The postpartum period is full of new challenges and rewards for parents. One challenge that many women face is adjusting to their post-birth bodies. Changes in the spine and pelvis can cause lingering discomfort postpartum. Infants can also experience musculoskeletal problems related to the birthing process. Chiropractic care can safely correct spinal subluxations and joint problems in both mother and infant. Here are some common postpartum conditions that your chiropractor can treat:
Common Maternal Problems:
Lower Back or Hip Pain
During pregnancy, your body adjusts to compensate for the extra weight you are carrying. Part of that compensation involves the curves in your spine. Your lumbar spinal curve gets deeper to offset the weight of your belly and help you balance. In preparation for the birthing process, your ligaments loosen, and during birth, your pelvic bones separate to allow the baby to pass through your pelvic joints. It can take a woman’s body up to a year after giving birth for the organs, ligaments, and bones to move back into pre-pregnancy positions. During this time, many women experience back pain or joint discomfort. Sometimes discomfort can become chronic.
Chiropractic care can help your body heal faster and give you a better chance of recovering correctly so that you don’t experience chronic pain. Your core muscles are not as strong after pregnancy as they were before. Weak core muscles don’t support your back or pelvis and cause other problems like bladder leaks. Your chiropractor will show you special exercises you can do in the clinic and at home to strengthen your core. He can also use adjustment techniques to correct misalignments of your spine.
Upper Back or Neck Pain
After you give birth, you will be performing new tasks like breastfeeding and leaning over your baby’s cradle. Many caregiving tasks require a hunched forward posture that can strain muscles in your upper back, neck, and shoulders.
You may also have lingering discomfort in your upper back from pregnancy. As the lower curve in the spine deepens during pregnancy, the middle curve of your spine also changes to keep your body balanced. It will take time for it to go back to normal after you give birth. The tasks of motherhood can make it difficult for this area to heal correctly.
Therapeutic stretching techniques, exercises, and adjustments can help your body through this challenging time. Chiropractic care can relieve your pain and keep these strains from turning into chronic problems. Your chiropractor can also give you posture tips to help you avoid unnecessary strain on your back and neck.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The pelvic floor is a sheet of muscle that stretches from your tailbone in the back to your pubic bone in the front. Its purpose is to create support for your reproductive organs, bladder, and bowel and keep them in place. Problems with the pelvic floor are common after pregnancy. Often the muscles are weakened or too loose to do their job. Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include constipation or trouble defecating, strained or painful urination, a frequent need to urinate, unexplained pain in the lower back or pelvic region.
Your chiropractor can treat pelvic floor dysfunction using ligament release techniques, soft tissue treatments, and strengthening exercises. They can also adjust the sacroiliac joints and pubic symphysis. Many women experience marked improvement in symptoms after a series of treatments. Don’t be embarrassed to talk to your chiropractor about pelvic floor dysfunction. It is a common and treatable condition that you don’t have to live with.
Common Problems in the Infant:
Colic, Fussiness and Breastfeeding Problems
Whether your baby was squeezed through a birth canal or removed from your uterus via C-section, birth can be a traumatic experience. It’s also possible that your infant was in an awkward position in the uterus during the last weeks of pregnancy. Many health issues in infants, such as constant crying for no apparent reason, colic, and trouble nursing, can be healed with chiropractic care. Slight misalignments of the baby’s vertebrae can cause pain and make it difficult for an infant to sleep or assume a proper position for nursing. Adjusting the upper spine can resolve these problems and lead to a happier baby and mother.
The nerves that run through the spine connect to all the body’s vital organs, including the digestive system. There is substantial evidence supporting the use of chiropractic adjustment for colic symptoms. Once the spine is aligned correctly, the colon can move at the pace it’s supposed to and efficiently remove gas and liquid.
Taking a newborn baby to the chiropractor can save both parents and infants months of misery.
Baby’s and small children are more prone to ear infections than adults because the tubes in their ears are smaller and become clogged more easily. Simple chiropractic manipulation can take pressure off the nerves that control the eustachian tubes in the ears. This allows the muscles around them to dilate, causing the tubes to drain. Pediatricians often recommend chiropractic care to parents of children with frequent ear infections. Adjustment can help cure an ear infection and prevent future ones.
Best of all, chiropractic care is safe for infants, as all chiropractors are trained in gentle techniques specifically designed for infants and small children. Surgery to insert draining tubes into a child’s ears comes with many more risks than chiropractic care.
During your infant’s first year of life, they grow and change in astonishing ways. At first, your baby can’t support their head, but within a few months, their neck strengthens, and they can look around on their own.
Their spine doubles in length during their first year. Spinal misalignments that happen during birth or due to this growing spree can cause delays in milestones like crawling or sitting upright. Regular adjustments support healthy development and growth.
The next few years of your infant’s life will bring even more changes, like walking and running. The spine goes through a transformation during this time, and sometimes it needs help to work properly, especially when you consider the falls and bumps that most children take while they are learning to walk.
At Stanlick Chiropractic, we provide compassionate chiropractic care for mothers and infants in the Murfreesboro area. Give us a call today to find out how we can help you and your little one feel your best.