The One Thing No One Told You About Your Pregnancy…”The Fourth Trimester”

By Dr. Bryant Harris

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

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

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

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

Your center of gravity change, hormonal level change – causing you to feel unstable, your uterus attempts to return to its normal size, your breast produce milk and change in size on a daily basis, your supportive core muscles have been stretched to near oblivion and need to re-education themselves, your pelvic floor is tender, you may walk differently and the list continues.

Welcome to the ‘post-partum period’ aka the 4th Trimester. Your body is considered ‘post-partum’ from a biomechanical perspective for one full year.

What many new mothers’s fail to realize that is that although your bodies 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 the laxity of your ligaments, your joints don’t have the same stability like you had prior to pregnancy, therefore, your tailbone can feel a bit unstable, your pubic bone area may be sore, you may fatigue easier, you may experience difficulty taking steps forward, observe one leg turns out to the side, or you may have some sciatic pain that you thought was gone after pregnancy.

If the biomechanics and tissues fail to return to optimal function it may result in future health issues and possible problems with future pregnancies, not to mention making it difficult to care for that newborn.

*Small caveat, a difficult or traumatic delivery might present your spine and pelvis with even more challenges to overcome though rest assured these challenges can be dealt with.

The postpartum period can be exciting, overwhelming, joyful and terrifying all at the same time. Imagine recovering from pregnancy and labor paired now with holding, feeding, and caring for a newborn in awkward postures which new motherhood presents. Now throw in a bit of sleep deprivation, hormonal shifts, and ‘mastering’ breastfeeding and you have women who would undoubtedly benefit from a little bit of physical support during this transitional time – unfortunately the last thing new moms are thinking about is a visit to their chiropractor.

I want to remind you of what they tell you upon departing on an airplane: 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 we 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.

So allow me to remind you that chiropractic care can prove to be a great support on my levels. Chiropractic care should not end once your deliver your baby, but continue to ensure that your body is functioning optimally for yourself and for your newborn child.