimester, hip pain increases as your body prepares for labor. Furthermore, this pain is often felt more on the side your baby tends to lie within your uterus. Apart from this, there are other reasons for hip pain during pregnancy.

What causes hip pain during pregnancy?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, as your uterus expands to accommodate your baby, it puts pressure on the sciatic nerves that run from your lower back to your feet. The added pressure on these nerves can cause tingling, numbness, and pain in the hips, buttocks, and thighs.

Another cause of pregnancy hip pain is round ligament pain or sharp pain in the groin region, hips, and abdomen. The pain tends to increase when you switch positions or move quickly. 

The hormone relaxin is another cause of hip pain. It is a hormone that increases when women become pregnant because it prevents premature contractions and helps with placenta growth. As its name suggests, relaxin does something else—it helps relax and loosen your muscles and ligaments in the hips. 

While it sounds good, the increased flexibility during pregnancy makes it difficult for your muscles to adapt to all the new movements, and they easily get worn out and overworked, causing pain.

Tips for alleviating hip pain while pregnant

Alleviating hip pain during pregnancy can improve your well-being and increase your comfort. Managing this pain can help you stay active, sleep better, and feel more at ease throughout the day. Whether you are in the early stages of pregnancy or nearing your due date, several practical tips can be incorporated into your routine to reduce hip pain.

From adopting the right sleeping positions and performing targeted exercises to utilizing supportive gear and practicing good posture, these recommendations are designed to help you manage and minimize hip pain.

By following these tips, you can improve your comfort, enhance your mobility, and enjoy a healthier, happier pregnancy journey.

1. The left side is the best side

As per The Sleep Foundation, sleeping on the left is better than sleeping on the right, particularly as your abdomen expands. Sleeping on your left side increases blood flow, ensures your organs and baby are receiving oxygen and nutrients, and helps reduce swelling in the legs, and ankles. While sleeping on the right side is safe, it is best to only do so for short periods as this can put pressure on your liver.

Using a pillow and positioning it between your legs with your knees bent also helps reduce hip pain. This position keeps your spine neutral and aligns your pelvis and hips to reduce pressure and in turn, pain.

2. Full-body pregnancy pillows

If you’re experiencing hip pain, you may want to consider a full-body pregnancy pillow, such as a C-shaped or U-shaped pillow, which provides full-body support. These pillows help distribute your body weight evenly and alleviate pressure, thereby reducing hip pain.

3. Engage in prenatal yoga

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists emphasizes the importance of exercise during pregnancy and recommends that pregnant women get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Given that pregnancy yoga is low-impact and gentle, it is a great way to help alleviate hip pain, as stretching can help loosen tight hip muscles. Read more about pregnancy yoga here.

4. Maintain Good Posture

As your baby grows, your center of gravity tends to shift. Therefore, you may have to change the way you behave to accommodate this shift. Your growing baby often puts strain on your lower back and, in turn, your hips. However, maintaining good posture can help reduce the pressure on your lower back muscles. 

While walking or standing, try to keep your shoulders back and your back straight. When standing or walking avoid leaning back and adopt a wider stance. Similarly, when preparing to sit, exercise caution, and use your legs to bear the brunt of your weight. Place a pillow behind your back to keep it straight while sitting.

5. Belly bands

A belly band, pelvic belt, or maternity support belt is a flexible band designed for pregnant women. It aligns the pelvis, supports the uterus, and prevents round ligament pain. You would wear the belt low on your waist, it helps to position your baby off the pelvis and restore your center of gravity, reducing hip and back pain and relieving the pelvis.

6. Apply a warm compress

With the additional weight placed on your hips and the release of the hormone relaxin, you might experience muscle spasms around your hip area. A hot compress increases blood flow and can help reduce these spasms.

7. Perform low-impact exercises

Aside from yoga, other exercises such as swimming, stationary cycling, and walking can strengthen your hip and pelvic muscles without putting excess pressure on your joints.

8. Soaking in a warm bath

Taking a warm bath can relieve not only hip pain but also aching muscles and can reduce inflammation (for your swollen ankles). However, you must ensure the water is warm, not hot as hot baths may reduce blood flow to your baby.

9. Consider prenatal massage

As we all know, massages help with pain, the same is true during pregnancy. Prenatal massages are tailored to accommodate pregnant women and can relieve pregnancy hip pain and improve your sleep. Additionally, a massage can help reduce swelling and improve circulation. 

10. Consult your doctor

Oftentimes, pregnant women choose to bear the pain rather than consult a doctor. Even though hip pain is common, it is always best to consult your doctor before you exercise, take medication, or simply try to soldier on. Your doctor will be able to identify the cause of your hip pain and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your needs.


Hip pain during pregnancy may be common, but it is manageable with the right strategies. By implementing one or a combination of the practices above, you may reduce your pain and improve your overall well-being while pregnant. Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body and consult with your healthcare provider to tailor these tips to your individual needs.

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