When Does Your Hips Start To Widen During Pregnancy — When Do Your Hips Stop Widening During Pregnancy

Summary: The changes that occur during pregnancy are many and varied, and pregnant women undergo a multitude of physical and emotional adjustments. One of the changes that is often noticed by women is the widening of their hips. This article will discuss when hips start to widen during pregnancy, why it happens, and what women can expect.

1. What Causes Hips to Widen During Pregnancy?

As early as the first trimester, pregnant women may experience pelvic pain, which is often caused by the stretching and expansion of the ligaments and joints in the pelvis. This can cause the hip bones to shift outward and create more room for the growing fetus.

The hormone relaxin, which is produced by the ovaries and placenta during pregnancy, also plays a role in pelvic relaxation and hip widening. Relaxin softens connective tissues, including the cartilage and ligaments in the pelvis, making them more flexible and stretchy.

While there is no set time for when hips start to widen during pregnancy, most women notice changes in their hip size in the second or third trimester.

2. How Much Do Hips Widen During Pregnancy?

The amount that hips widen during pregnancy can vary depending on the woman and her body type. On average, women can expect their hips to widen by 1-3 inches as the ligaments and joints loosen and relax to accommodate the growing baby.

It’s important to note that not all women will experience significant hip widening during pregnancy, and some women may not notice any changes at all. Hormonal changes and physical differences between individuals can contribute to these variations.

Women who carry multiple babies, have smaller pelvic bones, or gain more weight during pregnancy may experience more significant hip widening than others.

3. Does Hip Widening Affect Labor?

The widening of the hips during pregnancy helps to prepare a woman’s body for labor and delivery. The increased flexibility and mobility in the pelvis can aid in the baby’s descent through the birth canal and make the process of childbirth easier.

However, it’s important to remember that hip size is not necessarily an indication of whether labor will be quick or easy. Many other factors, such as a woman’s overall health, the position of the baby, and the presence of complications during labor, can impact the ease of childbirth.

Women who experience discomfort or pain in their hips during pregnancy should speak with their healthcare provider, who may recommend exercises or physical therapy to help alleviate symptoms and prepare for labor.

4. Can Hips Return to Normal After Pregnancy?

After childbirth, a woman’s hips may take some time to return to their pre-pregnancy size and shape. However, for most women, the hips will gradually start to narrow again as the ligaments and joints tighten and firm up.

It’s important to note that some changes in the hips and pelvic region may be permanent, even after childbirth. For example, women who have had multiple pregnancies or given birth to larger babies may notice that their hips have widened permanently.

However, it’s also common for women to regain their pre-pregnancy hip size with a combination of healthy eating habits, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

5. How Can Women Cope with Changes in Their Hips During Pregnancy?

For many women, the changes in the body during pregnancy can be challenging to navigate. Coping mechanisms will vary based on individual preferences and needs, but some tips to help ease the discomfort associated with hip widening during pregnancy include:

  • Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes to ease pressure on the hips and joints
  • Using pillows to support the hips and pelvis while sleeping
  • Opting for low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, or swimming rather than high-impact activities
  • Seeking physical therapy to alleviate discomfort and prepare for labor
  • Exploring maternity support belts or pregnancy-specific clothing that can ease pressure on the hips


The changes in the body during pregnancy can be both exciting and challenging. Hip widening is a common occurrence that happens as the ligaments and joints in the pelvis adjust to make room for the growing fetus. While this process can be uncomfortable or painful for some women, there are many coping mechanisms and resources available to help ease symptoms and prepare for labor. As always, it’s important for pregnant women to speak with their healthcare provider to ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy.

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