Anything I Can Do About Sore Hips from Sleeping on My Side While Pregnant?

Updated on March 24, 2012
S.O. asks from Billings, MT
22 answers

Does anyone else have sore hips from sleeping on your side while pregnant? My hips are killing me. I'm 19 weeks, and trying my best to sleep on my side, wedging in pillows behind me, and under the side of my belly. I just hate waking up with aching sore hips all night long. I'm tempted to move to the recliner for the rest of my pregnancy. Any thing to help take the ache away?

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answers from Houston on

I'm 33 weeks. I have to switch sides a lot, and also the pillows, hundreds of pillows! But really, switching sides helps. Stretching can help too.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We are TTC and I'm dreading this too, I remember being in the same situation for both of my pregnancies. I tried the pillow between my legs but it never worked! Do let us know if something works for you!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Pillows, chiropractic, and massage :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Ugh, I remember that. A thick pillow between your knees when you sleep will help a ton.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Sleep with a pillow between your knees. It really does help!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Get a pillow for under your belly, they make different types but a regular firm one will do just fine. I have seen body pillows for pregnancy that wrap around you. You can also look into chiropractic care and massage, this helped me the most when I was pregnant.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

A pillow between the knees can help, but at 19 weeks, you've got a ways to go. I've slept on my back through all of my pregnancies until I didn't feel right sleeping on my back.

Getting adjusted by a good chiropractor and getting frequent massages saved my life all 4 times. I had bad pelvic/hip pain and pubic bone pain and my chiro was was gone! I also used Ligaplex I from Standard process with a couple of my pregnancies and with last one, I also bought a Select Comfort bed and it WAS AMAZING. Worth every penny. The adjustable frame was awesome.

This (partial) article is really good:

Most women take pain and discomfort in pregnancy as being normal. Even when pain is bad, and women complain to the obstetricians about it, most doctors dismiss it as the “normal” aches and pains of pregnancy. I did this too. After all, gaining 40 pounds with my first pregnancy (and losing it all), then gaining 50 pounds with my second (working on losing it now), I wasn’t exactly shocked when my lower back started hurting. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a watermelon on your belly is going to throw your back out of whack. One thing I probably would do differently, though, is to see a chiropractor. I would also have eaten healthier so I wouldn’t have gained as much weight (or lost weight prior to getting pregnant). In one way, I still accept some aches and pains as being normal. I might be wrong.

When my late-pregnancy symptoms that I had conveniently forgotten from my first pregnancy started in my second pregnancy, I was unpleasantly surprised. Not only did they start earlier, but they were worse. It was one thing to have a month or so of poor sleep before giving birth, but almost three months was a whole ‘nother story! I just couldn’t get comfortable, but attributed it to my greater weight gain. Finally, I mentioned it on a birth-y list I was on (a group of probably 10 or so women, all due about the same time, which was a cool coincidence), and one of them gave me this link, because of the specific symptoms I was having. I didn’t have all of the symptoms, but I had enough to agree with the “diagnosis.” Here is a summary of symptoms of “Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction” (and I strongly suggest that you click on the above link and read the entire page, and don’t just take, “Well, of course you’re uncomfortable, dearie–you’re pregnant!” as an answer):
pubic pain
pubic tenderness to the touch; having the fundal height measured may be uncomfortable
lower back pain, especially in the sacro-iliac area
difficulty/pain rolling over in bed
difficulty/pain with stairs, getting in and out of cars, sitting down or getting up, putting on clothes, bending, lifting, standing on one foot, lifting heavy objects, etc.
sciatica (pain in buttocks and down the leg)
“clicking” in the pelvis when walking
waddling gait
difficulty getting started walking, especially after sleep
feeling like hip is out of place or has to pop into place before walking
bladder dysfunction (temporary incontinence at change in position)
knee pain or pain in other areas can sometimes also be a side-effect of pelvis problems
some chiropractors feel that round ligament pain (sharp tearing or pulling sensations in the abdomen) can be related to SPD

The rest of the webpage has tips for coping, as well as what can be done to resolve the problem (chiropractic–but not every chiropractor will have heard of this or know how to treat it, so do some research first). You don’t have to suffer. Even after reading this page, I didn’t seek chiropractic care, because I assumed it would be too expensive and I didn’t think I had enough time (I was just a couple of weeks away from my estimated due date)–I thought all chiropractic adjustments took three visits a week for a month before you got “fixed.” After giving birth, I mentioned that on that same email list, and regrettably found out that it usually clears up after one visit.

But you might not have to seek chiropractic help! From a chiropractor who is on another email list that I’m on is the following:

This is excruciating….and I’ve seen it so much in pregnant moms – usually 1 -3 adjustments clear it up completely….but here’s what she can do at home to help it….
Have mom lie on her back on the floor with her feet on the floor and her knees up. Keep the feet touching and have dad put his hands between her knees. Mom needs to pull together while dad “wishbones” her legs….GENTLY. She may get a “pop” or a crunch sound or no sound at all – all of which is perfectly normal. She may even feel it in her sacroiliac (SI) joints. This is classic for pregnant moms. He keeps doing this until they strengthen up and he can’t pull them apart. If they don’t strengthen within a few days of doing this, then, she may need to go see a chiropractor and get her SI joints checked. Often, the pubic bone won’t release unless I’ve adjusted the SI joints and vice versa….since it’s all connected.
Ligaplex I from Standard Process works well during the beginning of the pregnancy. Usually 4 each day suffice until the 36th week of pregnancy, when I have moms stop it, so the ligaments can relax….but until then, it helps hold adjustments and joints together, which makes life a LOT more comfortable.

My friend complained to me about her pelvic pain, so I sent the above to her, and she said that one time of doing this exercise helped her tremendously. Don’t suffer needlessly. There is an answer.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Sleeping solution: body pillow. My wife bought the longest one available and uses it from her ankles up and she sleeps on her side.

Ache solution: I would recommend a little yoga. Do some research for a pregnant yoga program, and don't do TOO much. Ice will also numb the muscle to allow you to move freely - for me 20 min of ice is 3-4 hours of relief.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Had teh exact same problem and did exactly what you are doing. I would lay on my side but put the pillow behind me so I could lean back without being flat on my back. Also did the pillow between the legs which helped a little. I know they recommend laying on your left side as well. I had a crazy huge body pillow and never used it because I would get twiste dup in it and couldn't move at night! Just use some king size pillows and you'll be fine. I actually broke a rib with my second and did sleep in a recliner for a while. It's not that bad!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It could be the cartlege in your pelvis loosening up?

Your body does so many crazy things while you are pregnant that this could just be a phase. My only suggestion would be all the pillows.

Every pregnancy is different - but I will say for me things just got worse comfort wise as the pregnancy progressed.

Look at the bright side, in a little over 5 months - you will have a baby keeping you up all night - not sore hips. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

For me it wasn't till more towards the end that my hips hurt a lot.
Then my joints loosened up so much just walking made them feel like they were grinding.
I so loved just floating in the pool - it seemed to take the pressure off my back and hips and everything for a little while.
I got a few big firm pillows and slept with them between my knees and that helped a lot.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

so0 happy u asked this question i was actually going to ask the same thing .. im 21 weeks and ive noticed the same thing mostly my left because thats the one i try to sleep on all the time.. sometimes its so uncomfortable i have to roll over on my right.. a pillow between my knees it definatley helps but doesnt totally fix the problem.. i was thinking about getting a body pillow.. one night i tried putting a pillow under my belly so that i laid on my side with it under me between my hip and my ribs .. it helped a little but i woke up with a stiff neck n shoulder

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I did actually, many times, slept on our sofa chair, while I was pregnant.
It was more comfortable than a bed, when I was pregnant.

The joints/ligaments also change when pregnant. Lots of aches and pains .

Are you sleeping on your left side? That is usually the side that is suggested to sleep on

Don't sleep in the same position all night. That is also how some people get bed sores.

Try some "Arnica Gel" on your achy area.
Found at natural food stores or Whole Foods.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Try sleeping with a small firm pillow between your knees to help keep your hips aligned.

As for the recliner idea, I have a friend who spent the final weeks of each pregnancy sleeping in a recliner. You hit a point where your comfort and sleep is all that matters.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Greensboro on

Sam E is right, you should get a body pillow. I'm on my second baby and with my first the body pillow helped A LOT. you can wedge it between your knees and that seems to help, also up under your stomach when you get big so you don't have all your weight on your side. your sleep will probably suffer any way because you are pregnant, (the last 3 mos you don't really sleep from being uncomfortable and peeing all the time), but for right now a body pillow should make a big difference. good luck, i'm 15 wks myself, so i know what you're going through!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Sorry. We had even purchased a pillow top bed for my pregnancy, and it didn't help. Some women just get sore (really sore!) hips while sleeping during pregnancy. I don't think there is anything you can do about it (except give birth).

ETA: Like some suggested, I used the pillow between my knees method. It helped a little, but not nearly enough. I was still achy every morning.

This too shall pass.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Body pillows helped me a lot.



answers from Denver on

Body pillow is key-as people have said, allows you to rest your arm on it, and goes all the way down. Try to put between not only your knees, but all the way to your ankles.

Also, another body pillow at the back. Amazing how just shifting a few degrees to the back can help relieve that hip pain. Plus, when you need to roll over and switch sides during the night, do not have to rearrange the entire bed.



answers from Dallas on

Yoga has helped me a ton. Also try not keeping your knees bent all night. Stretching your legs long with a pillow btw them will help.



answers from Kansas City on

A tempurpedic matress and a body pillow! At 30 weeks, I swear since we bought our tempurpedic, I fall asleep on my left side and I do NOT move all night long! And, unlike the other 3 pregnancy's on our old 10 year old matresss, I don't wake up achy in the hips anymore. I love, love, love it!



answers from Washington DC on

I had the same issue and I put a pillow in between my legs, closer to my knees. I actually used a temperpedic type pillow (cheaper version) that was really stiff. I still use it to this day when my hips feel achey and works like a charm. Congrats and well wishes for comfort!



answers from Pueblo on

Pillow between the knees always worked for me. Seems to me a recliner would eventually press alot of weight (your uterus) against your inferior vena cava that runs along your back (take blood from legs/feet to heart).

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