Does Having Wider Hips Make Labor And Delivery Easier?

Pregnant women often ponder upon their likeliness of having an easy delivery—every mother wants their labor to be short, less painful and easy on the baby. One of the factors they feel determines the ease of the birth is wider hips.

According to the misconception, wider hips means that the baby will have more space to pass through the pelvic region. Women often compare their physical features to find out who will have a less complicated and easy labor.


To understand why it is a wrong notion that women have developed over time, they should know how their body is structured.

Pelvis And Hips

Pelvis and hips are two different structures of the lower human body but are interrelated. They support the body by connecting the lower and upper bones. It also helps in the movement of the lower body.



Your pelvis is a semi-circular combination of three principle bones that form a ring-like structure. These three bones are ilium, ischium, and pubis.


Illium is the uppermost part of the hip bone. It is shaped like a wing on the either side of the pelvis.



The ischium is the bone forming the base of the pelvis below the ilium. It takes your complete body weight when you are sitting.


The pubis is the smallest hip bone present at the anterior on both sides of the pelvis.


These pelvic bones support the uterus and the growing baby, whereas the structure pelvis forms the passage for the baby to pass through.

Hip Joint

Your hip constitutes of a ball-socket hip joint between the pelvis and the femur bone. Pelvis helps in distributing the body weight from the upper body to the legs via the hip joint. They also aid in the movement and provide stability to the body.


How Does The Baby Pass Through The Pelvis?

Your pubic bones, including the tailbone, is made of four joints—right sacroiliac joints, left sacroiliac joints, sacrococcygeal joint and pubic symphysis. The pubic symphysis is the cartilage that joins the left and right pubic bones. This cartilage stretches at the time of labor and birth, allowing the baby head to pass through.
The hormone relaxin causes this joint to relax and increases their flexibility.

Why Having Wider Hips Doesn’t Contribute To Easy Labor?

When we mention wider hips, we refer to the ilium, the wing-shape bone, which determines the width of the hips. However, this is nowhere linked to birthing the baby.


This is because when we think of ease of birth, it is the shape of size of the pelvic hole in the center that matters. Even if the hip bone is larger and wider, it isn’t necessary that your pelvic inlet will be wider as well. Irrespective of the width of the hip, it is the pelvic hole that decides whether the baby will pass easily through the birth canal or not.


Does Long Labor Indicate A Small Pelvic Inlet?

There could be many reasons contributing to the longer duration of labor and a small pelvic inlet isn’t the most significant of them. To a large extent, your labor will also depend on your baby.


The size of your baby and the molding of their head during birth can also decide the duration and ease of labor. Your baby’s head is made of a number of bones that can slide against or overlap each other. When they pass through the birth canal, the baby’s head molds to accommodate through the pelvis. However, it cannot be determined to what extent the baby’s head will mold during labor.

Labor also depends on whether the mother’s pelvis is able to relax to hold the baby, however, that cannot be predicted until the labor begins.

The crux of knowing your pelvic structure is to understand that it is not your physique that determines whether you will have an easy labor and delivery. Wider hi[s have nothing to do with shorter and less painful labor.