Our guest blogger for today’s post is Dr. Shannon Whitlock of Happy Healthy Spine in St. Petersburg. In addition to receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy, many families continue with chiropractic care even after birth. Dr. Whitlock provides great insight into the benefits below. Let us know if you are looking for a recommendation for a chiropractor in your area and we’d be happy to help! – Christie
What are the benefits of chiropractic care for Mom after giving birth?
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes many changes over a short period of time. After baby arrives, your body tries to adjust back to its previous form and adapt to the new physical and emotional challenges of motherhood. Your spine tries to adjust to the absence of your baby being in your belly with the extra-added weight. During the end of your pregnancy, you release a hormone called relaxin. This hormone helps to soften your joints and ligaments, which helps to open your pelvis for the birth of your baby. After birth this hormone is still present, which helps chiropractors to realign your spine and pelvis more easily.
Most of the time after birth, the back, pelvic, pubic and rib pain you experienced during pregnancy will disappear. As you begin to nurse and carry your baby in your arms, new areas of discomfort may appear due to the softness from the relaxin, which may allow your joints to become misaligned easier. A chiropractor will then realign the spine, taking pressure off the nerves. Chiropractic is a great tool to help women have an easier, pain-free transition into your “fourth trimester.”
Does my infant need to be adjusted?
The birth process is tough work for both mom and baby. Birth trauma can cause nerve dysfunction, which may result in issues such as colic, irritability, sleeping problems, constipation, reflux and difficulty with feeding. Undetected nerve dysfunction may cause further problems as the child grows and develops. Chiropractic adjustments for infants are very gentle, safe, and effective. The pressure applied is about the amount of pressure you would use to check the ripeness of a tomato. There is no “popping” or “cracking” with an infant adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments help to alleviate spinal subluxations, which are misalignments of the vertebrae.
What can cause a misalignment in a baby?
- Constraints while in the uterus
- Abnormal positioning in the uterus
- Very short labor
- Very long labor
- Failure of the cervix to dilate
- Use of pitocin to strengthen/induce uterine contractions
- Use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Cord around baby’s neck
- Cesarean delivery (due to lack of progress)
- Pulling and/or twisting of the head to deliver the baby’s body
All babies should be checked and adjusted as soon as possible after birth to ensure that they are beginning life without interference in their nervous system. Left uncorrected, this might impact baby’s spinal growth and development, which may reduce the healthy function of baby’s nervous system.
Dr. Shannon Whitlock
Webster Certified Chiropractor with a focus on pediatrics, prenatal, postpartum, and family wellness care
1955 1st Ave. N, Suite 104
St. Pete, FL 33713
More resources can also be found at www.icpa4kids.org