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Do Women Really Grow Taller After Childbirth?

By Torinmo Salau 15 October 2018   |   11:00 am

The joy of childbirth is limitless. It is an exhilarating experience for women that is often hard to understand because there is nothing comparable to birthing another human being. It is not always jollof rice and small chops, having a baby is a mix of emotions, fraught with pain, anxiety and laughs, but that’s what makes it a truly special moment for most women and many families.

The average woman’s body undergoes a series of transformations during the nine months’ window of pregnancy. Most of these changes are physical and visible, such as an increase in the size of the stomach, weight gain in different parts of the body including the breasts, hair length, feet—leading to an extra shoe size, hyperpigmentation of the skin amongst others.

However, a few bodily changes may be unprecedented, some women recover from them, other don’t. Though it is widely regarded as a myth, there are stipulations that women gain several inches in height after childbirth. The result of a poll “So women really grow taller after childbirth?” conducted revealed a larger percentage divided and disapproving of this belief while others believed it is true.

Amaka Okeke who just gave birth to her third child observed that she was a bit taller because most of her clothes especially the trousers were slightly shorter than their actual length. Her mother who also perceived the difference in her height during and even after pregnancy affirmed this speculation. Amaka’s height measured at 5ft 6in before the conception of the baby but after the pregnancy, she was a few inches taller, averaging at 5ft 7in.

It is believed women who experience an increase in height are often shorter than average, they were possibly around the 5ft–5ft 4in mark. Many women say they gained more height in their first pregnancy while others in their third pregnancy or when they gave birth to their only daughter.

“It is yet to be proven medically, but with reference to the old wives’ tale, it may be due to the ligaments that stretch a bit to put up with all the changes going on in pregnancy,” said Dr Rosebud. “It is not hormonal because, oestrogen which is the major hormone brings about faster closure of the growing plates of the bones, hence the reason why females tend to be shorter than males of the same age,” she continued.

Rather, it is confirmed that every centimetre of a mother’s height increases her baby’s length by 0.05 centimetres, weight by 10 grams and gestational age by 0.34 days. Though it is considered a speculation, the possibilities abound, and women can actually hope to look taller while bringing forth their little ones into the world!

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