Chiropractic and Pregnancy
How can chiropractic help me during pregnancy?
During pregnancy the body changes in many ways, hello hormones anyone? These hormonal changes have many effects on the body including increasing the amount of water the tissues retain, hence swollen feet and ankles (sorry mamas I know it’s not ideal). Another way the body changes is physically, the pelvis actually shifts subtly during pregnancy to prepare for the birth of the baby. This can contribute to sacroiliac joint pain (those big joints at the back of your hips where your pelvis connects to your spine), and low back pain. Often, soft tissue therapy targeted at the pelvic region and chiropractic manipulation can help with these pains. There are also lots of cases where, the low back and sacroiliac joints require stabilization during pregnancy so working with a chiropractor to properly learn stabilization exercises can be of great benefit. Learning proper movement strategies and lifting techniques that help spare your spine will also help!
Diastasis and Incontinence.. normal or not? Diastasis is a thinning of the connective tissue between your abdominal muscles during pregnancy. It is normal for all women to have this during pregnancy; however, it can hang around after and this is typically when it causes problems. This can be corrected through proper breathing techniques and with proper core stabilizing exercises. I’m not talking 6 pack abs here (sorry ladies, crunches are not the answer), I’m talking the deep stabilizing abdominal muscles. Another thing many women experience after pregnancy is urinary incontinence (peeing when you sneeze or laugh sound familiar?). Many women think they have to “just deal with this” and “its just the way I am now because I had a baby”. The reality is you do NOT have to “just deal with this” and the pelvic floor can be rehabilitated through proper breathing techniques and exercise.
Can I still exercise while I’m pregnant? YES YES YES! Staying active and fit can actually help to reduce aches and pains associated with pregnancy. There is some evidence that staying active during pregnancy can in some cases shorten the duration of labour. There is no reason to not stay active and moving, your body is strong and resilient and capable of so much! They are many modifications that can make exercises doable as the belly continues to grow! Of course, the rules are different in a high risk pregnancy so always first get assessed by a medical professional before doing anything you are unsure of.
Altogether, an effective treatment plan will encompass all of these elements and, be tailored specifically to your unique case- to keep you healthy, moving, and pain free during your pregnancy!
If you are interested in learning more about chiropractic medicine and pregnancy please book in with Dr. Samantha. As always, this post is not designed to diagnose or treat you, but instead to give you something to think about. Please book a consult with a healthcare provider prior to changing, starting, or stopping medications or protocols.
Exercise and pregnancy in recreational and elite athletes: 2016 evidence summary from the IOC expert group meeting, Lausanne. Part 2- the effect of exercise on the fetus, labour and birth. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Unstoppable Core and Pelvic Floor. Dr. Sarah DuvallBook an Appointment