Why Postpartum Chiropractic Care is Important
The Critical Fourth Trimester
Prenatal patients are generally diligent about their care while they are pregnant, but what about after the baby comes? This fourth trimester is a critical time for mom to recover. Oftentimes pregnant patients stop seeking chiropractic care after the birth of their baby. Chiropractic care can help speed the healing process and ensure healthy postpartum rehab.
“I recommend we assess mom shortly after delivery since many postpartum women need help healing their bodies and supporting the pelvis and spine after the effects of pregnancy, labor and delivery,” Dr. Nelson says.
Postnatal Chiropractic Care Helps You Heal Faster
In most postpartum women, it takes a year to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth, but Dr. Nelson sees faster and more productive recovery in women who practice Postpartum Corrective Exercises (PCE).
Dr. Nelson is certified as a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist (PCES), giving her the tools to rehabilitate postpartum women after giving birth. PCE provides several options to heal diastasis recti (a separation of the abdomen), as well as postpartum rehab to correct posture, create stability in the pelvis, and support the pelvic floor.
Another technique of PCE is intense breath work that is used to kickstart the diaphragm. This builds the lower transverse abdominis, which is the deepest of the abdominal group. It helps with breathing and activates the core to stabilize the pelvis and lower back during most movements.
“These breathing exercises not only strengthen the core and lower body, they also relieve neck and back pain,” Dr. Nelson says. “The patient is learning how to breathe properly from the diaphragm again, which takes strain off the secondary breathing muscles higher in your chest and neck.”
Postpartum women are also dealing with continued high levels of relaxin in their bodies from pregnancy, especially if they are breastfeeding. The higher levels of relaxin can cause instability in the spine and joints, resulting in a higher propensity for spinal misalignments. Seeking postpartum chiropractic care helps realign the spine and pelvis after birth. Dr. Nelson advises that postpartum patients be seen within the first two six weeks after birth and provides a treatment plan and frequency that works best for you for optimal results.