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)
You did it. You survived pregnancy and labour and now have a beautiful little person that will enrich your life! And all the little pains of pregnancy will magically go away right? In a perfect world, yes. But for many women, they find that their body is not quite what it used to be. This is especially true for the pelvis. We have talked about the pelvis, and how it changes during pregnancy before, but what happens with the pelvis after pregnancy and birth?
All about the Hormones:
Remember those lovely hormones that help prepare the body for the birth process? Relaxin is one of the main ones, and it does just what it’s name implies, relaxes things. It relaxes the muscles and ligaments so that the joints in the pelvis can spread to allow the baby to pass through. Relaxin remains in your system after the birth and can continue to cause problems for months after the baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, it may be even longer.
The pelvis continues to be unstable in most women after the birth of their baby.
Getting back to Normal:
After the maternal hormones have settled down back to a normal level, the pelvis can go back to being stable, although in some women, it remains unstable for years after the children are born. Even when the pelvis is stable again, that doesn’t mean that it has become stable in the right position. We see many women with pelvises that have stabilised, but did not stabilise correctly. Meaning one or both sides are out of balance, thus causing a lot of discomfort when walking, lifting the baby, or bending.
What about Treatment?
Don’t fret, this can all be corrected with proper treatment. Using different types of manual therapy on the pelvic ligaments and muscles including Active Release Techniques (ART®) and specific exercises to improve your core strength. To help the pelvis heal, it’s important to keep active, which may be difficult to do when you are in pain. We recommend gentle exercise such as light walking as a great way to start.
Book an appointment today to get your pelvis checked and get back to feeling like yourself again!
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Specialising in the treatment of Pregnancy Related Disorders
One of the most common complaints we hear from pregnant women is, pelvis pain. The reason? In short, increased maternal hormones and the growing belly can put more stress on the joints and ligaments of the pelvis. That doesn’t explain why some women get pain and others don’t. But there are some ways to help the situation and keep it from progressing. One of those is getting early checks, before it gets too bad, from someone who knows how to help fix the dysfunction. But how do you know that you need to get checked? Here are some obvious and maybe not so obvious signs of dysfunction in the pelvis during pregnancy.
1. Back, hip, or pelvis pain– PAIN, the most obvious sign that something is wrong. But the problem with it? It is usually the last sign of dysfunction!
2. Clicking or grinding in the pubic area– having this with or without pain is a sign that your symphysis pubis joint may be misaligned.
3. Round ligament tightness– feeling a pulling sensation at the front of the belly? Worse when walking or with rotational movements? That could be a sign that one or both of your round ligaments are too stressed. The round ligaments connect to and help support the uterus. In some cases when they start to tighten up, it can be an early warning for pelvis dysfunction.
4. Sitting or standing unevenly– do you sit more on one side of your bum than the other? Or stand more on one leg or the other, rather than on both? This is a subtle early indicator that your pelvis might be out of alignment, again with or without any other symptoms.
5. General feeling of discomfort or tightness in the pelvis– have a feeling that something is not quite right or maybe out of balance? Feeling some tightness when your walking around the pelvis area, but can’t figure out exactly where it is coming from? We know our own bodies better than anyone else, and most of the time if you feel like something is off, it probably is.
Our suggestion, if you are experiencing any of the above, and have a clear bill of health from your doctor, make an appointment to come see us for a thorough check and treatment. Prevention is always better than trying to fix something after it is broken!