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  • Benefits of Postpartum Chiropractic Care

    Benefits of Postpartum Chiropractic Care

    There is no other time where a woman’s body goes through so much change then during pregnancy. For 9 months our body stretches, adapts and grows a human being which we then give birth to.

    However you give birth i.e. vaginally or via a C-section a lot of stress and change occurs to your physical body while at the same time your hormones go wild to help you care and provide nourishment and safety for your newborn. As you then travel through your postpartum time frame your body again adapts to no longer carrying a baby and tries to restore normal biomechanics and function. To say your body goes through a lot is an understatement.

    During pregnancy your spine and pelvis get put under a lot of stress and as a result alter in their movement patterns and strength. However, it is during the postpartum period where it is so important to correct your alignment and help your pelvis and spine restore proper motion and function as well as improve and balance muscle tone and strength.

    One way to do this while at the same time looking after your body and your mind is seeing a Chiropractor postpartum. Chiropractic is so much more than just adjusting the spine and there are many benefits of seeing one through your pregnancy as well as postpartum.

    5 benefits of seeing a Chiropractor postpartum

    1. Realignment of the spine and pelvis to ensure optimal functioning of the nervous system.

      Chiropractors do more than just adjust the spine. Working to restore proper balance in the spine and therefore the nervous system is the very essence of what we as Chiropractors do! Our philosophy surrounds itself on the fact that the nervous system controls everything in your body and as its physical protector, the spine, has a lot of impact on the nervous system. A well aligned and properly moving spine, pelvis and cranial system allows the nervous system to function at its optimal level.

      Having a wonderfully working nervous system is so important postpartum due to all the changes that are occurring plus the increased stress on your body from taking care of your newborn. By adjusting the spine and pelvis we take out extra stressors on your body which enables it to focus on more important things like making breastmilk and deriving nutrients from your food.

      As a Chiropractor for postpartum women I help ensure that your nervous system is functioning to the best of its ability. I do this through gentle and specific spinal adjustments and mobilisations to the spine and pelvis. This can help alleviate low back and pelvic pain that you may experience post pregnancy and post birth.

    2. Help alleviate mid back pain, neck pain or rib pain

      Many new mums experience pain in their neck, mid back and/or ribs. This is very common as your body shifts its center of gravity back to what it was pre pregnancy as well as navigating the world of breastfeeding and caring for a newborn. Your posture changes dramatically postpartum due to repeatedly picking up, looking down, holding, and breastfeeding your baby.

      Chiropractic adjustments and/or mobilisations to these areas can alleviate the pain they are causing you. It also can help with things like headaches and migraines. Through adjusting the mid back and ribs we also help the lungs and diaphragm expand fully which means more air into your lungs and more oxygen to move around your body. This is so beneficial for so many reasons!

      Through keeping these area’s moving freely you can enjoy the newborn phase in a lot less pain.

    3. Assist with improving posture

      During pregnancy and post-partum, a woman’s body experiences many different postures. From the anterior pelvic tilt of carrying a child, to the waddling of the pregnancy walk to breastfeeding for however long you decide. All these new postures put a certain amount of stress and change to your body.

      As a postpartum Chiropractor I focus on helping new mothers slowly get their good posture back through adjustment and mobilisations. I also give all my new mothers easy exercises and lifestyle advice that can help improve and maintain good posture. I understand they don’t have hours in the day to do posture exercises so I make sure what I give is attainable and easily achieved.

      Working towards good posture in the postpartum phase is really important to being able to get back to post baby exercise in a way that is safe for the body. Plus there are so many other reasons for having good posture.

    4. Support the body as it progresses through postpartum exercises

      As you go through your postpartum journey it is important to incorporate a safe and specific exercise regime. A lot of women are eager to get their pre-pregnancy body back but it is important that this is a guided process and something that isn’t rushed in to. Remember it took 9 months to grow your baby and put on that weight so we really should expect 9 months minimum of losing it and getting some pre baby body back.

      Something I see too often is women trying to get back into their pre baby exercise regime way too early after birth. During pregnancy and labor your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles as well as the ligaments that suspend your uterus in your belly have all been stretched beyond their normal limit. These don’t just bounce back to their normal length straight after you birth your baby. Due to this the first few months of exercise should be quite low force and specifically designed to help strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Only once these are at an adequate strength should more high force exercises be undertaken.

      A Chiropractor can help some specific exercises but I always refer my patients to a women’s health practitioner who specializes in pelvic floor rehab. However, Chiropractors can help with the aches and pains that are associated with returning to exercise postpartum as well as making sure your techniques are efficient and safe.

    5. Be a support to new mums

      Navigating the world of motherhood can be hard and a lot of mums. It’s a completely new realm and there are constantly questions you will be asking yourself. Rather than do it alone having a group of people around you can be highly beneficial as a new mum. A mix of health practitioners and good friends is preferred (in my opinion).

      Being a Chiropractor with a special interest in pregnancy, post-partum and children I feel as though a lot of the time I am a support person for new mums. They ask my advice on so many different things and we have a lot of conversations from anything to birth options, labor positions, post birth healing, children’s tummy time and postpartum exercise. Just being there to listen to them and give them professional advice helps put them at ease and empowers them with the knowledge and the courage to take control of theirs and their children's lives.

      So there you have it! There are more benefits to seeing a Chiropractor postpartum then just for pain and overall, it can be a great addition to your pregnancy and postpartum journey.

    By Alana McQueen

    Alana McQueen is a Pregnancy and Paediatric Chiropractor at InnerBloom Chiropractic in Melbourne. She loves working with women at all stages of their motherhood journey and inspires to empower women with their health choices and the choices they make for their families.