Pregnancy: Pelvic and Hip Pain

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Topic Overview

As your pregnancy progresses, you may develop aches and pains in your hips and pelvic area. This is a normal sign that your pelvic girdle is preparing for childbirth. Pregnancy hormones are relaxing your ligaments , loosening up your pelvic bones so they can shift and open for childbirth.

For pelvic girdle pain, you can use acupuncture or learn pelvic stabilizing exercises from a physical therapist. These exercises strengthen the muscles that support your pelvis. Both acupuncture and stabilizing exercises have been shown to reduce pelvic pain during pregnancy. footnote 1

To help manage pelvic and hip pain at home, try the following.

  • When lying on your back, propped up on your elbows or a pillow, squeeze a pillow between your knees. This can help realign your pelvic bones and may give you temporary pain relief.
  • Wear a prenatal belt or girdle around your hips, under your abdomen, to help stabilize your hips.
  • Sleep with a pillow between your knees.
  • Rest as much as possible, applying heat to painful areas.
  • Talk to your health professional about whether a safe pain reliever might help.



  1. Elden H, et al. (2005). Effects of acupuncture and stabilising exercises as adjunct to standard treatment in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain: Randomised single blind controlled trial. BMJ, 330(7494): 761.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMay 22, 2015