Does Having Bigger Hips Mean You Will Have An Easier Delivery?

4 min read

It is a common practice of the pregnant woman to analyze her chances of having an easy delivery by comparing her health conditions and physical features with other ladies who had an easy and less complicated delivery. One such physical feature of a pregnant woman that is widely assumed to make delivery easier is having bigger or wider hips. But, does having bigger hips mean you will have an easier delivery? Read on.

Every pregnant woman wishes for easy, problem-less delivery. Before knowing whether having bigger hips will help you with an easy delivery, it is important to know the structure of some of the body parts that take part in the process of delivery.

In This Article

It is not the hips, but the pelvis that is related to the delivery. The hips and the pelvis are two well-defined, but completely interconnected parts of the body that definitely have a significant role in the process of delivery. The hips are a projection of the pelvis and upper thigh bones on each side of the body. Hip bones are called pelvic bones.

What is the Structure of the Pelvis?

The pelvis is a semicircular bone complex with several bones joined together by means of ligaments. The three bones that form the pelvis are the ilium, ischium, and pubis.

Ilium: Among the hip bones, the Ilium is the largest and the widest

Ischium: It is on this bone you rest your body weight while sitting. The ischium is narrower and positioned inferior to the ilium

Pubis: The smallest of the hip bones and positioned anterior to the ischium

The pelvic bones along with the muscles provide not only the support for growing the uterus and the baby inside, but pelvic bones also provide a passage through which the baby comes into this world.

How do Pelvic Bones Provide the Passage for the Baby During Delivery?

The pelvic bones along with the tail bone form four joints-

  1. The right sacroiliac joint
  2. The left sacroiliac joint
  3. The sacrococcygeal joint
  4. The pubic symphysis

Of these joints, the pubic symphysis is formed by joining the right and left pubic bones. The pubic symphysis brings together the right and left pubic bones, as it is slightly flexible. It is composed of a band of fibrocartilage that allows the pelvis to stretch during childbirth to accommodate the head of a fetus passing through the birth canal.

The stretching becomes easier as the hormone relaxin is poured into the bloodstream during pregnancy and labor. This hormone softens and relaxes the ligaments that bind the pelvic bones, giving additional space for the birth canal.

Is Having Wider Hips Advantageous for an Easier Delivery?

Wider hips always refer to the wider ilium, the largest wing-shaped bone of the pelvis that grows laterally and determines the width of the hip. The fact is that the size of the iliac area has nothing to do with birthing the baby.

When it comes to giving birth, it is the size and shape of the round hole in the middle of the pelvis called the pelvic inlet that counts. Let the size of the hip bone be very large or too small, the size of the pelvic inlet can be of the same size in both cases.

Hence, it is not the hip size that decides the space an infant needs to go through the birth canal, but the width and shape of the pelvic inlet which contracts and pushes the baby out into the world.

Is a Long Labor or Long Pushing Stage an Indicator of a Small Pelvic Inlet?

Not necessarily. There is one more significant factor that must be considered when it comes to an easy delivery – the baby. Labor time also depends on:

Size of the Baby

The size of the baby has an impact on its movement through the birth canal. Obviously, the movement of a big baby won’t be as simple as a small baby.

Molding of the Baby’s Head

The baby’s head is composed of several bones which overlap during birth (molding). It is impossible to predict to which extend will the baby’s head will mold during delivery.

Relaxing of the Pelvis

How much the pelvis of the pregnant woman will relax to hold the baby can’t be predicted until the mother has begun pushing her baby down the birth canal.

Therefore, don’t be overly concerned about your physique when you think of an easy delivery. Let you be tall or short, having large hips or narrow hips, your body is designed to give birth. An easy delivery can’t be predicted and guaranteed even by a well-experienced doctor despite the fact that your health and physical conditions are hundred percent fine.


1. Does my Hip Size Determine How Easy my Delivery Will be?

No, it does not. It is the pelvic size that determines easy delivery. Both are generally confused.

2. Do Women With Bigger Hips Have Pain-Free Delivery?

No, not necessarily. Women with broader pelvic inlet might have a considerably lesser delivery pain. There are many other factors that contribute to delivery pain.

3. Do Wider Hips Mean Lesser Complications During Delivery?

No, it does not. Gestational diabetes, hypertension, etc, are some of the common complications during pregnancy. They have absolutely no connection to the size of the hips.

4. Should Women With Narrow Hips Opt for a C-Section?

No, it is not necessary. If the pelvic inlet is broad enough for the baby to come through, it is sufficient. Even narrow pelvic inlets have vaginal delivery.

Read Also: 8 Effective Exercises To Induce Labor Naturally

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