August 16th, 2018

Bump, Birth & Beyond @ Posture Doctor 

Congratulations on your baby! The moment you find out you are pregnant is a special time filled with joy, nerves, and excitement. You are also probably still feeling great.  Eventually hormone changes take over and that little baby bump grows throwing off your centre of gravity.  Then, all of a sudden, you take a step and feel a sharp twinge in your lower back. Ouch! This experience is common for many women throughout their pregnancy.  

Pregnancy is an extraordinary time in your life and this is the time to take really good care of your body and your growing baby.  Eating right, exercising and visiting your healthcare provider are all ways to maintain a healthy pregnancy, but adding a prenatal chiropractor (Posture Doctor) to that list can make all the difference in how you feel for those long nine months.  Not only does chiropractic care help to decrease low back pain, but it has also been shown to increase chances for a safe and natural labor.

The number one question I hear from my postpartum clients is, “Why did no one tell me this when I was pregnant?” However, most moms-to-be don’t realise there is safe and effective help out there to help with pain during pregnancy – It is chiropractic!

Ouch! The Pain in Pregnancy
Why am I in pain? Low back, pelvis and hip pain during pregnancy is caused by a perfect storm of mechanical, hormonal and circulatory changes that put stress on your musculoskeletal system. Luckily, we have the expertise to treat  conditions and are uniquely qualified to relieve pregnancy pain and discomfort without the use of medication – (usually a no-no during pregnancy) as well as provide holistic advice to maintain health before, during and after the baby is born.

Shift in Gravity, Your Mechanical Changes
With a normal weight gain of 20-40 lbs, most pregnant women experience a shift in their centre of gravity that puts stress on their lower backs. Your expanding belly can increase the curvature (“lordosis”) of your lower spine which, in turn, affects your posture when your body overcompensates to regain balance. If that weren’t enough, your core abdominal muscles stretch to accommodate the baby, and your back is left to support your increasing weight.

The concentration of the hormone “relaxin” ( I know it may not feel relaxing) increases 10 times during pregnancy to help soften your pelvic region and allow it to stretch, but your newly relaxed muscles can also contribute to low back pain and joint discomfort. Plus, blood volume can increase 50%, which can lead to inflammation and water retention (edema). This can also contribute to your pelvic, low back and hip discomfort.

Pain: Low Back, Pelvis & Hips
Everything is moving and causing real Musculoskeletal pain is very common during pregnancy. In fact, of pregnant women:

• 20% have pelvic girdle 

• 50-85% have low back

Many women also feel pain in their sacroiliac joint in their hips that can cause pain and discomfort in the whole region of the hips and buttocks, and run down the legs into the feet.

Your Posture Doctor Plans for Ease in Your Pregnancy
As your Chiropractor, we will help relieve pregnancy-related back, hip and pelvic pain by realigning the spine and balancing the pelvis. Prenatal chiropractic treatment involves safe and gentle adjustments, massage, exercise and stretching.

Throughout pregnancy, our chiropractic techniques are adapted for belly growth and modified using props like pregnancy pillows and customised tables. The chiropractor can assess your pelvis, sacrum and vertebrae for any misalignments that could be responsible for pain or creating uterine constraint.

Four Stages of Chiropractic for Pregnant Women
Typically, most people shudder at the thought of chiropractic during pregnancy. However, there are four stages during pregnancy in which having an optimally working nervous system can help both mother and child.

Many patients who received regular adjustments during pregnancy report a shorter, more pleasant delivery.

  • Help with infertility – Even before birth, proper nervous system control of the reproductive organs has blessed many chiropractic patients with the child they were struggling to conceive, and helps the mother carry the pregnancy to term with ease.
  • Pregnancy – Receiving regular chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy appeals to mothers trying to maintain proper health for themselves and for the baby. It also ensure the best possible positioning for the birthing process.
  • Labour and Birth
  • The hips and spine are extremely important during the birthing process. Chiropractic ensure the optimum positioning to reduce the need for any medical interventions during birth.
  • After birth – Postpartum – Whether it’s a C-section, a natural birth, etc. all births place undue stress on your baby’s spine. If your baby is suffering from a subluxation (spinal misalignment) they may have trouble turning their head to the side to breastfeed. 

Here are some tips to help to help you enjoy this very special time 

  • Try & Do Some Exercise – Choose to some exercise to keep you strong and support your spine. We would suggest swimming, yoga, walking or other low-impact exercise will also help with pain and 
  • Enjoy Lots of Sleep  – Ensure you get good sleep at night and a nap or two as your body heals when you sleep.  You know you need to rest, but are you sleeping smart? Your growing uterus can place pressure on the large blood vessels in your abdomen and restrict blood flow. Sleep on your left side and place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in proper alignment
  • Put Your Feet Up – Ensure you rest frequently with your feet elevated with cushions or pillows under your legs to keep your blood following. 
  • Drink Lots of Water – I can hear you going ahh my poor bladder but it is important to keep hydrated. 
  • Ask for help – I know us ladies love doing everything ourselves and if you are anything like me then I think I’ll just get on with it. You have some pretty special cargo on board and you need to becareful. Ask your partner, family and friends to help out with duties, lifting, shopping, cleaning, etc. A client swore by getting everything possible delivered. 

Your Individual Journey

Every woman’s pregnancy experience is an individual journey. Creating a positive pregnancy and birth experience doesn’t necessarily mean all plans are carried out as anticipated. What’s important is that you felt informed and supported along the way even if unexpected twists and turns occur in your journey. 

Perfect Pregnancy with the Posture Doctor 

Knowledge is power and I wish for every woman to increase her knowledge during the life changing events of pregnancy and childbirth to feel empowered in the process.

If you found these tips helpful please share with other expecting mamas.

Chiropractic care is safe and gentle for your and for your baby. We’re here to help! Schedule an appointment with us today.