There are many things that can cause you to have aches and pains during pregnancy - especially in your hips and legs. Your body is releasing a hormone called relaxin that softens your joints and muscles preparing them to allow baby to easily pass through your pelvis. Other reasons may include the new amount of pressure your body is adapting to from the weight of baby - that pressure is situated right over your hips and legs. As your body and baby grow, your center of gravity shifts and this can cause discomfort such as round ligament pain and sciatica pain.
So how can you find comfort for these pregnancy aches and pains? Below are a few helpful tips. And help a momma out by commenting and telling us what worked for you!
1. Sleep with a Body Pillow
Be sure to make sure you have a pillow behind your back to provide good support, possible a small one under your belly, and especially one in-between your legs for support - do what you can to make sure you are comfortable when you sleep.
2. Get Belly Support for Daily Activities
Belly binding, belly bands, maternity belt, iliac brace - all of these tools can help you support the weight of your growing baby and ease your comfort.
3. Heat and Ice
Using a heating pad or rice sock can help bring comfort to the over exhausted muscles. Ice is also a wonderful tool - it can reduce inflammation and calm spasms. Ice is, personally, my new best friend!
Another favorite of mine - when your body is not in perfect alignment it can cause muscles and tendons to pull on one another - causing aches and pains. You may need to visit your chiropractor more often during pregnancy because of the relaxin hormones. To learn more about the benefits of Chiropractic care during pregnancy, click here.
Photography by Birth Boot Camp
5. Prenatal Massage
A trained prenatal massage therapist focuses on techniques specific to the frequent changes in a pregnant body, providing improved circulation, relieving physical fatigue, alleviating aches and pains. It is also wonderful for mental and emotional wellness. Can't get to the masseuse... prop those swollen feet up and ask someone who loves you to rub them!
6. Magnesium Spray or Lotion
This can help relax your tired and over exhausted muscles. Some women may even benefit from adding a magnesium and calcium supplement to their daily prenatal vitamin (always discuss the risks and benefits of adding supplements to your daily routine with your care provider).
7. Cut out inflammatory foods
Foods such as sugar, fined grains, dairy, fried foods, processed meats create inflammation in your body which can add to aches, pains, and spasms. Try eating a balanced whole foods diet and taking the Birth Boot Camp Food & Fitness workshop!
This is so important and can be difficult to maintain good posture as our growing body changes. Choosing to practice good posture is so valuable to strengthening your body.
There are wonderful exercises available to help stretch your tired and sore body: taylor sitting, piriformis stretches, and hip flexors stretches are among those that can benefit hip and leg aches.
10. BONUS TIP!!!!!
When all else fails - take a warm shower or nice soak in a bath. Let the stress and weariness of the day fade away along with your aches and pains (even if it only a short relief - its worth it!)
Birth Boot Camp provides a Food and Fitness class that teaches and demonstrates many different exercises that can be helpful prenatally and postnatal! This workshop will provide you will the tools you need to have a healthy pregnancy and postpartum. You will find your body will be strengthened and better prepared for birth!
Take an in person class with Alabama Births, or you may take an ONLINE class from the privacy of your home!
My name is Jillian and I am a Doula, Childbirth Educator, Placenta Encapsulator living in the Wilmington, North Carolina. I believe in women and that they deserve support throughout their pregnancy and births no matter what method of birth they desire. I myself am a mother to 4 girls, pregnant with a 5th (that is a boy); each of their births were vastly different.