Pregnancy can be a daunting time for any woman with each pregnancy being different and new hurdles may crop up throughout. So it’s important to be as prepared as you can be both physically, emotionally and mentally, in order to deal with everything that may come as best you can.
Here are a few things that I commonly tell my mums when it comes to physical well being.
I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is for mum to stay active during pregnancy as it helps to prepare for the demands of carrying a child and for labour. A woman’s body goes through so many changes it’s good to be ready for these challenges. Exercise can help women through pregnancy not just physically but emotionally too, which must not be taken lightly. So if you’re active, fantastic stay that way. There may be days when you don’t feel up to doing much other than eat or sleep, please listen to what your body is telling you. It’s telling you for a reason. The key is to always listen to your body and adapt workouts to suit.
However, do not start something new if your body is not used to it as this can create problems and if there are any concerns always consult your health practitioner.
Chiropractic can help with maintaining healthy pelvic and spinal movement during your pregnancy by resolving discomfort such as back pain, sciatica, hip pain. Treatment aims to provide natural relief and works with your spine and pelvis as your body changes shape and different loads are placed on it. This along with Fascial/ soft tissue release encourages optimal fetal positioning for birth, which in the long run will help reduce likelihood of C-section. Exercises are also given to target the pelvic floor and core strength, primarily through developmental movements. (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisastion- DNS)
Ever wondered what you could do to make labour easier on yourself and your little one?
Times are changing for expectant mothers in Ireland with now having more information available to them via tv, internet and social media on natural birth. Education has improved and parents are more confident and willing to take an active roll in how their pregnancy and labour goes.
Gone are the days of simply lying on your back and purple pushing as they call it. Hypnobirthing has changed our preconceptions of labour and the associations with “purple pushing”, it and yoga also advocate active birth positions for mothers to ease the birth process. Women are finally stepping away from the tradition of lying on their backs on a hospital bed to have a natural birth.
We now know that when lying on your back to give birth the size of the pelvis is at its narrowest, due to the angle of the sacrum and tailbone. You lose the vital effect of gravity as now you will have to pass your baby over these structures and ultimately up hill.
Below are some Active Birthing Positions which can encourage the pelvic outlet to widen to at least 30% and with the aid of gravity help the descent of the baby through the birth canal. Therefore potentially making things easier.
Supported squat– using your birthing partner/ mid wife or bar as a prop can make you more comfortable during surges.
Kneeling– can be against a birthing ball or on the bed. It helps widen the pelvic outlet and can allow you to rest easier between surges.
Hands and knees – will also help relieve pressure on the low back and may help the baby reposition itself for delivery.
Sidelying– with one leg elevated or held by the birth partner allows the pressure of the baby to be redistributed within the pelvis and making things more manageable.
Birth pool– the effect of the warm water can lessen low back discomfort and can let the mother adopt the squatting or kneeling position much easier.
If you are due to have a little one please take the time to educate yourself in how you and your little one can have a smoother and more pleasurable experience. We hope this helps you in your journey to motherhood.
Some of you will be aware that we welcomed our son 3 months ago now, a beautiful bouncy baby boy Davin, weighing in at 8lb 2ozs. At the moment I am on maternity leave and enjoying every moment watching Davin grow up, granted it has been testing at times, particularly when bleary eyed in the early hours, but it has all been worth it.
Back early last year when we found out we were going to be parents we were so excited, with a level of nervous anticipation. It would be our first child.. would we make good parents, would it be healthy and oh how was the pregnancy and actual labour going to go? I have treated many pregnant patients and children in my years as a chiropractor and now it was my time.
I wanted to share a few of the things that I found important and beneficial throughout my 40 weeks (+10 days!!) which will hopefully help other mums to be.
Prenatal vitamins, fish oils, super greens and a probiotic where my daily go to after brekie to help me stay healthy and do the best for my little one. I had a pretty clean diet as it was but it was even more important now. Thankfully i had no cravings good or bad. I did force myself to drink more water throughout the day to stay hydrated, which is essential.
Prior to pregnancy I was running several times and week, long distance mainly with a marathon and half marathons,and regular strength training, so I was pretty active. I wanted to maintain a level of fitness throughout my pregnancy, as it was what made me. It helped me stay healthy and relaxed, and a happy healthy mammy makes for a happy healthy child.
Throughout the 9 months I continued to run albeit shorter distances and in the later weeks I walked daily and swam several times a week. After 12 weeks I started Pregnancy Yoga, which was fantastic for overall pelvic and core preparation for labour. It was also a great chance to make new friends. I would recommend this to every new mum as the information and support in these classes from all the ladies was invaluable. All of this I believe helped with my relatively smooth and quick labour and speedy recovery.
I heard of Hypnobirthing before being pregnant but wasn’t fully aware of what it involved exactly but I did know that it promoted a more natural and relaxed birth experience. So we decided to sign up to a course of classes locally and found them to be very informative. Afterwards we both felt more prepared mentally for what lay ahead. It definitely reinforced that we were in control of how labour would go and try to make it as positive an experience as possible. We would both definitely recommend these classes.
Acupuncture & Reflexology:
Having gone 40 weeks + 10 days I had been scheduled to be induced by day 10 but thankfully I didn’t need it. Those last 10 days were the toughest part of the pregnancy altogether as I was getting increasingly anxious as the lil one wasn’t going anywhere, he had his own agenda obviously. In that last week I had a few acupuncture and reflexology sessions to help encourage labour and to ease my own anxiety, which I found fantastic. I only wish I had attended throughout my whole 9 months and not just at the end.
The perks of owning your own chiropractic clinic with associates and having a husband who is also a chiropractor meant that I was fortunate to have weekly treatments throughout my pregnancy to keep my pelvis in the best possible state for carrying an ever growing child and childbirth. These sessions were essential in keeping my little one in the correct position and reducing any symptoms from the muscle and ligament changes that your body goes through.
I really hope that by reading this even one person gains something that they can do during their 9 months and even before, to help make their journey to motherhood as smooth and amazing as mine was.
Below are a few links to some of the people who helped us on our journey: