Child bearing hips myth: do bigger hips make childbirth easier?

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You would have heard that women with bigger hips have a breezy birthing experience. Being told that one has child-bearing hips in Nigeria is supposed to be a compliment. It would imply that the woman will have no problems with conception and delivery. But is the child bearing hips myth true?

Do women with slimmer hips have traumatic experiences during childbirth than women with bigger hips?

child bearing hips myth

child bearing hips myth: Is childbirth easier for women with larger hip?

Why do some women have bigger hips compared to others?

Hip size has a lot to do with the size and shape of the pelvis. There are four main types of pelvis shapes as follows:

• The anthropoid pelvis
• The gynaecoid pelvis
• The android pelvis
• The platypelloid pelvis

The anthropoid pelvis

About 20% – 30% of women have the anthropoid pelvis shape. It has an oval inlet with a large anterior diameter. It is very common in women of colour, especially black women. Also, women with anthropoid pelvis usually have bigger bottoms than other pelvis shapes.

The gynaecoid pelvis

The gynaecoid pelvis is the classic female pelvis. It has an oval inlet and a wide sub-pubic arch. This is the pelvis shape in question when people talk about the child bearing hips myth. Women with this pelvis shape are curvy and shapely.

They carry most of their weight around the thighs and often have a flat stomach. There may be some truth about gynaecoid pelvis and child bearing hips myth because the wide sub-pubic arch creates a bigger passage for the baby to pass through.

The android pelvis

The android pelvis has a triangular shape at the inlet, which could make it difficult for large babies to pass through. Smaller babies can get through without much stress for both the mom and baby.

The android pelvis is more common in men than women. Women who have this shape often have flat bottoms, and their stomachs tend to be flatter than women with other shapes. Also, when the child bearing hips myth is being brandished about, the android pelvis is the direct opposite of what they mean.

The platypelloid pelvis

This pelvis shape has a flat inlet with a generous-sized sacrum. The platypelloid is shorter than all other shapes. It is common for women with this shape to hold most of their weight in their lower abdomen.

child bearing hips myth

Women with narrow hips won’t necessarily have more difficulty during birth and delivery

Child bearing hips myth vs facts

Myth: women with larger hips have an easier delivery than women with slim hips.

Fact: Childbirth itself is not an easy experience for anyone. This does not mean that women with big hips necessarily have it better than anyone else. Factors that can affect childbirth are the width and shape of the pelvis. A woman can have big hips and a narrow pelvis.

Myth: Women with big hips conceive easily.

Fact: Infertility can affect anyone, irrespective of their shape and size. There are many factors that can make it hard for a woman to have a baby, and her size and shape are the least of these.

Myth: Men find women with big hips more attractive than women with small hips.

Fact: Beauty, as they say, is in the eyes of the beholder. This goes to show that what one person finds attractive might not appear so to another person. Besides, everyone has their own personal standard of beauty.

Myth: Women with child bearing hips have a higher chance of having twins.

Fact: A woman’s shape does not affect her chances of having twins. Rather, some of the factors that can determine if a woman will get pregnant with multiples are:

• Genes – her mom or her sister has twins

• Weight – studies have shown that taller and heavier women have a higher chance of having fraternal twin

• Age – As a woman gets older, changes in her ovulation patterns make her more likely to have fraternal twins. This is true for women who are 35 and older

• Infertility treatment – fertility drugs can cause a woman to release multiple eggs, thereby increasing her odds of giving birth to fraternal twins

• Prior multiple births – a woman who has had twins is more likely to give birth to another set of twins

Myth: women with small hips always need caesarian sections

Fact: Childbirth is not affected by the size of your hip but rather, the width and shape of your pelvis. On the whole, any woman could need a c-section.

Resources: Medline Plus

Also Read: Study: Giving birth to a baby boy can be more painful than delivering a baby girl

Written by

Julie Adeboye