Do Hips Widen During Pregnancy? Body Changes to Expect

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Pregnancy comes with so many things - the anticipation of holding your newborn, food craving, mood swing, and so many more!

But one question that many pregnant women ask is this: 

Do hips widen during pregnancy?

Maybe you’re curious what pregnancy would bring to your body, so let’s get clear about this question and find out what really is in store for you during this phase of your life.

Keep reading and know what to expect about body changes among pregnant women.


Is It Really True? Do Hips Widen During Pregnancy?

The short answer is YES.

If it’s your first pregnancy, you’re probably wondering how much of a change in your body you can expect.

The morning sickness might have already started, your tummy is beginning to swell, and you experience food craving that you’ve never had before.

Congrats - you’re having the classic pregnancy “symptoms”!

Pretty soon, you’ll feel the anticipation of cradling your bundle of joy in your arms.

But before that, there are certain body changes that you need to go through in preparation for your little one’s arrival.

You may observe your belly gets bigger, your breasts swell, and yes, your hips become wider than usual.

Don’t worry - these are absolutely normal things all pregnant women go through.

After conception, your hormones are on the rise, causing changes to your physique.

Your hips become wider for a reason… A very good reason that will help you with the delivery.

Why Do Hips Widen During Pregnancy?

Perhaps you’ve already seen the other changes coming…

But you’re not quite prepared for the widening of your hips.

So why does this happen?

First of all, it’s quite an uncomfortable experience. It’s definitely not something you’re used to, all of these changes in your body - both internally and externally.

During the third trimester, most particularly, your hips may become wider than usual. It is the time when your pelvic joints, as well as your ligaments, tend to relax more. As they relax, these areas become to loosen a bit.

When this happens, this makes it possible and much easier for your baby to come out through your birth canal.

Now the next question is this - will your hips remain wide even after birth?

No, they won’t.

Although you cannot expect your hips to suddenly return to how they were before pregnancy, you can count on the fact that they will become less wide.

Normally, the hips revert back slightly, to a certain degree.

It still depends on your body. The case varies from one woman to another. There are some women who end up keeping their wide hips for a while depending on their body type.

Blame It On the Hormone

Various parts of your body naturally expand because of pregnancy.

There are areas that remain the way they are while other women are able to return to their pre-pregnancy body.

Hips widen largely due to the hormone called relaxin. As the name implies, this hormone allows your ligaments to relax and loosen. This is essential in helping your body create the needed room for your little one.

And more than any other areas of your body, it is the pelvic region that undergoes much expansion. 


Because the ligaments in this part of your body are responsible for holding the bones together, and they tend to separate during expansion. This condition results in some pains and aches, as a result of the hip spreading.

Your pelvic area is largely affected by this hormone, specifically your sacroiliac joints and symphysis pubis. This is a natural condition that all women go through during pregnancy and sometimes even after childbirth.

It’s your body type that dictates how wide your hips will expand. There are women whose hips widen but only to a slight degree while others are more noticeable. Either way, you cannot escape from this natural occurrence.

The good thing is that you can always do something after childbirth to improve your post-pregnancy physique.

What About Hip Pain? What Can You Do About It?

Just as hip widening is a normal experience among pregnant women, so is a certain degree of pain or discomfort. 

A large number of women feel some discomfort in the third trimester. It is during the latter part of your pregnancy that your body goes through more changes. Essentially, it is the time when preparation for labor is necessary.

Your back also goes through stress. As it supports your expanding belly, the back has a tough time trying to cope up with the added stress because of the weight.

Then, there is the pain in your pelvis and hips because your bones start to move for childbirth preparation. 

Can you do something to ease the pain?

You most definitely can!

Here are some things you can do:

Avoid engaging in strenuous activities that put more pressure on your pelvic area. Movements to avoid include standing for long hours on one leg and lifting very heavy objects.

Do not lie on your back when sleeping. This position puts greater pressure on your blood vessels.

As much as possible, put an even amount of weight on your two feet if you have to stand after sitting.

If you can, wear a maternity belt to add some relief to the pain in your hips and back.

Never slouch when sitting. Always sit up with a straight back but keep it relaxed.

Put a pillow between your legs and underneath the pelvis if you’re a side sleeper. This will ease the discomfort in your hips.

Discomfort with Hip Widening and What Can Be Done

Pregnancy is definitely a challenging yet exciting phase in a woman’s life. 

But along with the excitement, there are changes that one need to prepare for. One of these include the changes in the body such as the widening of the hips.

Although this condition involves some pain and discomfort, there are things to be done that will reduce the aches.

So follow the tips we’ve shared here, take good care of your body, and soon enough, you’ll realize that these discomforts are worth it. Just the sight of your newborn will suffice in sending all the troubles away! 

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