32 answers

Hip Pain When Sleeping

My daughter in law is in the middle of her third trimester. She is in alot of pain in the hip area especially when trying to sleep. She works full time and has a 17 month old. She puts a pillow between her legs when she sleeps on her side. Does anyone have any other helpful suggestions?

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My hips ached so bad, I couldn't put on socks, pants or underwear unless I was sitting down. I slept with a pillow under my ribcage from armpit to bottom rib and 2 pillows under my head and neck. I pushed my bed against a wall and cushioned the wall with a body pillow so that I could sleep on my side but lean partly on my back at about a 45 degree angle and I had a pillow between my legs until I found that I was more comfortable with both legs propped up. Are you imagining a pregnant woman in bed, half on her back and half on her side with a lot of pillows propping her into a banana shape? That was me. So cozy. Pregnancy can really bring out the weird in us. Think banana. Be the banana.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello. I had this problem severely when I was pregnant with my second child. It has to do with the SI joint in her back/tail bone area. She needs to see a doctor who will refer to her a physical therapist. They will give her exercises to strengthen the muscle and also (in my case) they will do a some semi-chiropractic methods to help get the joint back into place. Or she could see a chiropractor. I know how she feels it can be terribly painful. It might go away after she has the baby, but in my case it did not. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

I didn't get very far down the list of responses, but I definitely wanted to suggest having an appt. with a chiropractor. They can at least assess whether or not some of the pain is coming from something being out of place. It really helps sometimes. Hope all goes well.

D. Rylander
A Blessed Birth Doula Services
###-###-####

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I have had hip pain with all three of my pregnancies, each time starting earlier and getting stronger. My only relief was to see my chiropractor regularly and to do a lot of the stretching he recommended for me. Before I even got out of bed I would do a child pose, then pull one leg up under my belly, followed by the other side. Next I would get on all fours and do cat/cow, arch the back on your inhale and hyperextend on your exhale. Then I would sit Indian-style (I think the PC term is Taylor-fashion now) alternating the foot that is in front and gently stretching forward. Do this throughout the day and before you get into bed. It provides a lot of relief. Also, try to do a lot of core-strengthening and sit on the floor Taylor-fashion whenever possible, rather than in a chair. This not only helps with hip pain, but opens up the pelvic area for baby to settle in the right position and prepare for delivery.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes there is a cure! Give birth ;-) This is how God created our bodies. It is called hip spreading and the hormone Relaxin makes our joints flexible so that our hips may open so that we can push our little miracle through. We surely are fearfully and wonderfully made!

1 mom found this helpful

Hello. I had this problem severely when I was pregnant with my second child. It has to do with the SI joint in her back/tail bone area. She needs to see a doctor who will refer to her a physical therapist. They will give her exercises to strengthen the muscle and also (in my case) they will do a some semi-chiropractic methods to help get the joint back into place. Or she could see a chiropractor. I know how she feels it can be terribly painful. It might go away after she has the baby, but in my case it did not. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

My hips ached so bad, I couldn't put on socks, pants or underwear unless I was sitting down. I slept with a pillow under my ribcage from armpit to bottom rib and 2 pillows under my head and neck. I pushed my bed against a wall and cushioned the wall with a body pillow so that I could sleep on my side but lean partly on my back at about a 45 degree angle and I had a pillow between my legs until I found that I was more comfortable with both legs propped up. Are you imagining a pregnant woman in bed, half on her back and half on her side with a lot of pillows propping her into a banana shape? That was me. So cozy. Pregnancy can really bring out the weird in us. Think banana. Be the banana.

1 mom found this helpful

I experienced the same thing during my pregnancy, which was alieviated some through massage, but the real relief came through chiropractic care (within 10 days I was able to sleep painfree!). Good luck!

I read a lot of the other responses... I am 8 1/2 months along with my second, and I teach yoga! But I still got hip pain at night. I started stacking three pillows vertically up and down against my headboard, then I laid another one down flat in front of them. I laid my head/neck on the three pillows and my side on the lower flat pillow. Wonders! To simplify this if it doesn't make sense, have her sleep with a pillow under her side while laying on her side with enough pillows to still support her head and neck. It seemed to align my spine. Sometimes I still need a pillow between my knees, but this works for my sore hips.

Yes, I am the queen of pregnancy hip pain! This pregnancy has been better and I swear it is because of my chiropractor.
I also did PT, however, this only helped moderately b/c of the constant changes of your pelvis while pregnant. Massage helps too, except that it was so very painful to get up after the massage! :)
I used a ice and heat pack any chance I got and it was my "tylenol"

The moment she gives birth, the pain will most likely go away.
Good luck

The pain she's experiencing is probably nerve pain from the extra weight pressing on it. I had it with my first and second babies and with my second it was worse and I still have the pain when I sleep on my side. She could try using a memory foam mattress topper, those help. Also a chiropractor could provide some relief. Make sure that they have experience with pregnant women. Hope this helps!

It sounds like she may be suffering from sciatica. I had that really bad when I was pregnant with both my children and it can be very painful. She should try swimming or even a warm bath, not too hot, to ease the pain before bed. She should also talk with her doctor about suggestions for easing the pain.

does she put a pillow under her tummy

Hi J.,

I didn't get very far down the list of responses, but I definitely wanted to suggest having an appt. with a chiropractor. They can at least assess whether or not some of the pain is coming from something being out of place. It really helps sometimes. Hope all goes well.

D. Rylander
A Blessed Birth Doula Services
###-###-####

J. - I have a son who's 9mths old and I had this pain since my 28th wk. The pain is from the loosening of the ligaments in her hips, so that she can pass the baby through her pelvis area. I had immense pain in my hips and groin area that caused me pain, especially when rolling over in bed. My doctor recommended taking a tylenol pm. It did seem to help. I would have her ask her doctor first before taking the meds, but I know it did help me. Unfortunately, nothing will make the pain go away completely, because her body is preparing for labor. The pillow should also help. Good Luck!

Try sleeping on an inflatable air bed. This allows your daughter in law to have as much or as little support as she needs to find relief.

I had a lot of hip pain during my pregnancy and ended up having to see a physical therapist for it. She gave me some exercises to do that would help, but just knowing what was causing it helped me deal with it too. Normally during pregnancy the pelvis opens from being a closed ring to being two "c"'s that face each other, but they're level. Mine weren't level, one side tilted so it pinched a nerve and hurt extrememly bad. Putting a pillow between my knees helped, but my p.t.'s exercises helped get my pelvis level again and that was the most helpful.

I also didn't read very far down the list, but see if she can get a massage, or even get them weekly - they helped me with migraines and other pregnancy related pains. Some insurances have massage therapy benefits but they aren't really advertised so you must dig for them. Ours partners with American Specialty Health for things like massage, accupuncture, chiropractic care and one other.
Good luck to her.

I don't know if it will take the pain away from her hips spreading, but pre-natal yoga helps a lot!

I now have a 11 month old, but I had the same problem when I was pregnant. Towards the end of my pregnancy, the hip pain became much worse and sleeping was difficult. I found that using a long body pillow helped decrease the discomfort. I would hug it in front of me and then put the bottom between my knees. It seemed to relieve the pressure on my hips at least a little.

I took 2 tylenol before bed every night at the end of my 2nd pregnancy. I wouldn't sleep a wink otherwise. Tylenol is safe during pregnancy.

I can completely relate to your daughter in law! I had so much pain in my hips during my pregnancy, and I found a couple of really good yoga poses & stretches that help! Both she should be able to do (even in the 3rd trimester!) one in particular is the pigeon. Also while I dont know the name this is the best to open the hips up. Have her stand in front of a locked door, stair rail or something else that is stationary that she can grab on to. Then have her cross one leg over the other and then sit back into the stretch. it will really help!

I have 2 ideas. 1 is it possible for her to sleep on an air mattress? I found that if I could get something to simulate a 'hammock' effect I slept much more pain free.....a nice under-inflated air mattress worked wonders - I know it would be hard to get down to the floor, but they do come in collapsable camping "beds" off the ground now.
2, I had horrible sciatica and restless leg syndrome with both my boys.....what let me get to sleep was this thing called an OxyPro...funny contraption, you lay down and put your ankles on it and it pretty much just shakes them in an eliptical motion, which wobbles your whole body around and makes you feel like a fool - but it really gets your circulation going (you can feel it in your whole body when the machine shuts off!) It was my best friend every night before bed!! If you are in the Salem area, I could certainly talk to you about a loan as they used to cost $100!! Maybe she could try mine out without making a financial output before knowing if it would work for her.

I gave birth in Feb and I was in the worst pain of my life during the 3rd Trimester. The way I got through it was taking hot showers and letting the water hit my back. I also had my husband rub my lower back with some lotion that had a soothing feeling. Every few weeks I also treated myself to a 1 hr massage. That would at least take some of the edge off but there is light at the end of the tunnel. As soon as I gave birth to my daughter the pain immediately went away. I think she was probably on my nerves in my back which sounds like that is what your daughter is expierencing.

Jen, Janet is right... this is how we are made :) My husband could put his whole fist in the lower part of my back between my hips where they separate a fews weeks before a birth. That was one of our clues that our 5th one's due date wasn't right ... Before we took an ultrasound and confirmed our guess for our due date :). I know this might not be a popular idea, but maybe coming home before your due date (now) will give you more rest... that you need. It just may be too much to be on your feet most the day.... Might need to take more frequent rests. Just a thought. Hang in there... this too shall pass :) Have a great birth.... Sounds like your body is preparing nicely. Blessings

Yay for already finding the pillow between the legs :)!

On my third pregnancy, I found that a small (or flat ;) ) pillow under the BELLY relieved a HUGE amount of stress: that big heavy belly, especially if she carries "front" instead of around the sides, is dragging her lower back sideways all night: no wonder our hips scream from misalignment! Ouch!

The other thing that sometimes helped is to stomach-sleep on a Boppy-pillow. If she tucks her breasts over it, puts her belly in the "hole," and leaves the opening under her bladder (no bladder pressure!), the two ends should be under the hips and she can adjust them for comfortable pressure/non-pressure. (Stomach-sleeping not only lets all our organs--especially that heavy uterus!--hang down from the backbone in a relaxed way, it also (I'm told) helps the baby's backbone turn toward the front.)

Hope those help!

I had horrible hip pain during the last trimester and the only thing that worked was getting out of bed and sleeping in a chair some nights. I wish I could tell her something else that would work.

For me the only somewhat relief from hip pain at night when I was pregnant was to sleep on the softest surface possible. For me that was our cushy couch. The softer the surface the least amount of pressure points to hurt my hips. I also was prescribed some Purkaset for my severe lower back pain and such which helped also. I was carrying twins and it was pretty rough.

Best of luck!
H. C.

Chiropractic!!!! We have treated many pregnant women with hip, pelvic and lower back discomfort during pregnancy. It does not hurt the baby at all. It takes pressure off of the nerves that go to those areas. Patients under normal chiropractic care can even speed up the delivery time. Check with some of her local chiropractors and see if they treat prenatal. We are in Salem and my husband treats pregnant women all the time.

I have arthritis and do not use pills for it. So I went to the health food store (Super Supplements) and got something called Arnica gel. It is very cooling and works fast.

Hi J.,
I had a lot of hip pain, too, when I was pregnant with my son (now almost 17 months old!!). I used to sleep not only with a pillow between my legs, but also pregnancy wedges (which you can buy at Babies R Us or Motherhood Maternity) and also a pillow at my back. My husband used to joke that there wasn't enough room for him in the bed as I had so many pillows propping me up! I also used a maternity belt (also available at Babies R Us and maternity stores). This was extremely helpful during the day and sometimes I used it at night, too. It helped keep my hips together and decreased the pain immensely. I feel for her as I know what it was like!

It might be worth looking up a reflexology map online to find the pressure points on the feet that correspond to the hips. I once worked over my sister's feet when she was preggers, and she could feel the tension releasing in her hip as I did it.

I had a lot of hip during my first pregnancy preventing me from sleeping. I feel for her. It's terrible!

During my second pregnancy my prenatal yoga instructor happened to notice that I was walking with my feet turned out. This is something I don't normally do, but it felt good with all the extra weight. She told me to keep them straight forward to avoid hip pain. Ah...the light came on. You might check your daughter-in-law's feet. This tip really helped me and I had no hip pain during my second pregnancy although it does require some concentration when you walk.

Chiropractor!! It's the only thing that helped my hips while pregnant. If she lives in Olympia too, look up Dr. Brian Wilmovsky near the mall and tell him Tiara sent you. She can ice it and get massage too, and it probably won't entirely go away until she gives birth but chiropractic adjustments and sleeping with extra pillows will help tremendously!

Chiropractic care made a huge difference for me. Also I used the Back n Belly countoured pillow http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2267436
It made a huge difference during my third trimester. Regular pillows just didn't cut it for me.
I wish you DIL pain free sleep!

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