CONGRATULATIONS!!! You just did an absolutely incredible and selfless thing. Let's take a moment to honor your body and express some gratitude for the strength and resilience you possess! It’s obvious to most people why a woman would need chiropractic care during pregnancy! The growing baby, hormonal shifts and posture compensation patterns will absolutely place a lot of stress on the woman’s body. But what changes occur during the postpartum phase that would prompt a woman to get checked by a chiropractor?
1.) During the late stages of pregnancy and throughout labor the hormone relaxin is released. This causes the ligaments of the hips and lumbar spine to soften so the joints can widen for birth. It’s amazing! However, this hormone also causes the ligaments to become lax which leads to altered movement patterns of the low back and hips and puts us at higher risk of low back and pelvis misalignments.
2.) Hormone fluctuation. Oh, the hormone fluctuations! Estrogen levels during pregnancy are up to 100 times higher than what they typically are during your cycle. After giving birth estrogen levels decrease dramatically (especially within the first 24 hours!). Knowing how our system operates under typical circumstances, imagine how our body responds to that estrogen drop while also recovering from birth, breastfeeding and having a newborn? These hormone changes paired with the wonderful experiences of birth can really put stress on a woman’s body.
3.) Nursing, car seats, feeding, carrying, multitasking. Just to name a few of the hourly activities moms have to juggle in the postpartum period. All of these things require gumby-ninja positioning which is a lot of strain to the mid back, neck, shoulders and wrists. The repetition of these movements can lead to injuries and discomfort not just in the neck and back, but the shoulders, elbows and wrists as well.
And these are just a few changes that happen in the postpartum period! Getting your spine and nervous system checked during this period will help to optimize communication between the brain and the body allowing for optimal adaptation and healing for the body during this massive transition.