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Why Chiropractic Care Should Be Part of Your Postpartum Journey

Pregnancy is an extremely special time in any mother’s life, but carrying a baby for 9 months and then going through delivery can be very hard on the body. First, you have weight gain and hormones that have the specific job of loosening you up to prepare for birth. Not to mention the moving and spreading of organs and ligaments to make space for the baby. Then, after 9 months of all these physical changes, it comes time to deliver. Whether you deliver vaginally or via c-section, the mother’s body needs time to recover from both pregnancy and labor and delivery.

The journey into motherhood brings with it the fourth trimester, a term that encapsulates the postpartum period. This stage is marked by significant physical and emotional changes, including various physical discomforts that new mothers often encounter. An effective, yet sometimes overlooked, approach to managing these challenges is chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, hands-on health care discipline that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. After childbirth, a woman's body undergoes various adjustments as it returns to its pre-pregnancy state. This process can often lead to spinal and pelvic misalignments. Chiropractic adjustments aim to realign these structures, offering relief and promoting faster recovery.

There are various benefits for new mothers when it comes to chiropractic care during the fourth trimester. 

  • Alleviating Back Pain in Postpartum: Back pain is a common complaint in the postpartum period. Chiropractic adjustments can reduce this discomfort by addressing the changes in posture and spinal alignment that occur during pregnancy and persist into motherhood. We also want to check if there is a diastasis recti and discuss postpartum specific stretches and exercises for you. 

  • Improving Pelvic Balance During the Fourth Trimester: The pelvis can shift significantly during pregnancy and childbirth. Restoring pelvic balance is crucial for postpartum recovery, and chiropractic adjustments are key in this process. 

  • Aiding in Posture Correction for New Mothers: Adjustments to a mother's posture during and after pregnancy are common. Chiropractic care helps correct these postural changes, easing the transition into motherhood. Think lifting and holding baby and common ailments, such as ‘nursing neck’ & ‘mommy wrist’. 

  • Enhancing Overall Well-being: Maintaining spinal health is integral to overall well-being, especially during the fourth trimester. Chiropractic care contributes to a mother’s overall recovery and health.This is done by regulating the nervous system to maintain calm. Between lack of sleep and feeling overwhelmed, we can help reduce your stress and be in a more regulated state. 

While chiropractic care is generally safe, a chiropractor that specializes in postpartum care will be able to provide the specific care fit for this chapter in your life, especially within the first trimester. We understand the physical demands on your body, modifications when relaxin (ligament laxity) is present in your body and specific techniques specific for cesarean delivery. Look for practitioners experienced in dealing with postpartum issues and who come highly recommended by other healthcare professionals. A good resource for this is using a directory such as THIS.

When can we start chiropractic care? The best time is when you feel physically ready!!! It is safe to come in for care right after delivery of your sweet baby. There will be modifications that will be made if we are within 1-6 weeks post c-section, such as avoiding twisting or pressure around the scar. I like to provide my moms with gentle at-home movements and stretches they can do within that fourth trimester at home if they feel that they are not yet ready to come in for care.  

As we navigate the beautiful yet challenging journey of motherhood, it’s important to remember the array of resources available to us. Chiropractic care stands out as a valuable tool for postpartum recovery. It offers a pathway to alleviate discomfort, promote healing, and enhance overall well-being. The fourth trimester, a crucial period in a new mother's journey, demands attention to physical and emotional well-being. It’s not just about getting back to ‘normal’ – it’s about embracing a new state of health and well-being for yourself and your baby.

Cheers to you mama!!!!!! -Dr. Liz

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