Everyone has at some stage in their lives been extremely close to a pregnant person. Whether it is or will be you. Or a loved one. Or it was your mum that you were physically attached to for over 9 months. Pregnancy is a huge part of life, and we at Capital Chiropractic have our own take on it to share with you! 

So, in this month’s blog, we’re going to run through everything you need to know about pregnancy through the lens of chiropractic. Whether you want to maximise your chances of pregnancy, are CURRENTLY pregnant and want to support your body, or you’ve just had a baby and your body needs some TLC - you’re going to WANT to read this

And if you’ve never been pregnant or never plan on it, you can still stick around - this information is useful because it might help a loved one.

Ahhh, pregnancy. One of life’s greatest occurrences, and sometimes a major mystery too. The thing about pregnancy is that for your body to be able to conceive and to host the first 9 months of your baby’s life, your body needs to be in healthy alignment and flow. For the birthing process, alignment is also extremely important. Then after pregnancy your body will need help to come back into balance.  

In this blog, we will do things a little differently. We’ll give you the information on how vital chiropractic care is throughout the different stages of pregnancy, before (prenatal), during (antenatal) and after (postnatal). We will also give you exercises you can use right away to reduce pain and strengthen your core to support your perinatal and postnatal journeys.

Ready? Here we go!

The prenatal stages of pregnancy:

The prenatal phase is important, because that’s where conception happens. In today’s day and age, we’re hearing more about the challenges around fertility. Some of it has to do with more open communication, as challenges with fertility have always existed, but stayed on the down low. And some of it has to do with changes in the westernised lifestyle, including more stressors in the body, such as toxins, pollutants, technology, emotional stress, work stress, and changing genetics. There are so many different ways to approach this. Some people go to naturopaths, some go to fertility specialists. From our chiropractic perspective, we can offer some insights. The main idea to take in is that: your body will be in a position to conceive when everything is in alignment and working well. Chiropractic care can support alignment in your body. When your body is in alignment, your organs are in physically optimal positions. When your body and spine are in alignment, that means all the signals from the nervous system are working at their best, and when signals are correct, that means hormonal levels are optimal. Put ALL these things together, and they’re going to work in perfect unison, making your body more accommodating for conception!

The antenatal stage of pregnancy:

Ok! The antenatal stage. Congratulations! You’re pregnant. During pregnancy, there are different stages throughout the pregnancy. In the first trimester, the hormones are surging, and the presence of progesterone makes digestion slow - leading to digestion issues. This can immediately start altering posture. Imagine what kind of posture you hold when you’re feeling nauseous. 

In the second trimester, the baby’s actual size is visibly bigger, and the distribution of weight is changing. This is when the centre of gravity starts to shift a little bit. By now a lot of pregnant women may start reporting a bit of back pain. 

In the third trimester, this is when the most considerable growth happens for the baby. By now, the “pregnancy waddle” is usually in full effect, plus an aching back and aching feet. It’s very common. But what if we told you that back pain during pregnancy isn’t normal? When chiropractic care is involved throughout pregnancy, the spine remains in alignment, unnecessary pressure is taken away from the vertebra and therefore, the spine feels lighter, has better nerve impulses to the muscles and organs, AND neck and and back pain are greatly reduced!

The third trimester also is the part where the baby starts to feel cramped. Sometimes the baby will turn on their own in preparation for birth, but sometimes they stay breech.

But what if we told you that chiropractic care can create a domino effect that helps the baby’s positioning?

When chiropractic care is in the picture, making sure the spine is in alignment means that the baby has more room to grow and move in the way they need to. We create the right environment for the baby to grow, move, and perhaps spin for an optimal birthing position.

Here’s an exercise you can do all throughout your pregnancy to help reduce pelvic inflammation. It’s called the “knee squeeze” and all you need is a bed:.

Start by laying on your back with your knees up and feet together. Push your knees together and hold for 5 seconds. Relax for 5 seconds. Repeat that 10 times, and do it twice in the day, once in the morning and once at night. In total this will equate to 20 reps in a day.

The postnatal stage of pregnancy:

This phase is all about the massive changes that overcome your body after having given birth. The weight distribution goes from the lower abdomen where the baby was previously growing and living, and then that weight shifts up to the chest, from holding your baby and also from breastfeeding, if you choose to breastfeed. The centre of gravity has completely changed, and sometimes, that’s a shock to the nervous system and your posture. 

So here are 4 exercises you can do to shift the weight distribution in your body back to normal and to pregnant postpartum hunched posture. All you need is your house: or more precisely, a door frame and a bed!

  1. The Chin Tuck Exercise: Tuck your chin towards the back of your neck while standing or sitting upright. Hold it for 5 seconds, relax it for 5 seconds, repeat it 10 times, once in the morning, once at night. 

  2. The Door Frame Exercise: Place your palms on either side of the doorframe while you stand in the doorframe, and slowly lean forward. This opens up your chest and helps squeeze your shoulder blades together. This counteracts postpartum hunching-and it’s very effective if you hold the position over 10 long, deep breaths. 

  3. The Shoulder Roll: Lift your Shoulders high up towards your ears, push them backwards so that your shoulder blades squeeze together, and slowly pull them down. Do you exercise slowly, hold the squeezing components for 5 long seconds and relax it for 5 long seconds too. Repeat this exercise 10 times, one set in the morning and one set in the evening. Stick to this and it will strengthen your shoulder muscles. 

  4. The Knee Exercise: Just like we mentioned in the antenatal exercise, start by laying on your back with your knees up and feet together. Push your knees together and hold for 5 seconds. Relax for 5 seconds. Repeat that 10 times, and do it twice in the day, once in the morning and once at night. In total this will equate to 20 reps in a day.

So now let’s do a recap! Your body can benefit from chiropractic care in the prenatal stages before conception even happens, as well as the antenatal stages during pregnancy, and in the postnatal changes after giving birth. Keeping the body in balance helps a body conceive, support the nurturing of a baby, and prevents spinal and pelvic pain. 

If you’re already on the pregnancy journey, or are considering starting this journey OR someone you care about is doing this, then give us a call, and we’ll talk you through how chiropractic care can specifically support you and the journey you’re on!

Don’t put up with pain any longer.

Let the team at Capital Chiropractic Centre help you today.

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