Pregnancy Mobility Work: How to Ease Ribs, Back and Hip Pain During Pregnancy

Although every woman experiences the aches and pains of pregnancy differently, the ribs, back and hips are typically under a great amount of stress during pregnancy.  This is due to a variety of factors including a hormone called relaxin, an increase in body weight, and changes in the abdomen required by the growth of the baby, all of which already have, or are, reaching their peak by the third trimester.

Why do we feel aches and pains in pregnancy?

Relaxin is a hormone that is secreted during pregnancy to help prepare the body for birth by relaxing ligaments, joints and muscles and softening the cervix.  This relaxation may cause pain in the hips, back and ribs but is more typically felt in the hips especially at the pubic symphysis and the round ligaments of the uterus.  Relaxation of these structures is the culprit behind the unstable, or wobbly feeling some women experience in their hips. 

As pregnancy progresses women typically gain weight through body fat, extra blood volume, and the weight attributed to the growing baby including amniotic fluid.  Stored body fat is a source of energy and during pregnancy your body might store a little more than usual to account for increased energy demands during pregnancy, birth and postpartum including preparing the body for the production of breast milk.  Increases in blood volume also occur during pregnancy.  This increase supports the extra oxygen and blood flow demand. Additionally, the baby itself and the fluids, and placenta needed to support the baby increase in volume.  All of this increase in tissues and fluids causes an increase in weight gain which can contribute to extra stress on the ribs, back and hips.

Finally, as development progresses, our body must accommodate to make room for the growing baby in the abdomen.  Changes in posture can occur due to altered weight distribution causing pressure on the back, the ribs tend to expand and the hips widen to accommodate the passage of the baby during birth.

What can you do to alleviate pregnancy aches and pains?

Us girls at The MINT Prjct recently created a Pregnancy Mobility Program with pliability using 6x Fittest Woman on Earth Tia Clair Toomey as our model.  We are so excited to have worked with such a great team to create and provide this incredible resource to pregnant mamas to help relieve pain and discomfort during pregnancy. 

 The following are some great movements you can find in the program to help provide relief to the ribs back and hips:

  • Movements that support the ribs and thoracic area include side-lying book opener and the puppy dog pose.
  • To alleviate pain in the hips and round ligaments of the uterus, down dog, deep squats, and glute bridge are great exercises.
  • To open up and release the back, cat cow and seated straddle are great options.


Although pregnancy can be uncomfortable, there are definitely things that can be done to help alleviate those aches and pains.  Following professional programs to increase and support mobility, movement and strength like the ones offered by pliability and The MINT Prjct Trimester 2 &3 Pregnancy Fitness Program can provide relief during pregnancy and set you up for a stronger recovery postpartum.  Try out these movements and DM, or tag us in your stories to let us know how you feel!

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