Photos: Eric and Jamie Photo
It is Week 3 of our LOVE YOUR BODY Challenge! A couple weeks ago I shared the Body Positivity Printable which we are using to encourage and promote and remind us to focus on self-love this month! I hope you are using and enjoying this printable. If so, be sure to tag me on social media so I can see and share with my followers! My fellow co-hosts for the LOVE YOUR BODY Challenge, Jessica at Happily Hughes and Ange at Hairspray and Highheels, are also sharing body positivity blog posts all month long. Be sure to hop over to their blogs to see their amazing content!
Last week I focused on mental health and how I love my body by taking care of my mind and soul, especially in regards to postpartum depression and anxiety. You can read that post here! This week I want to focus on why I take the time to visit the chiropractor consistently and the chiropractic benefits I see from these appointments. Going to the chiropractor does take time out my busy schedule – time away from my babies (when I don’t take them with me 😉 )and time away from the never ending work to-do list. However, it is so important for me to take the time to focus on myself and my body in this way. This form of self-care is something I make a priority because I see immediate results.
Back in August, I shared the Benefits of Chiropractic Care While Pregnant and had my chiropractor personally answer all the questions you submitted about going while pregnant! The consistency of my chiropractor appointments during my pregnancy was a game changer for me and I can say that the same holds true for postpartum and really any stage of life.
Self care doesn’t always have to mean face masks, nail appointments, and blowouts. I could easily skip these chiropractor appointments because they are just one more thing to add to my day but I know how beneficial they are for my body. Making time for the chiropractor is one of the best ways I can truly love my body!
Chiropractic Benefits: Where I Go
I LOVE Friends & Family Health Center in Homewood, Alabama. They have made my pregnancy and postpartum journey so much better and they seriously teach me something about health and wellness every time I am there for an appointment. They also are so great about my boys coming with me and hanging out with them while I get adjusted. Cannot say enough amazing things about Friends & Family! If you want to book an appointment, go here.
Chiropractic Benefits: Q&A
My chiropractor was gracious enough to answer YOUR questions about chiropractic care. So many of you sent in great questions about postpartum chiropractor benefits, baby adjustments, etc. See the full answers below 🙂
- Difference between chiro and massages for postpartum.
Giving birth is one of the most strenuous experience in a mother’s life. As a woman goes through pregnancy the ligaments in the pelvis start to relax so the baby can exit the pelvis. The body starts to tighten these ligaments and realign the bones right after birth. This process can take months, but chiropractic can help speed up the process, and help the mother get back to normal activities faster.
Muscle work is also important for the mother after birth. Breastfeeding mothers sit hunched over their babies for hours every day and that can cause tension in upper back and neck. Getting that worked on with muscle work can help prevent pain in those areas.
- What’s the science behind chiro for babies? Why should you adjust babies?
Birth is a traumatic process for babies no matter what way they entered the world. Having their head pushed against the pelvis for hours while the mother is in labour, and being pulled out with hands or instruments can cause dysfunction and pain. The baby won’t be able to tell you they are in pain, but you will know something isn’t right if they are not feeding equally from both breasts, they will only rest their head on one side, and some babies even have torticollis after the birth. This means that the spine isn’t moving properly, and needs a little help so they can thrive optimally. Some babies also have reflux, colic, gas or constipation. These symptoms can happen simply because the spine and the brain aren’t communicating properly due to a spinal misalignment after the birth. A chiropractor will make sure their spine is moving properly so their bodies can heal optimally.
- Does a chiro for a baby really help if they have a flat spot on the back of their head?
Flat spots on babies head can happen because the baby can only rest their head in a certain position. That can be because the neck is not moving as well as it should do to misalignment in the spine. A more severe version of that is called torticollis that can happen due to position in the uterus or birth trauma. A chiropractor will find the restrictions in the spine and correct them with a gentle adjustment. When the neck has normal range of motion the baby should be able to rest the head in different positions, and that will take the load off the area where the flat spot has formed.
- Is there anything they can do for TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint can be misaligned like any other joint in the body. You may notice that something is wrong because you can hear it click, pop, or grind when you open or close the mouth, and when chewing. You may notice that the jaw deviates more to one side when you fully open the mouth. These are all indicators of the joint not functioning properly. A chiropractor can perform an adjustment to make sure the joint is moving properly.
I (Heather) have to add in that I have TMJ and in fact it can be so bad that my jaw will LOCK OPEN. My dentist, Dr. Rudolph has even had to meet me after hours to pop it back into place. Going to the chiropractor has significantly reduced the amount this happens and takes a lot of tension out of this area.
- Why should you go to the chiropractor postpartum or as a mom in general?
Birth is a very difficult physical and emotional experience for a woman. The ligaments in the pelvis stretch and bones move to allow the baby to exit the pelvis. Healing after birth takes time, but chiropractic adjustments can help with the that process by making sure the spine and pelvis are positioned properly and moving normally.
Being a mother is not an easy job and you find yourself in positions that you haven’t been in before, and you are holding the baby for extended periods. When they get a little older you are constantly bending over and picking them up or chasing them around. This is stressful on your body, and you are probably not getting the rest you need. Your well-being is not a priority anymore, and that is when you might start experiencing pain or other health issues. Chiropractic care helps your spine and other joints move optimally so you can perform the tasks needed on a daily basis.
- Does it effect your spine to sit with your feet up on the couch. I sit like this while BF’ing.
When you sit with your feet on the couch you are most likely slouching. When you slouch for long periods it can cause pain in neck, mid back or low back. When done long term in can start affecting your posture. Sitting with back support is always better, but it is hard for a mother to always think about optimal posture. Sitting like that is okay occasionally but not recommended long term for optimal spinal health.
- Should one avoid adjustments on the neck if there are disc degenerations and bulging discs?
Degeneration and bulging discs happen because optimal spinal curve has been compromised, and because of spinal immobility. That can come from an injury, poor posture and aging.
A chiropractor will perform a thorough history and examination on a patient before they start care. When there is a possibility of a bulging disc reflexes, muscle strength and sensation are tested to find out how severe the injury is. X-rays or MRI might be needed to see the extent of the injury. Then the chiropractor determines if the patient is a candidate for chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic adjustments will remove misalignments in the spine allowing it to move properly and take the pressure off the bulging disc.
When degeneration starts in the neck it is important to restore mobility in the neck. A chiropractor can perform adjustments to slow down the degeneration process.
- How can you help improve posture outside of regular chiropractic visits?
Movement is essential for the spine and the brain so making sure you are moving throughout the day will help your posture. Strengthening weak muscles and stretching tight muscles is important for spinal health, and if you are not sure what is tight or weak you should ask you chiropractor for guidance.
When you have a lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting it is important to have a chair with good support and make sure you are not slouching in the chair. Standing desks are helpful when it comes to improving posture because then you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
I’m so grateful my chiropractors took the time to answer your questions and I truly can’t recommend them highly enough. If you are considering chiropractic care, make sure you do your research and go to someone how is well-trusted, has great reviews and if possible you hear a personal recommendation on from friends or family members as well.
I started going to the chiro when my back pain became very severe during pregnancy and haven’t stopped going except for the 6-8 weeks postpartum. If you’d like to book an appointment with my chiropractor you can call them at (205) 803-1234.
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