Pregnancy Hip Pain and Lower Back Hip Pain

Pregnancy hip pain is one of those issues MANY expectant moms deal with. If yours occurs during the day, it's difficult to walk around. If it's at night, it's either difficult to find a comfortable position at all, OR, when you do fall asleep, it wakes you up! Is there any hope?!

Well, once the baby's born you'll definitely sleep more comfortably (although, possibly not in lengthy stretches for a while). Until then, these tactics may help. They helped me to get some better stretches of sleep when I was pregnant with my children, as well as many of our clients, and most of the students in our natural childbirth classes.

Get an egg crate cushion or two for your mattress.

This can offer just that little bit more softness to keep the pressure point in your hip from driving you insane.

Have a TON of pillows!

I had TWO body pillows, which moved all over the bed at night with me. Yes, it frequently disturbed my hubby, but then he was awake to help me maneuver them into the perfect position!

Sleeping on your side is said to be the healthiest for you and the baby, due to the position of the blood vessels which lie between the uterus and your spine (vena cava in particular). In other words, if you sleep on your back, the weight of your uterus and baby will 'smoosh' the hose responsible for returning blood from your lower body, back to your heart...not the best idea, since that blood is nourishing momma *and* baby. Having said that, often women will wake up feeling nauseated, sweaty/clammy or anxious if the position they were sleeping in was causing this problem. It is called supine hypotensive syndrome, as it can affect the mother's blood pressure so dramatically.

The bummer is that sleeping on your side is so uncomfortable when you have pregnancy hip pain that's caused by pressure! However, you don't need to be fully on your side to avoid supine hypotensive syndrome. As long as you have the weight of your baby shifting to the side, or you aren't pushing on your abdomen so much that it causes the pressure in that direction, then you are in a safe zone! Sometimes the position that works best is to hug one or two body pillows and lean a little more over to the front, so that the hip pressure is significantly decreased ...OR putting the body pillows behind the body, so that the body weight is leaning back slightly, to take the pressure off the hip bone.

Put pillows above and below the hip bone, to keep it completely off the mattress.

This strategy gets you a little high off the bed, but it may be the only thing to completely alleviate the pain. This would be about the same as using some kind of doughnut pillow, and putting your hip bone in the center.

Pregnancy hip pain and epsom salt baths. As long as your practitioner says it's alright, warm epsom salt baths can be very relaxing and help tremendously with aches and pains. Pure epsom salt is just magnesium sulphate, which absorbs transdermally (through your skin), as almost anything we put on our skin absorbs. Magnesium is needed for the biochemical reaction of muscle relaxation and sulphate can help with liver detoxification, digestion, and the synthesis of healthy soft tissue, like your tendons. Sometimes, magnesium sulphate is used to help with slowing or resolving early contractions...and it is also used for these common pregnancy issues as well: achy joints, muscle spasms and twitchy muscles.

If your pregnancy hip pain or low back hip pain is more during the day, there may be some muscular tightness that is more your issue. As our bellies grow with our babies, we sometimes get the 'baby belly shuffle', turning our feet out, tightening muscles in our booty in compensation. These muscles are sometimes a real pain, particularly if they clamp down on your sciatic nerve and cause pain down your leg!

In this case, your sweetie may be able to help you with a bit of a massage on your glute, with you lying on your side on the bed. The other thing that can help is sitting on the floor or bed, with a large ball, softball size or larger-if you can find a ball a little softer than a softball, since they are just too hard. You may be able to get some help with the discomfort, by using the glute stretch pictured. It's one way to stretch the muscles of your rump without laying on your back.

As always if you are experiencing pregnancy hip pain or lower back hip pain, check with your doctor to rule out anything serious, but a great massage from a prenatal certified therapist will go a long way to alleviating a ton of pregnancy related discomfort, as well as be healthy for you and your baby!!

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