Your body is amazing. It is your most prized possession. Your body has also transformed quite a bit and has been through many changes in a short period of time. It was different before you became pregnant, then changes occurred during pregnancy while you were growing another beautiful life inside you and then it changed once again post-partum. This is a lot of change and the body requires time and support to recover from this.
The key here is to honor your body and to seek support. After giving birth your first few outings should be to the chiropractor to ensure both your body and your babies body are both functioning optimally. Giving birth is hard work for both you and your baby.
Throughout birth and pregnancy your body went through many significant changes;
-Ligaments have loosened to open the pelvis for birth (the hormone relaxin can stay in the body for up to 5-6 months post-partum)
-Nerves may have been pinched due to the bones being spread out or twisted
-Postural alterations due to the weight of the baby
-Balance and center of gravity has changed
-Hormonal changes can cause increased pain and discomfort
-A c-section may have been performed and so the ligaments and joints alter to compensate for this
After birth some of these problems may go away. However, pain is not a good indicator of function. It is the last symptom to appear and the first to go away and it does not mean that everything is functioning properly when there is lack of pain. Many people have internal issues or breakdown happening in the body and yet do not feel any pain.
Post-partum can cause other changes occur due to the ‘nursing posture,’ which is characteristic of a rounded upper back, with rounded shoulders and the head protrudes forward in a downward position gazing down at baby. Where regardless if you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding typically posture is not optimal and the mom suffers from chronic upper back and neck pain that can often times lead to headaches.
When mothers engage in this ‘nursing posture’ even in a state of calm relaxation the spine sends messages to the brain that mimic a ‘fight or flight’ response where the sympathetic nervous system takes over. Your nervous system is the master control system. It controls every function of the human body, from your back hurting, to your heart beating, to your lungs allowing you to breathe.
Our physical posture is like a mirror to our spine and our nervous system and affects our nervous systems response just like when our nervous system affects our posture in moments of actual real stress. The major difference is that the signaling pathway of the ‘nursing posture’ response becomes more chronic and the brains go-to pathway creating a chronic stress state for the mother. The nervous system is misinterpreting your environment as being stressful potentially due to your nursing posture.
By consciously and regularly modifying your posture you can change these patterns. Although often times the patterns are so ingrained that seeking a chiropractor for support to be assessed for chronic structural imbalances is recommended.
Chiropractic care is essential post-partum because it addresses issues at both the conscious and sub-conscious level to help you function at the most optimal level. You are important and important enough to honor your body and seek the support it requires.
We care for many mom’s here at Giggly Panda Baby Spa because we know you need the support and we are here for you and your family. Give us a call if you have any questions!
X-Plain: Patient Education, “Postpartum Care.” The Patient Education Institute, Inc. Last reviewed August 23, 2012Pathways to Family Wellness; Issue 61, ’Nursing Posture and its role in Sympathetic Dominance.’ Dr. Jordan and Joseph Adams, April 2019.