Pregnancy is rough on the body. Many mornings I woke up wondering how the bus ran me over and never left even a tire mark on my wood floors. “Oh!” I yelp, even 5 weeks postpartum… “My aching back!”
Dave tries and tries to rub my back and, while I love massages, I want to get the the root of the issue: my body isn’t aligned. Weeks of growing a human pushes and pulls the body, and the months that follow that of late nights and early mornings, bending to nurse and pick up and change diapers, minutes that pass by rocking in any way to soothe the baby and irritate the sciatica are passing by. I wake up with a nursing baby, dreamily enjoying milk, while my body is contorted in a way best saved for Cirque du Soleil performers.
Around month 5, I stopped walking with any form of normalcy and was near tears trying to drive. I broke down and called my bestie who swears by her chiropractor for both her and the kids, “HELP!” I whined into the phone, “I can’t walk anymore.” She gave me the number I was jonesing for, and I made the call.
Frye Chiropratic, just 20 minutes from my house, was the start of a great relationship.
For me, I wait until the pain is debilitating, but (I hope obviously) this is a terrible idea. There are incredible benefits to chiropractic care for everyone, but during pregnancy and during postpartum care, going to a chiropractor should be the standard of care. Chiropratic care offers multiple benefits, including the all-encompassing assistance of maintaining a healthy pregnancy. A chiropractor, trained in treating pregnant women, can help control symptoms of nausea, relieve joint, neck and back pain, and proper alignment can reduce the time of your labor and delivery while reducing your chances of needing a c-section.
For me, proper care means I can also chase my toddler while baby wearing, or swinging the car seat in a makeshift mommy-swing (this is especially terrible for your back!). Being properly aligned also means that I experience less sleepless nights (if the baby is sleeping and I can’t, it’s a recipe for disaster!), fewer headaches and have the energy to make it through late night feedings.
Finding the right doctor was key for me, as I was not happy with the chiropractor I saw last, and the doctor I saw when I was pregnant with Addie didn’t have the connection I was looking for. Talking to your doctor, being candid about what hurts and letting them know you’re still feeling pain is important. The first chiropractor I saw for pregnancy had strange hours that were hard for me to keep and I didn’t feel the warmth and bedside manner that I was looking for. That really can hinder feeling better, and shortly after birth, I stopped seeing that doctor. The next chiropractor I saw was not very hands on (really). There were a few other techniques used, including a massage chair- which felt good… but I would have a twinge and headache within hours of leaving. This doctor was incredibly over-booked, and while the price was right, the care was not for me.
When I found my current (and forever) chiropractor, it was a match. Nervous, I walked in and introduced myself. Many of my friends see Dr. Frye (Frye Family Chiropractic), and her smile at Addie made me feel more at ease. She’d read about Addie (and the Crazy Pickle Lady!) and I immediately loved that the office was made for kids to be in (no glass tables, hearty plants, and, best of all, a room FULL of toys! While I am on the table, Addie is busy decorating a Melissa & Doug pizza or cake, or making pretend coffee, reading stories, or a hundred other things. None of them crying for attention.
As I write, I am 6 weeks postpartum and, as usual, I waited too long and am in the process of a multi-day treatment to get my body back into alignment… but, with the new year approaching, I have a goal to keep my back as healthy as the rest of me, and take my chiropractic care more seriously with regular treatment (monthly, weekly, bi-weekly…). Find your doctor and talk with them! What makes the best sense for your care? How can you achieve pain-free living, less illness, more energy? And, don’t forget you can pass these benefits onto your children, too! Kids can benefit from chiropractic care from infancy up- better sleep, concentration and health are all just an adjustment away!