MEGHAN Markle’s due date is just around the corner and, like every first time mum, she must be wondering what the birth will be like.
According to experts, the Duchess need look no further than at her bendy thumbs, which could indicate she'll have an “early and quick labour”.
Pictures of Duchess’s hands – taken during a visit to the National Theatre in January – show that Meghan appears to have double-jointed fingers.
This means that some of her joints are hypermobile, which is a genetic condition that allows her to move the digits – and probably other parts of her body – beyond the normal range, without it hurting.
Dr Adam Taylor, an expert in anatomy at Lancaster Medical School, said hypermobility helps people, like Meghan, do yoga – and he also believes it could make it easier to give birth.
He told Fabulous Digital: “The ligaments of the pelvis, which help hold the pelvis together, are believed to loosen over pregnancy.
“So any more mobility within these from having hypermobility may help make delivery easier too.”
However this may make other ligaments, like those around her fingers and thumbs, more elastic, so Meghan may need to be careful about heavy objects so she does not sprain them.
This hypermobility may also mean that Meghan could end up having an earlier or quicker labour because the muscles holding in the baby are more lax, adds birth coach Alexandra Kremer.
What is hypermobility?
Most joints are wrapped in ligaments which connect the bone to bone and tendons which connect muscle to the bone.
Around five per cent of the population, are double-jointed – or hyper mobile – usually because they are born with slightly shallower ball–and-socket joints.
This gives a greater range of motion in places like their elbows, shoulders, hips and fingers.
This may be one of the reasons why Meghan is so good at yoga, which she is said to practice every morning, because she is also more likely to have more flexible hip joints, allowing her to do bendy poses more easily.
Alexandra, who runs pregnancy retreats in St Albans, said: “If you’re already hypermobile, then pregnancy can take more of a toll on you and your body.
“It’s not uncommon to have issues with pelvic girdle pain and in more extreme cases it could cause premature labour.
“Due to how fragile the connective tissue can be, hypermobility has shown that there can be a connection with early labour.
“If Meghan suffers with hypermobility, then it’s likely her care providers will have talked to her about it and looked at all the options.
“This could mean anything from extra joint support like a pelvic belt to planning for an earlier arrival.”
As Meghan's pregnancy developed, she may have been even more flexible than usual – thanks to rising levels of the pregnancy hormones, progesterone and relaxin.
These increase in a woman’s body during pregnancy, helping to loosen the ligaments around the tummy and uterus so the baby can come out more easily.
Alexandra added: “Relaxin and progesterone are the two hormones that help the ligaments to relax during pregnancy in order to help open the pelvis and allow baby to descend easily.
“Relaxin usually peaks around 14 weeks into pregnancy and many expectant mums can feel some slight discomfort in the womb and pelvic area as the muscles, joints and ligaments begin to relax in order to accommodate the growing baby.
“Due to these hormones, it’s possible that Meghan’s thumbs may also become more mobile.”
Beyond this, the UK's top scientific hand and fingerprint analyst, Helen Elizabeth Evans also believes her bendy thumbs hint she may have a shorter labour.
She said: “If she is hyper-flexible, it may make giving birth easier than it would be for someone who is naturally quite tense.
“But there are too many factors that could impact her birth experience that are not indicated in the hands.”
Helen also believes Meghan’s thumbs offer intriguing clues to the kind of mother she will be.
When is Meghan's baby due?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will welcome their first child around April 2019.
Kensington Palace has confirmed the baby is due in spring.
While a due date has not yet been confirmed, Meghan let it slip during a trip to Birkenhead in January that she was six months pregnant.
She also confirmed that she does not know the royal baby's sex as she and Harry want it to be a surprise.
Helen uses a system which is like a 21st century version of palmistry and is based on research into more than 50,000 palm-prints, personality tests and medical records.
When the royal baby arrives, Helen says Meghan’s thumbs hint she may avoid hiring a nanny because she wants to take on a lot of the child-care herself.
Helen said: “Straight thumbs indicate people whose head rules their actions, whereas Meghan has curved thumbs, suggesting her heart rules her actions.
“The fact that her thumbs curve outward suggests she's not great at asking for help, and probably likes to do as much as she can herself.”
As the big day approaches, her hands may show how Meghan is feeling about her baby’s arrival, adds Helen.
She said: “Watch how stiff or relaxed her hands are as she gets closer to giving birth. The more relaxed they seem to be, the more likely it is that her experience will be easier.”
The good news, adds Helen, is that when matched with Harry’s hands, there are signs that the couple will make great parents.
Helen said: “Meghan’s headline and lifeline are tied together. It’s not as much as Harry’s but enough that she will have some traditional values that will no doubt align with his.
“It's this that is likely to make her want children. Creating a family will also give Meghan the solidity and belonging that she wants.
“Harry has sensitive fingers too, but his palms are strong and protective.
“As long as Meghan and Harry keep communicating with one another, they are likely to be a formidable team who each make the other stronger through their support for one another.
“Any children they have will become part of that formidable team, protected and loved.”
Earlier this week, we told you Meghan Markle is flying her mum Doria in from the USahead of second baby shower in Britain.
We also revealed trolls are claiming Meghan Markle’s pregnancy is ‘fake’ in outrageous conspiracy theory.
And we told you Victoria Beckham is ‘helping Meghan Markle’ do up Frogmore Cottage after £3 million revamp.
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