Extreme Hip/pelvic Pain While Sleeping

Updated on July 14, 2010
R.M. asks from Big Lake, MN
14 answers

I'm 38 wks 2 days and I need some advice. For the last 2 wks or so, I've had increasingy trouble sleeping. I had trouble earlier, went to the chiro and that seemed to help. I'm still seeing the chiro once every 2 weeks but it's no longer helping. The pain typically goes away midmorning, but I'm waking up every 1-2 hrs with enough pain to make me want to get up and painfully roll over. I am also sleeping with a body pillow wedged under my belly and between my legs.

Any help you can give me in these last 2 weeks/days, I would greatly appreciate it. I need to get some sleep before the baby gets here!

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So What Happened?

I ended up sleeping on the couch, I could wedge more pillows around my body. Luckily, my baby was born 6 days after my post and all the pain was gone!

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answers from Rochester on

I had SPD with both pregnancies. Nothing took all the pain away, but the physical therapist was able to give me a belt to basically hold my pelvis together, which helped a lot. I also got some strengthening exercises from her.

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answers from New York on

When I was pregnant with my twins, I felt like someone was literally taking a mallet to my hips when I slept. I'd roll on one side, sleep for 5 minutes and then have to flip to the other side. This went on all night. I was on bedrest, so I couldn't even get up and walk around. It was unbearable (and my pain started at about 27 weeks, so I had 9 weeks of it before I delivered). Ultimately, my doctor had me take ambien or tylenol PM just so I could sleep. (yes, despite the fact that you can't take an aspirin while pregnant, somehow ambien is ok.... strange...)
I will tell you that the moment I delivered, the pain went away. I remember delivering my twins at 6:30 p.m. and then that night, went to sleep around 11ish and was just lying in bed on my back and thinking that I was so happy that I was on my back and that my hips no longer hurt.

By the way, hip pain commonly happens at night. Coincidentally, I have arthritis in my left hip (unrelated to the hip pregnancy pain) and I am often up in the middle of the night taking advil (which helps, but you can't take it during pregnancy).

Good luck and feel better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I know you are very uncomfortable at this stage and finding a good position to sleep is almost impossible. Most mothers will tell you this is the hardest time to sleep because it either you are uncomfortable or you have to use the bathroom, get a drink of water..whatever. I know it sounds silly but have you tried sitting or laying in a recliner to help? One of the reasons for the pain is your body is getting ready for the birth of your baby. My mom used to say getting up and down all night was another way of getting you used to going without full time sleep so that by the time your wee one is here you are used to odd sleep patterns. Good Luck and get the rest when you can!

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answers from Minneapolis on

hi R., I am a prenatal yoga teacher and Doula, and can give you a few ideas. First, know that your hormones have peaked again since you are in third trimester, which makes all of your joints very loose, more so than previous, for obvious reasons :), your body is preparing for birth. If you can get some movement into your day, this will help you sleep better. Walking, yoga, what ever feels good to you. You may want to see your chiropractor more often, because everything is so loose, it just means that things move that much easier and you get out of alignment that much easier. As far as sleeping or laying in bed goes. Add more pillows! So... one pillow under belly to support it. 2 pillows between your knees- this supports your hips. 3 pillows between your ankles, again this supports your hips, maybe even one behind your back, or lay against your partner or a wall. When laying on your side, you want to get your upper knee and ankle at the same height, and this will take some of the pressure off of your upper hip. I know it sounds fussy, but it is really worth the effort to add all of these supports.

I don't have as many resolutions for the low hip (the side you are laying on), but if you can help the upper hip it may allow you to stay in one spot and sleep longer. Lastly, find a tea that helps you sleep. Chamomile tea is the most gentle, there are a couple stronger one's if you have a co-op near you they often have a great tea selection, and often have well versed customer service people to help you. Also, if you work with a midwife you could ask for an herbal sleep remedy, midwifes often have these remedy's in their back pockets! Best of luck to you, I hope this helps.

Also, I didn't read all the posts before I typed this, spending time in water is such a good idea!!! Also mama's try this pose at home... (or come to yoga with me :) )

it helps relieve pressure on the hips, and sacrum, can prevent vericose veins, can prevent restless leg syndrome, reduces swelling in the legs and whole body, calms tired legs. Do it for 5-10 minutes, you can build yourself up to 20 minutes a day. Sometimes I have my students do it once in the morning and once in the evening. Feel better R.! you are almost there!!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I had the same thing with my babies... I feel bad for you!!! Mine was bad all the time, and got worse with each of my 3 pregnancies. My pelvis would crack and pop when I got out of bed, which was horrible.

Unfortunately I don't have any advice, I just wanted you to know that it will be over soon! As soon as I delivered, the pain went away. Try seeing your chiropractor every week or even twice a week here at the end, it could help.

It could be related to baby moving down and putting more pressure on those hip bones... maybe you'll get lucky and deliver on your due date :)

Good luck and congratulations.

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answers from Albany on

Congrats on your pregnancy! I agree with getting in as much pool floating time as you can. If you don't have access to a pool, even lying in a lukewarm bath can help. The warm water (not hot) is soothing, and being in the water can help take the pressure off your back & hips.

You may also want to consider increasing your chiropractic appointments - especially, since your body is preparing for the delivery. Ask your chiropractor, but it would make sense that in the last weeks, you may have more shifting as your body is getting ready for the big event. I saw my chiropractor once a week (sometimes twice) throughout both of my previous pregnancies, and am going about every 4 days this time.

*Disclaimer* I'm not a nurse or doctor, but I'm 15 weeks prego with my 3rd child, and already experiencing pelvic pain. I'm suspecting it's SPD, since I had the same pain, along with a varicose vein in my 2nd pregnancy. I've been doing a lot of research on how to relieve it, since I have so much farther to go.

I found the following website helpful:


Hope this helps, and best of luck to you!

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answers from Milwaukee on

I had hip pain with both pregnancies as well. I used a body pillow but what I found really helped was a memory foam topper for your bed. I bought a 3 inch topper and it really help support all parts of my body. Worth every penny. I don't know if you have a Kohl's by you, but you can get a good deal there. I bought it when is was 50% off and had a 30% off coupon. My mattress is so firm that is was painful with all that weight. Next pregnancy I will have to try the pool thing.....
Good Luck, it will all be a distant memory soon...


answers from Norfolk on

The last few weeks were hard. No position was comfortable for long. I had to get up every few hours anyway since my son had dropped and he was pressing up against my bladder. If your Dr says it's ok, see about spending some time in a swimming pool. Floating in the water took so much pressure off my back and hips. It felt so good I never wanted to leaved the pool. Even though I couldn't spend all my time there, just knowing there was a way to get some relief for a little while made me feel better.



answers from Cleveland on

I'm 38 weeks as well and been having the same issue for about 2 months now. Very little sleep due to it, unfortunately. I have pillows everywhere, especially for my poor swollen feet. I do wedge a pillow under my hips as well as the body pillow between the legs, and while it stays in position, it does help.



answers from Iowa City on

Have you tried sleeping upwards, in a lazy boy recliner, with your legs up on the foot rest?



answers from New York on

I don't know what kind of couch you have but for the last month of my pregnancy I slept on the couch. Usually a firm mattress is good to sleep on but with all that extra weight you are carring around you need something softer with give so you are not putting a lot of pressure on certain spots. I tried the body pillow and it only made it worse. You might even want to think about trying to sleep sitting up... I know it sounds impossible but you already are not getting good sleep so it might be worth a shot. Just try out different areas in your house until you find a comfortable spot and that is your new bed for the next two weeks. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

I would check with your doctor and see if he/she will give you a recommendation for physical therapy. I was having so much pain in my sacrum and lower back, I'm 25 weeks along, that my midwife gave me a referral. My insurance is covering it and I'm going to PT 3 times a week now. It has helped me significantly.



answers from Indianapolis on

Wish I had advice to give. My second pregnancy was like that from month 6 on. I could barely roll over. My pelvis was out of line, and my OB/GYN wasn't so excited about Chiropractors. So, I just had to deal with it.

I hope you get lucky and have a well-developed baby who decides to come a little bit earlier than normal.



answers from Minneapolis on

Early in my pregnancy my dr told me to take unisom to help with morning sickness. I ended up taking it the whole time I was pregnant because by the end I had similar pains and couldn't sleep at all either. It really helped me to sleep better. I only needed half of a tablet and the dr told me it was perfectly safe. Maybe check with your dr.

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