Written by Dr. Shayna Ranit
So, you just had a baby… WOW!! How amazing is the human body that you were able to create, grow, and bring another human life into this world?!? As incredible as it may be, bringing a brand new person into the world is hard work! Giving birth is one of the most intense physical experiences most women will ever go through. Your body has gone through remarkable changes and stood up to some challenging demands… now it needs some time and support to recover.
Many women are aware of and have experienced the benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy – however, your health is just as important AFTER your baby is born. Not only do you have the joys (and challenges) of looking after a newborn, you’re still adjusting to a changing family dynamic, a lack of sleep, and many emotional ups and downs. The good news is, you’re not alone!
Here are just a few ways that Chiropractic can help you bounce back after baby is born:
Although every birth is unique, even the most natural, non-invasive birth is very physically demanding for both Mom and baby. The forces placed on your body during delivery are extreme, and any invasive procedures performed (such as a C-section, episiotomy, or forceps) adds to this physical stress. This physical trauma is a major cause of tissue injuries, discomfort, and spinal restrictions, which is one reason to have both Mom and baby checked out by a Chiropractor soon after birth.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the ligaments supporting the joints in the pelvis (and everywhere else in your body) to become very loose. This is great for creating as much space as possible for baby during labour, but afterwards, these ligaments can become over-stretched and contribute to joint instability. Instability in the hips and pelvis can cause a lot of pain and can actually increase your risk of injury, especially as you get back to your regular activities. It can take anywhere from 3-12 months for your hormones to normalize and for these tissues to fully heal. Chiropractic adjustments help re-align and balance the structures in the pelvis and spine, which can facilitate your body’s natural healing process, reduce the risk of injury, and help you feel great in the meantime!
New Mom’s often present with what we call “Postpartum Pain Syndrome”. This is a pattern of symptoms caused by sustained postural strain and repetitive activities during a time when you are most susceptible to injury (due to all that trauma and stretchy-ness we were just talking about). “Mommy” postures – such as breastfeeding for hours a day, bending forward to change diapers, and carrying baby on your hip- all contribute to this postural strain. Performing these motions and postures over and over throughout the day create tiny little micro-tears in your muscles and ligaments, which lead to further instability, stiffness, and pain. Chiropractic care is very effective at relieving the discomfort pattern of Postpartum Pain Syndrome and teaching you some tools to break the cycle.
Symptoms of Postpartum Pain Syndrome include:
- Pain and stiffness between the shoulder blades, across the top of your shoulders, or near the bra-line
- Headaches, neck tension, and/or jaw pain
- Arm/hand tingling or wrist pain
- Low back pain or hip pain
- Weakening or separation of the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles
Many women suffering from this kind of post-natal pain are concerned that something is seriously wrong and can sometimes be misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia and put on long term pain medication. It can be some pretty scary stuff when you don’t know exactly what is going on! The truth is, you don’t need to live in constant pain, and we can help.
Every Mama’s journey is unique. Your goals and values may be very different from the woman sitting beside you. Post-natal rehabilitation and fitness is not all about “getting your body back” – your body has always been your own. It’s about getting you safely back to the activities that you want to do, so that you can reach your goals (and stay happy and healthy while doing it!) We understand that, as a new Mom, there is limited time in the day to focus on you, and we want to maximize your “you time.” At AltaVie Integrated Family Health, we work with your schedule, your crazy life, and your unique physical situation to create a customized, targeted plan to build the best version of you possible! Whether your desire is to hike to the top of Knox, get through an entire yoga class, or be able to breastfeed without that nagging pain in your back, we are here to help.
Chiropractic care is an awesome way to give new Mom’s the knowledge and tools to care for herself after baby has arrived. It’s our goal to help you cherish and enjoy this special time with your new bundle of joy. Taking care of yourself does not make you selfish! The healthier and happier you are, the better you will be able to care for your baby – and the rest of your family.
Dr. Shayna Ranit is passionate about helping women stay healthy and strong during and after pregnancy. She utilizes a variety of gentle and effective chiropractic and soft tissue techniques and incorporates exercise rehab and home-care tools into her treatments. You can learn more about Dr. Shayna Ranit at AltaVie Integrated Family Health or call 778.484.4414 to book your initial exam or free 15 minute chat today.