Does Your Pelvis Grow Wider Even If You Haven’t Experienced Pregnancy?

 In Wellness

I care very deeply about helping mums regain their figures after delivery. For me, that includes understanding human anatomy and how the pelvic structure changes during pregnancy. During gestation, the hormone relaxin is produced by the ovaries and placenta, and helps the body prepare for childbirth by relaxing the pelvic ligaments and softening and widening the cervix. I have learned that it is possible to shrink it back up using binding techniques (more passionately called tummy wrap or abdominal binding in South East Asia) by leveraging the relaxin, which is still present in the body two months post-delivery.

While I understand that it is natural for a woman’s hips to widen during pregnancy and delivery, I have also observed that women who did not have a child also experienced widening hips as they aged. This plagued me for some time until I read this article.

A study lead by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found evidence that, even though you no longer grow any taller during adulthood, your pelvis does continue to widen between the ages of twenty and seventy-nine years. By the age of twenty, most people have reached skeletal maturity and until recently it was assumed that any further skeletal growth had stopped by then.

However, results of the study suggested that the pelvis continues to increase in width after skeletal maturity and cessation of longitudinal growth.

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Of course, it is common that people find themselves wider at age forty or sixty than they were in their twenties. We are used to women’s hips ‘spreading’ with age, which had been previously been assumed was linked to weight gain over time. Surprisingly, the researchers found that the pelvis can experience up to a one-inch increase in diameter, which can translate into three inches of increased waistline.

Pelvic Bones of 20 & 79 Years Old

Pelvic Bones of 20 & 79 Years Old

In the above illustration, a twenty-year-old’s pelvis is represented in pink, and a seventy-nine-year-old’s pelvis in black, showing an approximate difference of one inch in width. Image created by Laurence Dahners, MD.

It’s good to know that if we don’t fit into our twenty-year-old jeans when we’re in our forties, it may not be our appetite or overindulgence to blame, but instead our pelvic bones have grown naturally.

Karen Loke – Founder and Practitioner, Restoring Mums我十分關心如何可以幫助媽媽在分娩後重塑身形。對我來說,這包括了解人體解剖構造和盆骨結構如何在懷孕期間出現變化。在懷孕期間,鬆弛激素由卵巢和胎盤產生,通過放鬆盆骨韌帶,以及軟化和擴大子宮頸,幫助媽媽的身體為分娩作準備。據我研究了解,鬆弛激素會殘留在產後的身體內多達兩個月之久. 在這期間我們可以利用針對性的包紮技術(在東南亞更流行的叫法為腹部包紮或束腹或束肚)有效地使盆骨縮小的。

雖然我明白女性的臀部在懷孕和分娩後變得寬大是自然的現象,但我曾經觀察到同齡但沒有生過小孩的女性也有同樣的問題。這令我百思不得其解,直至我讀了這篇文章。

一項由北卡羅來納大學教堂山分校的研究員領導的研究找到證據並指出,即使妳在成年後不再長高,在20歲時,大部分人的骨骼已趨成熟, 但是妳的盆骨在20至79歲期間會繼續變寬。直至最近人們還認為在20歲後骨骼已停止進一步的生長。不過,研究結果表明盆骨在骨骼成熟和停止縱向發育後繼續變寬

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當然,人們發現他們40或60歲的身形比20多歲時橫是正常的。我們一直以為女性隨著年齡增長使體重增加,令到臀部變寬。令人驚訝的是,研究員發現盆骨的直徑可以增加多達一英寸,即可以令腰圍增加三英寸。

Pelvic Bones of 20 & 79 Years Old

Pelvic Bones of 20 & 79 Years Old

上圖中,粉紅色線和黑色線分別表示20歲時和79歲時的骨盆,呈現了將近一英寸寬的差異。圖片由Laurence Dahners, MD創建。

這讓我們明白到如果我們在40多歲時不能穿回二十多歲時的牛仔褲,不一定是因為我們胃口大或放縱飲食導致體重增加令到臀部變寬,而是因為我們的盆骨的自然生長。妳該不會太自責最近吃得太放縱了吧? 🙂

Restoring Mums創辦人和治療師Karen Loke

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