Written by Dr. Nicole Procyk, Chiropractic Doctor
When we think of pregnancy, we usually view it in three trimesters.
But after everything your body endures in those nine months, what happens to you after your child is born?
What will become important to keep you on the best path of recovery in the fourth trimester?
The fourth trimester are the three months immediately following birth. During these first few months and beyond, it’s common for women to experience mental, emotional & physical challenges. Sadly, most appointments booked in this trimester address the baby, and only a couple on how mom is doing, even though her human physiology has been completely transformed.
But a healthy, happy mom should be equal in priority to a healthy, happy baby.
Postpartum chiropractic care can have a critical impact on how you heal and restore proper function in your new body and demands.
Chiropractors who specialize in postpartum care understand the hormonal, postural, emotional, and mental changes during these transitions.
Here are five ways postpartum chiropractic care can help you in the fourth trimester:
1. Restoring your body's normal biomechanics
The hormone relaxin allows ligaments in the pelvis to become pliable so that the pelvis can shift and make room for the baby to be delivered. This hormone can remain in your body for months post labour. However, if the pelvis and spine are not aligned, while your ligaments are gaining strength, this can lead to imbalances contributing to poor movement patterns and chronic pain. A chiropractor can help you identify misalignment and support your body as it begins to restore its normal biomechanics, which reduces pain and discomfort now and in the long run.
2. Relieve tension on the neck and upper back
The demands of new motherhood affect our upper body as much as our lower. New daily habits like feeding baby, lifting, and carrying your baby can really strain your neck and upper back. This can be a contributing factor to discomforts like upper body pain, headaches, carpal tunnel or tingling and numbness in the hands and fingers. Chiropractic care can help relieve this tension, and help you avert more serious issues in the future.
You can’t help what you don’t know. A chiropractor understands the changes your body has gone through and can educate you on proper posture and ergonomics as you regain proper function and strength. The tips and tricks they can provide will help you reduce pain in your body and support you as you heal post-birth.
4. Reduce Pain
Many women suffer on-going pain after birth. But you don’t have to live with it.
Chiropractic care can provide relief for any new or continuing pains from pregnancy or birth including sciatic, lower back, pubic symphysis, or gait changes.
5. Core Support
Regaining strength in your core is critical to your overall health. But this should be done carefully under the watchful eye of a professional to ensure that you don’t push your body beyond its limit. Postpartum chiropractors can assess and coach you on gradual and appropriate core stability exercises to help you safely rebuild your core strength.
Caring for a new baby can be challenging, stressful and tiring. Chiropractors are here to support you by providing a safe place to share, and ensure you feel and function your best both during your pregnancy and after. They often work in partnership with other maternal health care providers such as midwives, OBs, pelvic floor physiotherapists, and lactation consultants, to get the full picture of your healing journey.
As you prepare for the birth of your child, don't forget about the fourth trimester. Plan ahead and schedule your chiropractic appointment 3-4 weeks out from your estimated due date. The appointment will be there for you and you can always reschedule if necessary. Prioritize yourself and your body’s new needs as you heal and recover. Your baby will thank you for it!
Click below to book your prenatal & labour prep chiropractic care appointment today!