Hip pain is a common symptom that you may experience during pregnancy. This discomfort is occurs specifically during the third trimester as the body is preparing itself for labor. Soreness and pain are often felt strongest on the side where the baby tends to lie in your uterus.
During pregnancy, body releases hormones allowing connective tissue to relax and soften. As a result, the joints and ligaments between the bones in the pelvis will begin to loosen. Increasing flexibility in these bones is essential which allows the baby to move through your body during labor. Lower back pain and changes in posture and a heavier uterus may contribute to the additional level of soreness one feel.
Other causes of pain in the hips may be due to increased pressure on the sciatic nerve. The two sciatic nerves in the body run from the lower back to the feet. When enlarged uterus puts pressure on the nerves, it causes pain, numbness or a tingling sensation in the buttocks, hips, and thighs. This problem is referred to as sciatica. As one get closer to the due date, baby will change its position in your uterus which reduces the discomfort to an extent. Sciatica is normal during pregnancy, but it is advised to consult a doctor regarding serious, causes of sciatica.
Another possible cause of hip pain is round ligament pain which occurs during the second trimester. Round ligament pain is characterized by sharp pains in the abdomen, hip, and groin area. The pain may intensify along with rapid movements or changes in position.
Practicing exercises that strengthen the back muscles and abdominal muscles are likely to reduce hip pain. Elevating the hips above chest level while lying on your back for a couple of minutes is a good option to alleviate pain. Applying warm compresses to the sore area and taking a warm bath can also reduce pain.
Make sure to sleep on your side and to keep the legs and knees bent once you are approaching the delivery date. Use pillows to support your abdomen and upper leg which can alleviate uncomfortableness while sleeping. If lying on your side worsens your hip pain, try placing a pillow or blanket at the small of your back and sleep leaning against it which reduces pressure on the hip.
If the hip pain is accompanied by a pressure or soreness in the pelvic area that lean towards the thighs before the 37th week of pregnancy, it can be a sign of preterm labor and is important to seek the help of health care provider.
Other indications of preterm labor include: