Hip pain is one of the worst things about pregnancy. If you don’t have it, count your lucky stars, but the things in this article can still benefit you and your baby! If you do have it, you’re not alone. Hip pain was one of the hardest things for me to deal with during my pregnancy; it stopped me from sleeping, which is something I value above many things. And I wanted to get as much sleep as I could before the baby got here because I knew that my days of sleeping were over. Thankfully, I found some things that helped reduce my hip pain. Hopefully, these things will help you too!
1. Find the right way to sleep
Sleeping comfortably during pregnancy is nearly impossible. When I was pregnant, I woke up what seemed like every 5 minutes to turn over because my hips hurt so badly, and, of course, sleeping on your side is the only safe position for you and baby. So here are some tips that helped me, and hopefully they also help you get through the night.
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs
- Keep your legs bent
- Use a pillow under your abdomen
- If it is uncomfortable to lie on your side, place a pillow or blanket or your partner at the small of your back to lean against (while still resting on your side). This will take some pressure off your hips.
2. Stretch with the Chirp Wheel
Using the Chirp Wheel to stretch the muscles around your hips will help to relieve that terrible hip pain you’re experiencing. Because your body is changing, hormones make your ligaments loosen to open up your hips for when the baby comes out. This change is causing you some pain, but stretching with the Chirp Wheel can help to make your change happen faster so that you don’t experience pain as long, or the wheel can temporarily reduce the pain from your changing body. Click here to see examples of stretches that can help with back pain and hip pain during pregnancy.
3. Take a warm bath
You might be worried about taking a bath while pregnant. Is it safe for the baby? The truth is that you can take a bath as long as you take a few precautions; baths can be a great source of pain relief and stress relief. The two things to worry about are (1) make sure your bathwater is warm—not hot (if you want a number, they say 98.6 degrees F is the one to aim for) and (2) don’t take a bath after your water has broken, as that could cause an infection. Why will heat help with your pain relief? Heat opens up blood vessels, promoting healing and soothing sore muscles to reduce pain. Tip: Adding epsom salt (about 2 cups into your bath) will help relieve sore muscles, and it is safe to use for you and baby. Epsom salt helps soothe your muscles, helps with digestion, reduces stress, and soothes stretching skin.
4. Exercise daily
Exercise during pregnancy has a lot of benefits for you and the baby. First and foremost, exercising during pregnancy can reduce your aches and pains. It can also provide you with more energy, reduce constipation, prevent excess weight gain, reduce swelling, and make it easier to get your body back after you have the baby. It can also help reduce the risk of gestational diabetes or help maintain good blood sugar levels if you have gestational diabetes. If you exercise regularly during pregnancy, you will also have a shorter labor and a reduced risk of a C-section. Even the simple act of walking every day will give you these benefits. Make sure to check with your doctor before you do anything too strenuous; they will recommend what is best for you.
5. Eat a balanced diet
How can eating healthy reduce your hip pain? Eating the right foods will help you gain the right amount of weight for your body. If you gain too much weight during pregnancy, chances are you will have increased hip pain and other ailments. Eating right and taking a prenatal vitamin will help you and the baby have all the nutrients you need, including what your muscles and ligaments need to heal. Include salmon, fiber-rich foods, greens, other veggies, and fruits in your diet. All of which are healthy for you, your baby, and your muscles.
Check out these other articles about pregnancy:
American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Hip pain during pregnancy. Retrieved from https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/hip-pain-during-pregnancy/#:~:text=Using%20pillows%20to%20support%20your,hip%20you%20are%20sleeping%20on.
Bastone, K. (2020, March 5). Eat these muscle recovery foods to get back on the bike fast. Retrieved from https://www.bicycling.com/health-nutrition/a20052687/eat-these-foods-for-faster-recovery-from-injury-0/
Marcin, A. (2018, August 15). How to relieve and prevent hip pain during pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/pregnancy-hip-pan#causes
Mayo Clinic. (2020). Pregnancy week by week. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896
Newton, A. (2018, January 8). The benefits of epsom salt baths during pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/epsom-salt-bath#The-benefits
Weiss, R. E. (2020, April 20). Safety tips for taking a bath while you’re pregnant. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/can-i-take-a-bath-during-pregnancy-2759760#:~:text=Baths%20are%20perfectly%20safe%20in,your%20water%20has%20not%20broken.