Hip pain or numbness in the legs can happen as your baby grows during pregnancy. Find out what causes it and how to feel better.

By the editors of Parents magazine

What causes hip pain or sciatica in pregnancy?

During the second and third trimester, your baby's head may rest heavily on the sciatic nerve in the lower part of the spinal canal. Sciatica, the pain, numbness, and/or tingling you feel as a result, begins deep in the buttocks and radiates down the back of your legs. It can be so intense at times that it incapacitates you. But as the baby shifts position, sciatica will disappears as quickly as it came. It's usually not a cause for concern, though you should tell your healthcare provider about it during your next prenatal visit.

Some women also have a more generalized hip pain, probably due to the softening and shifting of the pelvic bones and the pressure of the heavier uterus. It can make sleeping on your side (usually the preferred sleep position during pregnancy) especially difficult. If that's the case, sleep in whatever position makes you comfortable.

What relieves hip pain or sciatica in pregnancy?

When sciatica or hip pain strikes, try using a heating pad or sitting in a warm tub. Hip pain may be eased by gentle stretches. For persistent pain, ask your practitioner about acetaminophen.

Copyright © 2001 Meredith Corporation.

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