Helpful Tools for Your Pregnancy, Labour/Delivery & Post-Partum
Firstly, congratulations! You’re pregnant! One thing I tell all my mamas as they embark on this new adventure is that there will be lots of ups and down, discomforts, nausea, food aversions, swollen feet, just to name a few…. But there are a few things I make sure to mention so that as your body grows this new babe within, you are able to do what you can to create a healthy and happy environment on the outside.
To start off, chiropractic adjustments are safe for baby and mom through all stages of pregnancy. Spinal & pelvic check ups are more vital than ever for a growing changing body. Research shows that correct alignment of the pelvis contributes to more straightforward labouring overall. Maternal pelvic restrictions can also contribute to constraints within the uterus (which is your baby’s home for 10 months) and can possibly interfere with the process of a natural birth contributing to the need for further medical interventions during labour and delivery. The uterus is a deep and well-protected organ within the pelvis and as the uterus expands, ligaments begin to stretch to accommodate baby growing, joints must stretch as well. Often times the large sacroiliac joints snuggling the sacrum at the base of your spine are the most commonly aggravated, resulting in lower back pain. Gentle adjustments to your changing pelvis during pregnancy can help you stay physically active and help your posture accommodate the “new normal” of carrying your baby.
Piggy backing on that point, your posture changes significantly during pregnancy due to varying gravitational & hormonal changes… some things to consider:
AVOID: high-heels early on, standing with hands on your hips, rounding the shoulders forward.
TRY: proper lifting/holding techniques esp. with toddlers, standing with your feet shoulder width apart evenly planted and unlocked knees, let your shoulders relax, feel your spine grow upwards.
After you give birth isn’t where the postural strains on your body stop. Now you are carrying that baby in your arms, on your shoulders, rocking side to side along with nursing/feeding, which happens for many hours of the day. Make sure to find a carrier/sling that you are comfortable using so that baby can sit forward and backwards facing to allow you be hands free and well as maintain a more ergonomic posture while on the move with your baby.
Lastly, staying active is essential through all stages of your life and of course during pregnancy. The days of binging on ice cream and bed rest are behind us ladies! The research now says that being active throughout your 10 months yields to better overall labour/delivery outcomes. I always tell my mamas that labour and delivery is a marathon not a sprint, no matter how short the actual time of the experience is. You can’t expect to run a marathon without training for it, same with goes with labour! That being said, I don’t encourage moms to start endurance training for half marathon when they find out their pregnant for example, but instead to stick with an exercise regime that their bodies already know/like for the first trimester. This helps the body stay moving without introducing to many new or demanding energy requirements that it isn’t used to. Your job is to rest when you need, move when you feel good and eat well for your growing and changing body. Movement is medicine for the body, and the pregnant body needs various exercise requirements at different times. Great exercise options to continue with or try in your second trimester could be aquafit, yoga, pilates, dance classes, or whatever other exercise you love to do! Here are some fun facts surrounding exercise and pregnancy:
A pregnant woman will have more energy, more restful sleeps, better stress management and less mood swings
Women who exercise while pregnant gain 21% less weight and have an improved attitude over sedentary pregnant women
80% of women who exercise during pregnancy gave birth on or before their due date
Moderate exercise increases placental function and growth
Exercise helps to improve the flow of blood and oxygen to your baby’s brain, therefore babies tend to be more alert, calm and responsive to stimuli
Women who exercise have shorter, easier labour & deliveries
At Holistic, our approach is integrative with our healthcare team. I collaborate with pelvic floor physiotherapists, naturopathy, lactation consultation, massage therapy, we offer small group prental yoga classes to help make your pregnancy, labour and post-partum a wonderful and empowering time in your life.
Looking forward to meeting you,
Dr. Madolyn Linka
Barham-Floreani, J. (2005). Well Adjusted Babies: A Chiropractic Guide for Holistic Parenting from Pregnancy Through to Early Childhood. Well Adjusted.
Barham-Floreani, J. (2011). Ticklish: New ways to Help Your Child Learn, Love, & Play. Well Adjusted.
Dr Madolyn Linka