Pregnancy concerns: Pelvic and hip pain

During your second trimester, you are starting to show a slight baby bump. For many women, this is the best three months of being pregnant, when the new pregnancy fatigue starts to fade and the pesky morning sickness begins to subside. During these three months, your energy levels are on the rise, and you start to feel like your old self again.

It is during this trimester that the baby grows very quickly, and by now the doctor will also be able to learn the sex of your baby. Everything seems to be smooth sailing from here, but although you are starting to feel much better, major changes are taking place inside your body. Many of these changes can inflict and manifest into pains and aches, especially around the pelvic and hip areas.

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Pelvic and hip pain during pregnancy

With your cute new baby bump comes a sudden excess weight that the body is not used to. This added weight puts pressure on the joints and ligament, which in turn can lead to pelvic and hip pain, amongst other things. As the pregnancy progresses, these aches and pains might increase in intensity.

As your baby develops inside you, your uterus grows exponentially – many times its original size. This quick growth will affect the balance of your body, since it is centred in only one area. Because of this, women change their posture to compensate for the lack of balance, and this in turn causes your muscles to strain. Pelvic and hip pain is usually a direct result of these tense muscles.

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How common is pelvic and hip pain during pregnancy?

Do not fret; pelvic and hip pain is extremely common in most mummies-to-be, especially around the 12th week mark. This is mostly due to a hormone quite aptly called “Relaxin.” True to its name, this pregnancy hormone relaxes the joints and muscles in the pelvic area.
The pain is usually quite bearable, but can be quite debilitating in some cases.

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How to treat pelvic and hip pain during pregnancy

Thankfully, there are many ways to treat the aches and pains in a simple and cost effective way.

  1. One of the most enjoyable options is a prenatal massage. It is advisable to find an accredited masseuse for this purpose, but heating pads and hot baths will also greatly help to relieve the pain.
  2. Swelling, pelvic and hip pain is often the result of simply sitting for long periods of time. Walking around or lying down with your legs elevated can decrease any discomfort.
  3. When you are sitting down, sit backwards on the chair to relieve pressure on the spine and back. Keep the lower back supported with pillows, and do not forget about body alignment when you sleep. Always have a pillow or towel propped between your knees to take the pressure off your lower back.
  4. Mild exercises will go a long way to aid not only in relieving pain, but to strengthen the muscles. Good ideas for prenatal exercises include swimming, water aerobics, Pilates and yoga.
  5. If the pain persists or becomes unbearable, see your doctor for help.


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