Does Your Pelvis Grow Wider Even If You Haven’t Experienced Pregnancy?
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.
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.
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。
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。
Restoring Mums創辦人和治療師Karen Loke