Looking back on my pregnancy; may I present Hip Bursitis



This is a blog I wrote midway through my pregnancy as I was experiencing a very weird condition making it near impossible to sleep. Oh goody, sleep deprivation before the baby’s arrival.

Anyway, wanted to share as I’d never heard of it and consequently didn’t find anyone else in my preggo circle who was suffering from it…


I’m writing this at 23 weeks pregnant, beginning of Feb 2018.

For months now I’ve been suffering a burning, ache deep in both hips, flaring up mainly at bedtime.

Now when you’re preggers, and some sources will recommend even from as early as 16 weeks, you should be sleeping on your side, preferably the left. It goes some way to protect baby from being stillborn apparently. Ok, I’m in. No question. Wrap and tuck that heavenly pregnancy pillow all up in my grill and off I’ll drift to the land of nod.

But what’s that you say? Here, have some agonising pain that makes sleeping on your side near on impossible? GREAT TIMES.

Again, caveat, caveat; I am THRILLED, AMAZED and ALTOGETHER STILL IN A STATE OF DISBELIEF that I am pregnant. I haven’t fully crossed over to the other side yet, the next level of the game where I’m all ‘look at me, I’m pregnant and I really believe it’. Hence not even blogging (well, publishing) it until post baby arrival. But in all honesty, I am not having an easy, glowing pregnancy. That’s just how it is. So I’m sharing my truths.

I’m on tenter hooks all the time. Just yesterday I got what I describe as ‘that terrifying pain again’ that creeps around from on top of my left arse cheek and sweeps around under my bump on the left. It quite honestly renders me too scared to move, unable to speak and if I can move I straddle my yoga bolster and rock until it passes. I’ve had this maybe 4 times now, the first time happening on New Years Day 2018 in the shower where I literally fell to my knees. It is debilitating. I’ve spoken to the midwives and have been told that again, if I can feel baby move (I HATE THAT QUESTION) and there’s no other symptoms like a loss of fluid or blood then it is *probably* intense round ligament pain. Probably. That’s reassuring.

Anyway the hip thang. I mentioned it to my midwife and was told it was just everything loosening up. Cool. Then mentioned it to my GP and he didn’t know what it was. When I ended up in a&e the other night because (in an unrelated turn of events) I couldn’t breathe because of the most incredible stitch under my right rib, the docs there didn’t know what the hip thing was when I mentioned it to them too.

Then I went to yoga. My Sunday morning preggo yoga class run by Rhyanne Hall of Living Yoga London. Each week before we start stretching and shifting our blooming bods, we go around the class saying how many weeks we are and any new or reoccurring symptoms we want to share. I mentioned the hip thing and Rhyanne just casually said ‘that sounds like Bursitits’.

Never heard of it? Same. I then made appointments for Physio and learned that basically in different areas of our bodies we have ‘bursa’ which are like shock absorbers. And in pregnancy when the relaxin hormone is doing the rounds, some things give more than others and end up getting inflamed. For me, in my hips. YAY.

Ok Ms Physio, fix me yes? No. Well, via some weeks of massage and manipulation things did start to ease but I was told that because I’m pregnant the normal course of action can’t be followed; steroid injections or ultrasound therapy.

So while I’m still being sick every 2-3 days, that’s actually a piece of puked up cake compared to this condition. Sleeping is a mare. I will start on my left side, side straddling my glorious pregnancy pillow. We start off well. I go to sleep. A mere 2 hours later and I wake due to a deep deep hot burn in the hip I am resting on. No probs, I simply turn over on to my right but with the left still fizzing with pain. Then 30 mins later the right side kicks in and there we are, this spells out the remainder of my night tossing and turning, just wanting to sleep on my back but too terrified to because of baby.

I’m still working obviously, so to say I am groggy at work is a huge understatement. I joke about it but in all honesty I am fucked.

I am trying various remedies at home; icing the area (probably not enough) to aid a reduction in inflammation, rubbing magnesium gel on the areas and taking baths with epsom salts. I prop myself up in weird and wonderful ways atop various wedges and pillows to try and take the pressure off my bottom hip. And I am not a fan of painkillers, especially with a teeny bub inside me.

So there really isn’t a conclusion to this blog I’m afraid, but wanted to share as I have been endlessly googling ‘hips burning night time pregnant help’ and nothing is returned. So maybe if your hips are hunks of burning love during pregnancy, welcome to Club Bur-shite-is.


The products/tips I turned to to try and ease those burning painful nights…

Although nothing apart from eventually having the baby actually cured the condition while I was pregnant, I still tried the below, to varying degrees of success. I must’ve looked absolutely bizarre at night as I would have the full pregnancy pillow bridging over my body while the little wedge pillow would be sort of trying to create a gap for my bottom hip. It was NOT fun. If you’re suffering with this, I really feel for you…

  1. Pregnancy pillow – god I miss this guy. Why did I pack him up in the loft after baby was born? Anyway, using this pillow that you can literally rest your head on, straddle on your side or butt up against behind you is nothing short of heaven, even with bursitis. One way I would use it to try and take pressure from my hips was to, with one leg straddled over it and therefore one hip on the mattress burning up a fire of pain inside, I would rotate a little more into the pillow, as if I was going to lay more on my tummy (but of course the pillow doesn’t allow that and it’s unsafe obviously). But if you can imagine manourvering as if to roll over more to your front, straddling the top leg over the pillow and letting the bottom hip move further away and resting more of your front thigh on the mattress instead, you might get some ease for a while. BUY HERE
  2. Wedge pillow – this was an addition to the mega one above. Still using the one above but in a different position, I would be resting my back more on the pillow  behind me rather than straddling one in front. I would then slip the wedge pillow high up the thigh that was on the mattress (so jamming it between leg and mattress) and would stop just before the hip started so that a tiny little gap was created, therefore less hip was in contact with the bed. BUY HERE.
  3. Yoga – I mean, it was my yoga instructor that bloody diagnosed me so I turned to more yoga at home in the later stages of pregnancy with the aim to strengthen and stretch out my hips. Cat/cow pose was good but also a variation on this where with a neutral spine on all fours, you then sort of circle your bum down over and around your heels then back up to neutral. Both directions.
  4. Osteopathy – I would sometimes hand my aches and pains over to someone else to try and help with. My local osteopath would do gentle stretches and massage on me to help support the hip joints and related muscles.
  5. Heat packs and ice packs – inflammation responds well to cold compresses but heat is also good for pain. So I would alternate, some days heat and some days cold. I would use the ice packs (below) for about 10 mins at a time – then 10 mins off – over an hour before bed. For heat, I just used a few mini hot water bottles like these tucked into my knickers. BUY ICE PACKS HERE
  6. Magnesium foot soaks or baths – transdermal magnesium is perfectly safe during pregnancy and is known for its soothing and restorative qualities on our bodies, which for the most part are usually deficient in magnesium. I opted for regular baths or simple foot soaks (sitting on the sofa in front of a documentary or listening to a podcast), with my feet soaking in a warm bowl of water with magnesium flakes in. BUY HERE

21 comments so far.

21 responses to “Looking back on my pregnancy; may I present Hip Bursitis”

  1. Lauren says:

    Just want to share that I have been suffering the same thing. This is my second pregnancy and I had this with the first pregnancy as well. It started for me at 17 weeks and literally stopped directly after giving birth. I know this blog is a few months old, but it gave me comfort to see I’m not the only one suffering from this. I wish there was a way to ease the pain— the tossing and turning from one side to the next every single night! It’s so rough.

  2. Jade says:

    Thank. You. So. Much. For posting this. I have had this off and on from week 10 of preggers life (with it worsening when staying in beds that aren’t my own!). I’m now at the end of week 28 and I am in full throws of burshitis and feeling really at a loss with the crappy sleep and constant pain. It feels like it’s getting worse each sleep and there is a long way to go… reading this, and Lauren’s comment I found really helpful. THANK YOU

    • vickygooden says:

      Goodness me Jade, sorry you’re going through this too! There’s very little written about this isn’t there. Do you have a pregnancy pillow? Instead of having a leg either side of that (so essentially having it between my legs) I would prop both legs up on it to try and relieve some hip pressure. Sort of work to an extent. Really feel for you. It completely goes after birth :/

    • chand netrekar says:

      Hey guys ! Myself Shilpa I am in my 29 weeks of pregnancy and this bursitis has really kept on my toes! As my pregnancy is assisted pregnancy …I was pregnant with twins but soon things weren’t in place as cake walk …I had it’s own set of complications @ my 2nd month,my twin 2 wasn’t doing good !vanished away and ? heart beat stopped as knowing this I was really upset and monuring for it …it took 2 weeks to get out and realising that we need to be strong for my twin 1.who is amazingly doing fine now my little miracle of joy who is coming shortly now! But 2nd trimester was sort of fine but soon as I entered my third trimester I started getting pain in left leg wierd conditions …I use to have this pain but never understood thought it could be leg cramps…but the pain started shooting up which made me unable to walk …the movement I step my left leg I feel pain coming from buttocks radiating to complete Left leg …on an urgent visit to gyncologist who was unable to help me refered to orthopaedic…who diagnosed as bursitis started taking physiotherapy …but no improvement …due to pregnancy treatment is restricted i am on nerves to get rid of this condition and been working women it gets harder too and feeling of been handicapped in life 1st time.. the pain shoots up after taking few steps making day to day activities harder ..as my therapist adviced bed rest is only way to ease the pain d muscle strengthing excercises…it will take its own time to heal and I feel so inquisitive rgt nw …at times I cry out of pain ohh God ! Irrespective of doing all home remedies no show …but hoping it will subside on its own …my mistake was that I started sleeping in left side in my 2nd trimester which is beneficial for fetus growth.hence there are chances that my left buttocks has compressed completely…and now I can’t sleep on my left now only right side … And keep changing the movements …and if u have any suggestions kindly infrom me …

      Thank one d all and happy baby bust to all preggy ladies there.

  3. Sarah says:

    I had this too and it magically disappeared as soon as I gave birth. I found no way to prevent it in pregnancy sorry. I used to get up in the middle of the night and march around the house until the pain went. It just got worse as my pregnancy progressed. Perhaps ice packs?

  4. Sophie Thompson says:

    Also glad i came across this post, exactly describes what i’ve been dealing with since about week 20 of my pregnancy. i am now at week 36 and i am almost at breaking point! It has very slowly almost imperceptibly got worse. sleep has become my least favourite time, i literally dread going to bed as its just a miserable night of pain and very little actual sleep. I have a preggo pillow around my waist (for when side lying becomes unbearable, usually around 3am and i have to try and sleep sitting up – joy), a belt with pads on the waist to take pressure of hips and a pillow to keep my feet raised and hips as straight as possible. Also i wear a giant tubigrip in the day over entire bump and hips to try and take pressure of baby off hips/pelvis. bloody hassle.
    I went to see an osteopath privately (NHS physio was next to useless) for PGP as i also suffer from extremely sore pelvic bone when walking/sitting/generally being alive (are the two related?) and bursitis is what she diagnosed. I’ve been given exercises to do (side leg raises, hip stretches etc), told to ice for ten mins every few hours on both hips and pelvic bone and getting massage/acupuncture treatment. Only had one session so no improvements yet but i am quietly (desperately?!) hopeful.
    I honestly feel for anyone suffering from this, and am praying the baby arrives sooner than later so this will stop! If anyone can master sleeping sitting up i reckon its the only way to get through the night pain free without resorting to paracetamol.

  5. Krystal says:

    I’m only 6 weeks pregnant but I’ve been dealing with bursitis for months. I was googling to see how other expecting mothers have dealt with this and was thankful to find your post.

    Bleh it’s horrible

  6. Laura says:

    This is my experience right now, explained beautifully. Thank you.

    Pregnant & Wearing Ice Packs

  7. Aimee says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m 30 weeks and in tears reading this because for the first time I feel like I’m not crazy. Everything you’ve described is exactly what I’m experiencing and I’ve been researching, stretching, seeing experts for 4 months now. Wow, It helps so much to know I’m not the only one, even though I wouldn’t wish this agony on anyone else!

    • vickygooden says:

      It’s so awful isn’t it?! I had no idea what was going on until my yoga teacher suggested it might be bursitis. It should pass as soon as your precious baby is out in the world if that’s any consolation. I know it’s so difficult to deal with just now, especially as you’re probably rather tired x

  8. Harriet says:

    I’m 26 weeks pregnant and have been suffering with this in both hips – thing is, I’d already had it in my right hip for the last 10 years after pitching my tent over an ants nest (don’t ask!) so knew the symptoms when it flared up in the left hip. Over the years, I’ve found a few things that help relieve the pain that don’t involve a steroid injection… regular yoga or Pilates (and generally being active) helped me a lot, a memory foam topper on a regular mattress softens the pressure on the hip, a cold pack can help numb them too. I’ve always found that when I put on weight it gets worse, so this essential weight gain added to the loosened ligaments is a classic bursitis combo!

    If (I mean when!) I get woken up in pain, I tend to lean back so I’m nearly lying on my back (but not totally) and open my legs up to take the pressure off the bursas… it’s not a pretty sight but I find it relieves the pain. Tiger balm oil is wonderful but I won’t recommend that as there haven’t been enough proper tests to see if this affects unborn babies – the NHS medicinesinpregnancy.org website is very noncommittal on the subject of essential oils.

    • vickygooden says:

      This is so helpful, thank you! Sorry you’re in pain, hopefully it eases after baby makes his/her welcome x

  9. Talia Mcgill says:

    And there was me thinking I was going mad arse crazy!! I feel like I need to print this and pin it to every mum and baby board in town! There may be no cure but at least we won’t be googling like sleep depraved loonies!
    I actually had my lo in January 2018 so I was googling for months not to mention seeing a tonne of nhs specialists trying to explain the weird pain!!
    A note from my experience is that when I was induced the pain increased massively and now I wonder if there was a connection?
    Out of curiosity, does it ever flare up since you’ve had the baby or has it gone completely?

    • vickygooden says:

      Tell me about it! Why don’t they know more about it?! Love that it was my yoga teacher who was like ‘i know what you’ve got!’

      Mine hasn’t come back since 🙂 Thankfully

  10. Nikolina says:

    Hi, so have you found a cure or any remedy to minimize the pain and especially the inflammation?
    Please share. x Thank you all.

  11. Maggie says:

    Wow. Full disclosure, I’m a recent family medicine grad in Canada – have done 4 years medical schools and 2 years of family medicine. I have been experiencing this (terrible lateral hip pain only at night, up every 2 hours) since about 20 weeks and now I’m 32 weeks and slowly losing my mind. I found so much comfort in this blog post and comments. What I find most frustrating is that I look / feel fine during the day (except when I get tired and super cranky lol) so people other than my husband don’t get it. Also the endless suggestions from others of things I’ve already tried or things I know in my heart won’t work are starting to drive me a bit crazy. To be honest it’s only really gotten worse over time. Here’s what I’ve tried so far…mostly posting so people don’t waste money/time/get their hopes up…
    No help at all: acetaminophen, hip opener stretchers, massage, yoga, arnica/wintergreen gel, heat, epsom salt baths, physio.
    Marginally helpful: body pillow (sleep is worse if I don’t use it), memory foam mattress topper (sleep was worse when went away and the bed didn’t have it), chiro (resolved the deep pain radiating to buttocks, but lateral hip pain still present), ice (makes it a bit easier to fall back asleep). I have heard some people have success sleeping on a recliner, but I cannot fall asleep in this position :(.
    Unsure if helpful but didn’t hurt: glute strengthening exercises.

    I have yet to try osteopath. I’m hesitant to get my hopes up yet again but I’m also desperate, if it works I’ll definitely re-post here. I’m also going to see my own GP soon to see if there’s anything else that can be done. Only reason why I waited so long is that I’m a GP :p, so tried many things myself first. If above doesn’t help then I’m continuing to soldier on, on 5-6 hrs of broken painful sleep per night, with the last 2 hrs in an awkward upright position with headboard and ++pillows.

    I strongly recommend people get a medical note to be off work if they can afford it. Nobody should have to work full days if they are suffering from this. Part-time may be feasible, but even then…Good luck everyone. I hope all of our babies are extra cute 🙂

  12. Hannah says:

    Oh my GOSH am I so glad to read this. I’ve had this pain in my left hip from early on which I say to people feels a bit like camping in a field except you’ve forgotten to get in your tent or use any kind of padding and the last few days (now 30 weeks pregnant) it’s at the point it just down right hurts and impossible to sleep. I’ve also been suffering a bit of symphysis pubis disfunction which adds a whole other kettle of chips into this scenario, but sleeping on my side is just a total nightmare. I’m actually a yoga teacher too, but because of the SPD there are so many poses with a wider stance that are off limits, even though I know they’d help. Have just ordered some spikey self massage balls to try and roller it out myself against a wall as there’s obviously no physio happening at the mo (another thing to thank coronavirus for). I’m pretty sure the hip pain is greater trochanter pain, essentially the top of the femur/thigh bone working right into that hip socket, and whilst previously it’d ease off an hour or so after getting up, it now hangs about all day like a phantom pain until I lie down in bed again. The midwife had little suggestion when I called her except pregnancy pillow (which doesn’t really support this area in my opinion), yoga (which I’m obviously already doing) and a dose of paracetamol (I don’t really ever take painkillers but am tempted to take one before bed tonight in the hope it eases something!) A relief anyway to finally have a bit of an understanding of what it is rather than just ‘PGP’ (pelvic girdle pain). Thank you! xxxx

  13. Gladys says:

    Same girls same! I’m so glad I found this blog. I told my doctor last time that I was having this pain under my buttocks/joints and he laughed and said “that’s what happens when you’re so lean” And he changed the subject and I laughed but came back to that subject and just told me it was normal from the extra baby weight but I knew this wasn’t normal, it’s my 4th baby and I’ve never had it before. I’ve also tried Tylenol and is no help. Only icing it at night has given me some comfort to sleep but my pain is all day specially while sitting on wooden/hard surface chairs. Have any of you ladies that already delivered your babies have to take any ibuprofen for it at all, or did it completely go away on it’s own?

  14. Maggie says:

    For me, it completely went away the day after delivery. I also have a slim build and had a big baby. Not sure if it’s more common in these scenarios? Either way it sucks. Commiseration!

  15. Lisa says:

    I had this with both my pregnancies. First time round was just told I had issues with my SI joints (which I also kinda do, and it’s all very linked to the whole relaxin thing) and I couldn’t properly explain the searing pain I was having in the side of my hips at night! This time round though I’m seeing a gun of a Physio regularly. When I told him about this he massaged my gluteus medius muscle (so painful!) and I was shocked that I got a few nights sleep without the pain! I’ve since learnt to get a spikey ball right into the muscle myself and can absolutely say, at 35 weeks, the pain has greatly subsided! I believe it’s called greater trochanteric pain or something… I also have Epsom salt baths and use a heat pack on my lower back at night. Just thought I’d share in case this works for anyone else cause I know how much hell this can cause in the middle of the night! I still get it a little off and on but no where near as intense and often not at all!

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