how to manage hip pain during pregnancy

How to Tackle Hip Pain During Pregnancy

Suffering from hip pain during pregnancy is quite common. In fact, a 2018 study found that over 30% of women will deal with hip pain at some point during their pregnancy. When I developed hip pain in my third trimester, I was desperate to find some relief!

As a physical therapist, I knew exactly why I had hip pain. Yet, having to spend hours on my feet with a growing belly just made it feel impossible to avoid. Thankfully, I found some great tools and techniques to get some daily relief. 

**This post may contain affiliate links I am confident will benefit you immensely. See full disclosure here.**

managing hip pain during pregnancy

The Reality of Hip Pain During Pregnancy

When we experience pain, our first reaction is to find a way to get rid of it asap, right?!

Of course, it’s a basic human desire to live life pain free. While many of the aches and pains during pregnancy can be reduced, managed, or even disappear with the right treatment tools- I wanted to remind you that discomfort is a common part of pregnancy (sigh). 

My best advice is this: always bring up any new pains or concerns with your doctor. Then, try the following four tips and keep in mind that your pregnancy won’t last forever (even though it can feel like it some days, ha). Thankfully, these tips will also help you in the postpartum recovery process too (where hip pain is also common). 


4 Tips for Reducing Hip Pain

These are my four top recommendations for hip pain. When I refer to hip pain I am referring to pain in the buttocks, side of the hip, or even the low back (they are all very closely related during pregnancy).

I researched, used them myself, and vetted these tips to share with all of my pregnant friends and clients. Plus, I plan to keep these in mind the next time I get pregnant too 😉 


  1. Regular Exercise.

When you’re juggling exhaustion, nausea, and discomfort from a growing belly- exercise might feel like the last thing you want to do. In fact, I’ll admit all I did after work in my first trimester was lie on the couch and binge on Netflix shows. I was able to sneak in an occasional walk but that was about all I had energy for. Luckily, my energy levels returned to me in my second trimester and I got to work boosting my exercise routine.

Exercise during pregnancy has so many great benefits. Learn exactly how to exercise safely during pregnancy and all the reasons why you should! When it comes to hip pain, it boosts your blood flow, promotes muscular balance, and helps you better manage any stress that might be manifesting as pain. When you’re feeling unmotivated, try to do something anyways- even if it’s just 10 minutes. Your body will thank you! Here are my favorite exercise options:

  • Prenatal yoga or pilates
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Low impact bodyweight moves or interval training (HIIT)
  • Pelvic floor exercises

The Perfect Pregnancy Fitness Plan is really an expecting mamas best friend! This program strengthens your core, pelvic floor, back, and hips to prevent pregnancy aches and pains and minimize the effects of diastisis recti! It’s the only 40 week prenatal program that addresses a pregnant woman’s ever changing needs before those pregnancy discomforts even start! Check it out now so you can learn everything about prenatal exercise step by step.


how to eat and exercise during pregnancy


2. Get some support.

There’s a lot going on in the pelvis, low back, and hip region that can leave you feeling sore. That growing belly is putting some serious pressure on your core and lower body.

Unfortunately, when your core muscles, particularly the abs, are being further stretched each day, it can feel impossible to feel like your belly is well supported. This is why belly and pelvic support can be game changers with managing any hip, pelvic, or low back pain. (As a PT, I’m not usually a fan of external support, but pregnancy is a very special short-term circumstance.) The two basic options for this include:


  • Belly bands. These devices provide gentle compression to the belly to take the edge off and provide some much needed support to local joints, ligaments, and muscles. The key is to find one that feels good without being too tight or restrictive. 
  • SI belts. This is my absolute favorite and was a lifesaver in my third trimester. This belt is designed to go below the belly and directly over your sacroiliac (SI) joints. These joints are located under the dimples in your low back and pelvic region. And they can get seriously sore during pregnancy. Compression directly around these joints can give your entire pelvis some support and pain relief. 



3. Pay attention to your daily mechanics. 

Speaking of that growing belly, it’s easy to imagine how that belly and other stretching tissues can lead to some serious changes in your body’s everyday mechanics. There are a few primary postures and movements that we might be subjecting ourselves to daily that are exacerbating our hip pain.

This primary one many women are guilty of is leaning. When we spend an extended amount leaning to one side, whether it’s sitting in a chair or standing in place, it puts some serious unnecessary pressure (and shearing) on the lower body, particularly the SI joints. For this reason I recommend these three strategies:

  • Avoid shifting your weight to one side for an extended period of time (realistically, not more than 30 seconds)
  • Avoid single leg exercise and activities
  • Support your hips when lying down- ideally with a pillow between your legs to promote equal distribution of your weight


4. Stress management. 

Stress, both psychologically and physically, are very real during pregnancy. Feeling constantly stressed and overstretched (literally and figuratively) can leave you feeling blah and sore. Take time to relax and let that strained body rejuvenate itself. Some of my favorite ways to relax and promote better stress management include:

  • Gentle prenatal massage
  • A warm bath and candles
  • Deep breathing
  • Getting extra sleep
  • Meditation
  • Asking for help
  • Go on a date with your spouse or a friend


Wrapping Up How to Handle Hip Pain During Pregnancy

Do Your Best, Mama!

Pregnancy is such a unique time. There’s a mix of excitement and fear for what’s to come when that sweet baby arrives.

Our bodies are totally amazing and resilient for what they go through to create a miracle. Yet, dealing with the day to day reality of pregnancy symptoms and pain can leave you feeling exhausted and totally over it.  

I hope these tips will help you feel your best as you welcome your new baby into the world and beyond. However, keep in mind we are all unique and that what works for me might not for you, or needs to be adjusted. They’re totally worth a try though. As always, listen to your body and do what feels best for it. Best of luck to you mama!


Have you tried any of these options for hip pain relief? Did they help? Did you find any other remedies that worked for you? I’d love to hear!


jay dee from mom blog lifeThis has been an amazing guest post by JayDee Vykoukal who is a doctor of physical therapy and mom blogger. She loves empowering women to live their best lives. She loves dancing with her toddler, traveling, nature and trying new foods. And she’d love to connect with you @



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