A new baby signals a time of love, joy, abundance, community, and a whole lot of wonder as the world unfolds through their eyes. But as much amazement as you may be feeling, many women also experience postpartum emotional ups and downs and physical discomfort. After all, your body just went through the intense action of labor, your hormones are fluctuating again, new aches and pains have popped up, your sleep schedule is likely erratic, and you also have a brand new human completely dependent on you.
Finding time to give yourself the proper care in the months following birth can be difficult and feel like a failing balancing act. But before you brush off giving yourself a little extra love, remember this: you’ll be able to care for your baby better when you’re at your best. We’re here to encourage you and offer you support; taking care of you isn’t a luxury, it is essential.
Understanding the potential postpartum pitfalls plus taking appropriate measures to improve your physical and mental well being can help get you through this difficult period. Let’s dive in.
Increased Mid and Upper Back Pain
Checking on your baby while sleeping; picking the baby up repeatedly; breastfeeding. Daily routine baby care translates to wear-and-tear on Mom. And what do all of these actions have in common? You’re likely rounding your back while performing each activity.
As your day-to-day and hour-to-hour movements focus on the care of your baby, it’s important to pay attention to your posture. Repeated forward bending can put new stress through your mid and upper back, causing achiness and pain. And when you’re sleep-deprived, maintaining good posture becomes even harder, intensifying your discomfort. What are easy, mom-friendly options for finding relief?
- Give your back a break. To help combat a stressed out and achy back, engage your core as you bend or pick up your baby.
- Add thoughtful movement to your daily routine. You can begin on a super basic level, by just lying flat on the floor, with your back pressed into the ground. From there lift your arms above your head in a “Y” motion, hold for a couple of seconds, and return them to your sides. Repeat 5-10 times and marvel at just how good such a simple exercise can feel!
- Consider a structured mobility plan. If you feel physically “off” and can’t seem to recover with self-care, consult with a medical professional. They can help you understand your body transition and recommend exercises to help you regain your sense of normal.
It is completely normal for many new moms to experience some form of postpartum depression, though many still feel a sense of shame around it. You may feel pressure to appear nothing less than completely full of joy and gratitude for your new baby, but the reality is that many go through this period after giving birth. From intense mood swings, inability to concentrate, loss of appetite, trouble with baby bonding, and trouble sleeping, postpartum depression can be incredibly trying.
If you think you’re struggling with postpartum depression, seek medical advice for support and non-judgmental guidance. Additionally, maintaining low-level activity, eating healthy, engaging with close friends and loved ones, and practicing general self-care can go a long way as you work through this period. Remember: you aren’t meant to walk this road alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help – you’ll be glad that you did.
How Chiropractic Can Help Postpartum
Another way to take care of your body after giving birth is by working in consistent chiropractic care. Adjustments of the spine, neck, and extremities can help to realign your body and provide relief that can be so desperately needed when your body is recovering from childbirth and finding its new normal. As your body changes and adjusts from its prenatal state, chiropractic care can help not only address the pain points you may be experiencing but also provide the rest of your body the attention it needs through this process.
Gentle chiropractic adjustments help to decrease inflammation, relieve pressure, reduce nerve irritability, and ultimately allow your entire body to relax. By working consistent chiropractic care into your routine, you can help support your body through the fourth trimester. That’s a huge win-win for your health and your growing baby.