By Dr. Meagan McGowan
Happy BIRTH-day!! You’ve just accomplished the greatest physical and mentally challenging event of your life, you birthed your baby! Now what? Most women are unaware that in the United States we lack a standard of care for the postpartum woman. Most consider postpartum to be a period of time much less than even the first year of their baby’s life. This misunderstanding has unfortunately led to “normalizing” challenges faced physically, chemically, and emotionally as if they just come with the territory of birth. At Core Therapies, we not only support this postpartum transition, we strive to bring understanding to the misconception that once a woman is no longer postpartum, her stress will resolve itself. If you have birthed a baby, you are forever postpartum.
Throughout a woman’s prenatal care, our goal is to address any concerns she may have in the physical space, but beyond that, understand and support her in achieving her most optimal birth. As she approaches the conclusion of her third trimester, the conversation shifts as we address her most present thoughts, but also introduce ideas for the postpartum transition.
Again, birth is the most physically challenging event of a woman’s life. The transition to postpartum happens as soon as the placenta is birthed. Her body preps for birth for months, and postpartum within minutes. Chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial in helping this recovery as the body works to regulate itself again.
- We conduct a gentle treatment assessing the body, both joint and soft tissue, for imbalances since birth is deeply strenuous on the musculoskeletal system.
- We discuss what rest looks like and how the act of breath-work is the first step toward recovery.
- We assess a baseline of diastasis recti while also discussing pelvic floor recovery and what signs of stress look like.
- We have an important conversation around nutrition and refueling during the months following her birth.
- I personally recommend that every woman receive an assessment of blood work at 3 months and 6 months postpartum. Deficiencies that show up as physical or mental stress could be revealed preventing a woman from experiencing months or years of fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, etc.
As care progresses, we support Mom’s recovery through deeply intentional active care to help her reestablish core stability and allow her to handle the demands of daily life. This creates a foundation that will support her as she returns to the level of activity she desires.
We always encourage Mom to schedule baby for their Birth-day adjustment, as growth in utero and the birthing process can leave baby with their own versions of stress. All too often, baby is actually scheduled before Mom due to struggles with one or more of their systems. Babies most often present with difficulty surrounding feeds, digestion, or rest. In that moment, the baby is our priority, but we are checking in with Mom if she’s present, getting a sense of how she’s feeling/healing, and also checking in with her partner because all too often their stress is overshadowed.
Over the years, we have developed an incredible network of support professionals surrounding the birth world and beyond. Chiropractic care is truly beneficial in many facets and with the collaboration of others, the family can more easily navigate Mom’s recovery and baby’s development.