If you had chiropractic adjustments while you were pregnant, you are already a step ahead in making sure you’re ready to take care of your new baby. Now, that you’ve had your baby, keep your chiropractic appointments, so that your body stays healthy as you take on the responsibilities of caring for an infant.
Sometimes, new mothers can hurt themselves inadvertently if they:
• Hold their infant in an awkward position, which can happen during nighttime feedings sometimes.
• Lift a baby out of a crib or stroller, incorrectly.
• Tote an older child on one hip.
• Had a C-Section and spent a lot of time in bed.
Holding a baby can put stress on your neck, shoulders, back, and arms. If you are feeling out of sorts, have sciatic pain, pelvic pain, or headaches, the culprit could be relaxin. During pregnancy, the placenta generates a hormone called, relaxin. True to its name, Relaxin relaxes your musculoskeletal system. Your back and pelvis loosen up. All this relaxation is the upside of relaxin; it is what allows your body to deliver a baby. It also contributes to that unbalanced, wobbly gait you get during the latter part of your pregnancy. Everything is suddenly loose, and you must be careful not to fall.
The effects of relaxin last about six months after you give birth and it makes chiropractic adjustments easier because your joints are unusually flexible. But, relaxin also means that your lower back and pelvis can become misaligned more easily. The extra weight of pregnancy can also stress your back.
Allow Yourself Time to Heal
The first rule of postpartum care is having patience with yourself. Give yourself time to heal. Keep in mind that your body must have time to recover from the pregnancy, labor, and delivery. In other cultures, new mothers are given more time to heal and have a lot of help adapting to life with baby. Here in the U.S., mothers are taking care of their babies, on their own, in about three weeks after giving birth. That isn’t a lot of time to adjust physically or emotionally. If this is your first baby, caring for him or her will take time, so don’t push yourself too hard and don’t expect to be back to your old self too fast. If you’re feeling pain, you’re not alone. Many new mothers experience neck, back, and pelvic pain after birth. Just be aware that living in pain isn’t necessary.
How Your Chiropractor Can Help
Your chiropractor will adjust your spine and other parts of your body that may be misaligned; this includes readjusting your pelvis. You may also receive information about recommended postpartum exercises that help increase your strength and flexibility. These exercises will be specifically designed to your current fitness level, and you can work harder and longer as you heal. Even your little one can benefit from chiropractic adjustments. Your chiropractor will gently correct any misalignments that may have occurred during the birthing process. If your little one has colic, is prone to ear infections, or suffers from any other ailment common to infants, chiropractic adjustments can help provide relief.
Walking is a natural exercise that almost any woman can do after giving birth. Here are some other postnatal exercises your chiropractor may recommend:
• Pelvic Tilt
• Gentle abdominal exercises, (with approval of your doctor or chiropractor)
It is important to take good care of yourself now that there is a new baby in the family. Taking care of yourself means that you will be able to handle all the challenges that come with motherhood. Don’t forget the rest of the family either. Your husband or partner may also develop aches and pains from lifting baby the wrong way. The whole family can benefit from chiropractic care now, and for a long time to come.