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  • Writer's pictureShawn Kocab

Can Chiropractic Care Help You Recover From Pregnancy?

So, picture this: a baby's first cry fills the room, demanding everyone's attention. It's quite the moment, right? But here's the thing—when you become a new mom, your body is also crying out for some attention. Unfortunately, many women tend to overlook their own needs as they adjust to life with a tiny human in the family. But fear not! There's a way to address the pain and discomfort you may be feeling during your recovery process. And that's by reaching out to a chiropractor. Yep, you heard me right! Chiropractic care can work wonders, whether you're dealing with major health issues or those subtle, sneaky problems that often go unnoticed.

Changes Happening to Your Body During Pregnancy So, during pregnancy, your body goes through some pretty major changes. And even though your obstetrician may tell you that you're "fully recovered," there are still some differences in the way your body functions. According to an article on, not everything goes back to the way it was before.

Body Size: Embrace the Changes! Now, it's pretty obvious that your body has to expand to accommodate that precious little bundle of joy growing inside you. But even if you're determined to shed that baby weight and get back in shape, things may not go back to exactly how they were. For instance, your rib cage expands during pregnancy, and even after it widens to make room for the birth canal, it often remains broader in size. So, don't be too hard on yourself if your old clothes don't fit perfectly.

Swollen Feet and Fingers: Oh, the Joys of Pregnancy! Now, it's not just your belly that swells up during pregnancy. Many women find it a real struggle to squeeze their feet into their shoes after giving birth. It turns out that your arches tend to fall and your foot length may actually increase, leading to changes in your shoe size. And guess what? Your hands are not spared either. While there's no concrete data to prove it, some women experience swollen knuckles and find that their rings no longer fit. It's usually due to weight fluctuations, but even if you manage to shed those pregnancy pounds, you might still need to get your rings resized.

Discoloration: The Battle of the Dark Stripe Ah, the lineanigra—ever heard of it? It's that dark vertical line that appears on the belly of pregnant women. It's caused by hormonal changes in the body and may fade away after giving birth, but in some cases, it can become a permanent souvenir. So, embrace your battle scars, ladies!

Speeding Up Your Recovery After Pregnancy Okay, so your muscles and ligaments have been through quite a lot during those nine months of pregnancy. And let's not forget about the nerves that affect your bladder and bowel control—they've been through the wringer too! Now, if you've read those famous "What to Expect" books, you may feel somewhat prepared for the physical changes. But hey, every person is unique, and surprises can still pop up.

The pelvis and spine take the biggest hit during pregnancy, so your body needs some serious postpartum TLC to heal properly. And here's a pro tip: the sooner you start the recovery process, the better! So, as soon as you're comfortable enough to venture out of the house, make an appointment with your chiropractor.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, your round ligaments play a crucial role in holding the uterus in place within your pelvic region. But during pregnancy and delivery, these ligaments go through changes. In the second trimester, they stretch and can become a source of pain. You might experience an achy feeling or even sharp, stabbing sensations. But fear not! Postpartum chiropractic care can work wonders in treating these symptoms. By making adjustments to the pelvis, a chiropractor can help reduce your pain and ensure that your ligaments return to their proper position.

Oh, and did I mention headaches? Some women start experiencing headaches after giving birth. Now, if you never had head pain during pregnancy but suddenly develop symptoms later on, you could be dealing with postpartum migraines. According to the American Migraine Foundation, approximately 25 percent of new moms have a migraine headache within two weeks of giving birth, even if they never had a migraine before. These migraines are often triggered by changes in hormone levels, particularly a drop in estrogen and progesterone. But don't fret! Chiropractors can come to the rescue once again.

They can use spinal manipulation, massage, and other therapies to help alleviate the symptoms of postpartum migraines.

Recovering Through Postpartum Corrective Exercises Okay, so rest is super important when it comes to recovering from childbirth. But guess what? There are some exercises you can do at home to ease those symptoms and speed up the healing process. Your chiropractor can guide you and show you how to proceed safely. The awesome folks at Mind Body Green Movement have compiled a list of postpartum exercises that can help relieve pain and improve your range of motion after giving birth. Let's check out a few of them:

  • Spine Bridges: Get Those Hips Moving! Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, lift your hips off the ground while squeezing your gluteus muscles. Keep your back straight, and hold this position until you need to inhale again. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor as you exhale. Aim for 15 spine bridges if you can handle it!

  • Side Plank: Activate Those Core Muscles! Now, let's ease into this exercise after going through labor and delivery. Start by kneeling and leaning over to one side, placing the palm of one hand on the floor and your upper hand on your hip. Hold this position while engaging your core. Then, switch sides and do the same exercise on the other side. Repeat this up to 10 times in each direction.

  • Bird Dog Reach: Balance Is Key! Get down on all fours, with your palms flat below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Now, reach your left leg back and your right arm forward at the same time. Imagine you're kicking toward the back wall while reaching toward the front wall. Return your hand and knee to the floor, and then lift your right leg while reaching with your left arm. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.

Emotional Recovery After Childbirth Bouncing back after the intense journey of pregnancy and childbirth is about more than just physical healing. It's a whole new chapter filled with ups and downs, where a new mom faces the challenges of breastfeeding, stitches, and navigating through social and lifestyle adjustments.

  • The Roller Coaster of Emotions sheds light on the roller coaster of emotions that new moms often experience. It's completely normal to worry about how deeply you'll bond with your baby or how it might impact your relationship with your partner. Hormonal changes can trigger mood swings, which can sometimes lead to postpartum depression, commonly known as the "baby blues."

But there's more to it than meets the eye. It's not always easy to recognize the underlying emotions, like the sense of losing your freedom when your attention is constantly demanded by your little one. And let's not forget the added financial responsibilities that come with raising a child, which can add to the stress.

  • Navigating the Overwhelming Months The first few months can feel overwhelmingly challenging, especially if you don't have the support of family members or a caring community. Feeling isolated and alone is a common complaint among new moms, serving as a reminder that human connection is crucial during this transformative phase. That's where routine chiropractic care can come into the picture, offering a sense of normalcy amid the chaos. Additionally, introducing your baby to the preventive care that you, as an adult, experience can set them up for a healthy start in life. Chiropractic adjustments benefit infants and children as they grow, while your chiropractor keeps an eye on their development. Don't hesitate to discuss any health concerns you may have so that you can restore balance and enhance your overall well-being.

  • Prioritizing Your Well-Being Sure, your infant's robust cry might be deafening at times, but that doesn't mean you should neglect your own well-being. Taking care of yourself is essential as you embrace parenthood and adapt to the many changes ahead. By engaging in self-care and scheduling regular visits to the chiropractor, you can find the postpartum support you need and keep your health challenges from becoming overwhelming.

Remember, you deserve to nurture your own wellness while tending to your baby's needs. So, don't hesitate to reach out for support and make self-care a priority. With the right balance, you'll be able to navigate the beautiful yet demanding journey of motherhood with greater ease and joy.

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