The Truth About Hips and C-Sections

Do Hips Widen After C Section?

Do Hips Widen After C Section?

Updated on 2/20/2024
Mai DelacruzBy Mai Delacruz
Personal Fitness Trainer & Health Coach
Learn More about Mai Delacruz

 

Many expectant or new mothers often wonder if their hips will widen after a C-section. The truth is, it varies from woman to woman. Your recovery after delivery can be influenced by the circumstances of your pregnancy and delivery.

It's important to understand that every woman's body is unique and may respond differently to pregnancy and delivery. During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released, which helps to soften and loosen the joints and ligaments in the pelvis to prepare for childbirth. This process can cause the hips to widen slightly. However, after a C-section, the recovery process can be different, and the hips may not return to their pre-pregnancy state. Additionally, factors such as weight gain, genetics, and overall health can also play a role in the shape and size of a woman's hips post-delivery.

hip dips pregenant

hip dips pregenant

A woman is considered to be in the postpartum phase for up to two years after giving birth. It's important to understand that the postpartum period encompasses much more than just the first few weeks after delivery. In fact, a woman remains postpartum for a full year after giving birth, as her body continues to recover and adjust to the physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy and delivery.

It's also true that pregnancy brings about significant changes in a woman's body, due to the increased hormone levels produced. Although some of these symptoms may resolve shortly after birth, it's common for some aspects of the body to take longer to heal or continue to change. It's important for new mothers to be aware of the ongoing physical and emotional changes they may experience during the postpartum period.

 

Your Pelvic Floor

Your Pelvic Floor

It is crucial to prioritize the care of your pelvic floor muscles after giving birth, regardless of whether you delivered vaginally or through a C-section. Your pelvic floor muscles support important organs such as your uterus, bladder, colon, and ovaries. During pregnancy, these muscles undergo significant pressure due to the weight of the growing baby, and a vaginal delivery can put additional stress on the muscles, increasing the risk of injury or stretching and potential complications during delivery. This could lead to bladder leaks when laughing, coughing, or sneezing.

To rebuild strength in your pelvic floor muscles, seeking guidance from a physiotherapist on postpartum exercise is recommended. With the right exercises, you can strengthen these muscles and reduce the risk of bladder leakage. After completing these exercises, you should be able to return to your normal workout routine without any issues. These exercises can help you regain your muscle strength.

 

5 Ways Other Than Hips That Your Body Can Change After Giving Birth

6 Ways That Your Body Can Change After You Have A Baby

6 Ways That Your Body Can Change After You Have A Baby

Your Breasts 

If you are nursing, it's likely that your breasts expanded during pregnancy. However, as you continue to breastfeed, you may notice that your breast shape changes to accommodate your baby's needs. Although the breasts do not contain any muscle, they are connected to the chest wall muscles via ligaments that hold them in place. During pregnancy, these ligaments loosen, but after delivery, they return to their original state, which can cause the breasts to sag and potentially not return to their pre-pregnancy form.

Your Breasts

Your Breasts

After you stop nursing, the milk-producing tissue will eventually be replaced by fatty tissue, but this process can take up to six months and may result in a feeling of emptiness. To support your breasts and prevent further sagging, it's highly recommended to wear a well-fitted, comfortable, and supportive bra

Your Skin

Stretch marks that occur during pregnancy will begin to fade and eventually shrink in size and color after delivery. There is limited evidence to suggest that using oils or lotions can fully eliminate stretch marks once they have appeared.

For some women, chloasma, or dark spots on the face, may also occur during pregnancy. These spots typically fade over a few months after delivery, but for some women, they may persist for several years.

Your Skin

Your Skin

If you developed skin tags during pregnancy, it is likely that they will disappear on their own or fall off after delivery. If they persist, your primary care physician or a dermatologist can easily remove them using a scalpel, freezing, or burning. The removal process should be painless.

Your Body

During pregnancy, your body expands to accommodate the growing baby, and this can result in a larger body size. The ribs and hips are commonly known to broaden, making it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal. Some women may notice permanent changes to their hips and rib cage after pregnancy.

Your Body

Your Body

Pregnancy also involves natural weight gain to support the growth of the baby, and this weight gain will vary depending on the length of the pregnancy. If you are looking to lose some of the weight gained during pregnancy, it's important to proceed with caution and be patient. The body undergoes a slow but steady process of weight loss after delivery. If your goal is to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, keep in mind that it may take several months, or longer, to reach that goal. Eating nutrient-dense meals and participating in moderate physical activity can support weight loss, but it's important to remember that changes won't happen overnight.

Your Hair

During pregnancy, the increased levels of the hormone estrogen can lead to fuller and thicker hair. However, after giving birth, the hormone levels and hair growth patterns return to their pre-pregnancy state. In some cases, hair loss may occur in the months following delivery, which is normal and temporary. Over time, hair regrowth may occur, resulting in postpartum flyaways or bangs. This is a normal process that can occur anywhere from a few weeks to several months after giving birth

Your Shoe Size

Your Shoe Size

Your Shoe Size

During pregnancy, a woman's shoe size may increase due to a variety of factors, including an increase in body mass and changes in hormone levels. The extra weight carried during pregnancy can lead to a flattening of the arch in the foot, causing the need to buy shoes that are one size larger. The hormone relaxin plays a role in this process by relaxing the ligaments and bones in the pelvis, preparing the body for childbirth. It also helps relieve foot discomfort by relaxing the muscles and ligaments throughout the body, including those in the feet. As a result, the feet may become flatter and wider, leading to the need for larger shoes.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a C-section cause your hips to widen?

Yes, it is possible for a C-section to contribute to the widening of a woman's hips. The recovery process after a C-section can be different from that of a vaginal birth, and factors such as weight gain, genetics, and overall health can also play a role in the shape and size of a woman's hips post-delivery.

Is it normal for hips to widen after a C-section?

It is normal for hips to widen after a C-section, as every woman's body is unique and may respond differently to pregnancy and delivery.

How long does it take for hips to return to normal after a C-section?

The amount of time it takes for hips to return to normal after a C-section varies from woman to woman. It can depend on factors such as the circumstances surrounding the delivery, the course of the pregnancy, and the woman's overall health.

Can exercise help prevent hips from widening after a C-section?

Regular exercise can help maintain overall health and can potentially prevent the hips from widening after a C-section. However, it's important to consult with a doctor before starting any exercise regimen post-delivery.

Can diet help prevent hips from widening after a C-section?

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can support overall health and potentially prevent the hips from widening after a C-section. However, it's important to consult with a doctor before making any major dietary changes post-delivery.

Is it possible to prevent hips from widening after a C-section?

It is not possible to completely prevent the hips from widening after a C-section, as every woman's body is unique and may respond differently to pregnancy and delivery. However, maintaining overall health through a balanced diet and regular exercise can potentially reduce the risk of hips widening.

 

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