I am 29 weeks pregnant and my hip on my right side always hurt. It hurts when I walk, sit, or lay down. I have been sleeping on a heating pad but it's not helping. This has been going on for a while. I would like to know what I can do to stop the pain. I want to take a long bath, but I don't want to get an infection. Can you please give me some suggestions?
First off, you can feel reassured that taking a bath during pregnancy is perfectly safe. Studies have shown that the water doesn't enter the vagina much during a bath, and certainly doesn't get up near the uterus. Warm baths can actually help prevent vaginal infection, as the warmth brings extra blood supply to the area to help fight any infection that is brewing.
Speaking of warmth, the other issue that I hear about baths is the worry that the baby will become overheated if you take a hot bath. It is true that fever in early pregnancy is associated with birth defects, but no one has ever shown that a not-too-hot bath poses any risk. Unlike a hot tub, the bath cools off fairly quickly while you are in it. If you start feeling overheated of course get out!
As for the pain, joints often feel sore during pregnancy, probably due to ligament laxity from pregnancy hormones plus the changes in posture from the extra weight up front. Sciatica, which is more in the low back than the hip, is also quite common. Exercises, heat, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and pain medications all have a role in helping moms-to-be with joint or back pain. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your pain and what approach would be best in your situation. I hope you feel better soon!