Pregnancy hip pain can be a common part of the birth process, albeit an uncomfortable one. At a time when you want to be enjoying the nesting phase and bonding with your baby growing inside of you, you don’t want to be distracted with intense strain or discomfort. This seems natural with that fact that a baby is putting extra pressure, strain, and discomfort on your body. What is confusing is sometimes the pain can even start in your first trimester, before you’ve even noticed any changes to your body and might not think it’s pregnancy related.
However, no matter when your pregnancy hip pain begins, there are ways to find relief. But before we get into relief methods, let’s get into why hip pain can happen during a pregnancy.
Where Does Pregnancy Hip Pain Come From?
During pregnancy, the body produces hormones that cause connective tissue to loosen. The ligaments of the pelvis soften, causing the hips to widen in anticipation of a baby passing through during labor. As the baby grows, the weight gain puts added pressure on the joints in the pelvis as well as the lower back. There is a shift in the body’s center of gravity, which can result in a change in posture and added stress on the hips. Standing for long periods of time or even sitting or lying down in normally comfortable positions can cause aggravation.
The sciatic nerves are also affected by the gain in weight. Running from the lower back all the way to the feet, the added strain of pregnancy weight might cause pain or tingling in the hips and midsection. The round ligaments, the two bands of tissue that support the uterus, are affected as well. They stretch while the baby grows, causing them to become tender and sore. When the baby makes sudden movements or shifts from one position to another, sharp pain can occur.
What Can Be Done to Relieve Pregnancy Hip Pain?
Fortunately, there are many options for dealing with this problem, including exercise, massage, and innovative products that can be purchased online or in stores. All have their benefits, which we will explore.
Stretching can strengthen the muscles in the back and abdomen, such as lying on your back and elevating your hips above chest level, to help alleviate the pains due to pregnancy. Other stretches that use a chair or hand railing for support can be done in a slow, gentle manner to provide relief to an expectant mother.
Regular walks can limit weight gain during a pregnancy, which reduces the stress on the body. Physical activity should be done safely and within reason, of course. Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor if there is any dizziness, weakness, or other sensation that feels out of the ordinary.
Low-impact workouts, such as swimming, are great ways to help alleviate hip pain. The water lessens the amount of stress put on joints that would normally occur during an activity like walking or running. Floatation devices can also be used to reduce pressure on the body.
Yoga is another type of exercise that can strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and reduce stress. It has also been shown to improve sleep, an added benefit for expectant mothers.
Prenatal massage has been shown to reduce stress. Massage therapists employ several techniques to reduce inflammation and joint pain, which releases the tension in tight muscles and provides much-needed pain relief.
6. Pelvic Belts
Also called belly bands or belly belts, they provide support for the uterus and lower back. They wrap around the waist, take the strain off the hips, and relieve lower back and round ligament pain.
7. Pregnancy Pillows
When an expectant mother sleeps on their side, a pregnancy pillow can give support to multiple areas like the abdomen and the back. They allow expectant mothers to find a comfortable sleeping position and help provide much-needed rest.
8. Natural Remedies
There have been many recent advancements in all organic natural remedies such as lotions, balms, scrubs, and bath products. They use vitamins and oils to safely provide restful and relaxing solutions for dealing with the aching joints and muscles. A warm bath followed by organic treatments can let a mother feel pampered, soothed, and relieved of pregnancy hip pain.
Pregnancy hip pain can be difficult to deal with. But expectant mothers can be comforted by the fact that there are a wide range of options for dealing with the stress and discomfort. Whether it be through exercise, massage, or a consumer remedy, the key is finding out which one works for you, leaving you free to fully enjoy this special time in your life.