Topic Overview

When you are pregnant, you may get aches and pains in your
hips and pelvic area. This is a normal sign that your pelvic area is
preparing for childbirth. (This area is also called the pelvic girdle.) Pregnancy hormones are relaxing your
ligaments. This loosens up your pelvic bones so they can
shift and open for childbirth.

For pelvic girdle pain, you can try acupuncture treatments. Or you can learn pelvic
stabilizing exercises from a physical therapist. These exercises strengthen the
muscles that support your pelvis. Both acupuncture and stabilizing exercises
have been shown to reduce pelvic pain during pregnancy.footnote 1

To help manage pelvic and hip pain at home, try these tips.

  • Lie on your back, propped up on your
    elbows or a pillow. Then squeeze a pillow between your knees. This can help realign
    your pelvic bones. It may relieve your pain for a while.
  • Wear a
    prenatal belt or girdle around your hips, under your belly. It can help stabilize your
  • Sleep with a pillow between your knees.
  • Rest as
    much as you can. Apply heat to painful areas.
  • Ask your doctor or midwife if a safe pain reliever might help.



  1. Elden H, et al. (2005). Effects of acupuncture and stabilising exercises as adjunct to standard treatment in pregnant women with pelvic girdle pain: Randomised single blind controlled trial. BMJ, 330(7494): 761.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD – Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 16, 2017