Have you ever wondered how chiropractors can help new moms? Being a new mom is hard. Add in being in pain from all the changes in your body and that certainly doesn’t make things any easier. Working with a chiropractor through all stages of pregnancy can be beneficial. Chiropractors can help a mom prepare for delivery. They can also help with recovery from carrying a baby for nine months and delivery, and rebuilding strength postpartum. Here are three ways a chiropractor can help new moms:
Pre-birth Strengthening Exercises
One of the best ways to recover post-birth is to actually start by training the body pre-birth. A chiropractor will work with you to build a routine that will strengthen your core muscles. This is crucial in helping prepare the body for birth. Working with a chiropractor throughout pregnancy can help prevent conditions such as diastasis recti. It can also help the body maintain strength as it works extremely hard for nine months.
Of course, a chiropractor can also use manual adjustment and other chiropractic treatments to help treat different pains that come along with the changing body. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable. Chiropractors offer natural, safe, and holistic treatments to help provide pain relief. They work to make sure the body is in an optimal state.
Diastasis Recti in New Moms
As mentioned above, one of the most common postpartum conditions chiropractors treat for new moms is diastasis recti. Diastasis recti is a common condition in pregnant and postpartum women that occurs when the rectus abdominis muscles (or six pack ab muscles) separate during pregnancy from being stretched to make room for the baby. The vertical muscles are separated by a band of tissue called the linea alba that runs down the middle, separating the muscles left and right. As the uterus expands during pregnancy, the linea alba stretches thin and pulls apart. Once the baby is delivered, the elastic band of tissue should heal and come back together. However, when the band is overstretched it can lose some of its elasticity and does not close as much as it should, which is called diastasis recti.
A chiropractor can help put together an individualized rehabilitative plan to strengthen the muscles and safely help heal the core. You can also try these three recommended exercises at home!
Postpartum Back and Neck Pain For New Moms
Another common condition chiropractors treat postpartum is back and neck pain associated with breastfeeding. Breast-feeding related neck pain is very common across nursing mothers and can be associated with a variety of different hold positions. Studies have shown that 20.5% of new mothers experience pain and discomfort in the neck, followed by neck and shoulder (16.5%), and back and neck (12.6%).
If you are experiencing back and neck pain related to breastfeeding, our doctors recommend trying to alternate sides while breastfeeding. Alternate positions to help prevent the body from getting too stiff in one position and fatiguing the muscles so that they get tired and slump over.
In addition, we recommend trying different positions to recline or laying on your side using a pillow for support. By laying down or reclining, you are able to avoid slumping the shoulders forward while holding more weight of the baby.
In addition to switching up the hold position of the baby during breastfeeding, you can implement regular exercises to help condition and strengthen the muscles most used during breastfeeding.
7 exercises our doctors recommend for breastfeeding moms include:
- Bruegger’s stretch
- Open book
- T4 extension
- Shoulder CARS
- Chin tucks
- Thread the needle
- Doorway Stretch
Chiropractors can also provide manual adjustments and treatments for postpartum moms to help relieve some of the pain and tension in their neck and back. Check out this awesome adjustment for a postpartum mom with severe neck pain from breastfeeding!
#1 Thing To Do Postpartum For New Moms
If there is one thing our chiropractors recommend to help postpartum moms, it’s to work on diaphragmatic breathing.
Diaphragmatic breathing helps you use your diaphragm correctly while breathing to:
- Strengthen the diaphragm
- Decrease the work of breathing by slowing your breathing rate
- Decrease oxygen demand
- Use less effort and energy to breathe
During diaphragmatic breathing, you consciously use your diaphragm to take deep breaths. Diaphragmatic breathing helps postpartum women control their muscles and breathing so they may properly engage them during the rehabilitation process.
To practice diaphragmatic breathing:
- Sit comfortably, and place one hand on your chest and one on your belly
- Envision the diaphragm muscle moving up and down as you breathe
- When you inhale, allow your belly to expand as your lungs fill with air, and your diaphragm moves down to accommodate your full lungs
- When you exhale, feel your belly contract as your diaphragm moves upward
Diaphragmatic breathing incorporates the entire inner core unit, which includes the transverse abdominal muscle and the pelvic floor. This approach to core rehab truly allows for rebuilding and restrengthening the core in the most supportive way. It addresses both the deep layer of abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor together and allows new moms to build the core foundation they need for daily movements and their favorite workouts.
Don’t forget: postpartum moms need to be cleared by their OB (typically around 6 weeks postpartum) before they can start any strength work. However, implementing a pre-natal strength plan can significantly help recovery and make the postpartum strength journey a tad bit easier! Chiropractors are here to help new moms and build their bodies to their new potential!
Get Treated at Kaizo Health
Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Not only will our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free, but we also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance to make sure you get the most from your benefits so that you can experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now.
At Kaizo Health, our world-class team of chiropractors in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA, practices an evidence-based approach combining chiropractic care and guided, individualized rehabilitative exercises prescription. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health and strength as best-in-class, state-of-the-art chiropractors. We are here to help! In the meantime, make sure that you check out our blog for more information on the chiropractic field, as well as our free virtual self-assessment chiropractic web app here.