Hip pain

■ 3rd trimester

It's not uncommon to feel some soreness or pain in your hips during pregnancy, especially when you're sleeping on your side at night. In preparation for the birth of your baby, the connective tissues in your body soften and loosen up. The ligaments in your hips stretch, and the joints between the pelvic bones relax. The greater flexibility makes it easier for the baby to pass through the pelvis at birth.

In late pregnancy, your heavier uterus might contribute to changes in your posture, adding to your hip soreness. Hip pain is often stronger on one side because the baby tends to lie more heavily to one side.

■ Prevention and self-care for hip pain

Exercises to strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles may ease hip soreness. Warm baths and compresses and massage also may help. Try elevating your hips above the level of your chest for a few minutes at a time.

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