THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD, AKA THE 4th TRIMESTER

4th trimester

WOOHOO! After 9 LOOOONG months, BABY is FINALLY HERE!

“Hold up!?!?!? I don’t feel so great…Why didn’t anyone mention this part?”

Among all the excitement that comes with the arrival of a new baby, it is easy to lose the sense of what your body has just experienced and what is yet to come.

Pregnancy and giving birth is one of the most intense and difficult experiences women go through – mentally and physically.

The changes of pregnancy don’t stop after delivery. You may experience that your:

  • center of gravity changes and your hormonal levels change – causing you to feel unstable
  • uterus attempts to return to its normal size
  • breasts produce milk and change in size on a daily basis
  • supportive core muscles have been stretched to near oblivion and need to re-education themselves
  • pelvic floor is tender
  • walk may be different

And the list continues.

Welcome to the ‘postpartum period’ aka the 4th Trimester.

Your body is considered ‘postpartum’ from a biomechanical perspective for one full year.

What many new mothers fail to realize is that although your body may not be producing the hormone relaxin, it still has an effect on the ligamentous structures of your body. Specifically, the joints of your spine and pelvis.

As a result of ligament laxity, your joints don’t have the same stability you had prior to pregnancy. Your tailbone can feel a bit unstable. Your pubic bone area may be sore. You may fatigue easier or experience difficulty taking steps forward. One leg may turn out to the side. You may have some sciatic pain that you thought would be gone after pregnancy.

If the biomechanics and tissues fail to return to optimal function there can be future health issues and possible problems with future pregnancies. Not to mention, making it difficult to care for your newborn.

The postpartum period can be exciting, overwhelming, joyful and terrifying all at the same time.

  • Holding, feeding, and caring for a newborn.
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Hormonal shifts
  • ‘Mastering’ breastfeeding

All lead to a woman who would undoubtedly benefit from a little bit of physical support during this transition – unfortunately the last thing new moms are thinking about is a visit to their chiropractor.

Recall what they tell during the airplane safety briefing: secure your own mask before attempting to assist anyone else – even YOUR children. I’m not suggesting that your newborn is not a priority, but you must be supported in order to fully care for others. Having physical pain, experiencing exhaustion, being emotionally drained, creates a situation that may make it increasingly difficult to be present with your baby and experience the joys of motherhood.

Remember, chiropractic care can prove to be a great support on many levels. It should not end once you deliver your baby; it should continue to ensure that your body is functioning optimally, for yourself…

…and for your newborn.

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