Short Term Changes…

Pregnant-womanThere are a multitude of changes that take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy, the most obvious of which is weight distribution.  Normally, women have a gentle ‘S’ curve to their spines when seen from the side.  During pregnancy – especially in the last trimester – this curve accentuates dramatically to compensate for the change in weight and center of gravity.  In many women, this increases the likelihood of lower back pain and sometimes even sciatica.

As the pregnancy continues, more changes become apparent: ligaments become more lax, the uterus expands, skin stretches, muscles contract,  hormone levels go up, energy goes down, sensitivity increases, patience decreases, emotions become more extreme with higher highs and lower lows.  I consider myself knowledgeable in these things after watching my wife through the adventures of five pregnancies and treating dozens of pregnant women in the clinic.

The good news (for everyone involved), is that most of the changes are self-reversing.  Though it may not seem so at the time, these are all short term occurrences.  Once the baby is born, things begin to return to normal.  Without the extra weight of the baby, the placenta and the amniotic fluid forcing the spine into an exaggerated curve, the gradual ‘S’ curve is restored.  Hormones re-balance themselves, ligaments tighten again, and the uterus contracts to its normal size.  The physical discomfort of trying to find a good position in which to sleep goes away.  (Unfortunately this is often replaced by the exhaustion of not getting a full night’s sleep at all because of a frequently waking infant!)

During the time of rapid changes, regular Chiropractic treatment can be very helpful to manage the evolving physical situation.  My job is to make that phase as comfortable as possible, which actually does two things:  it makes the mother’s life a little more tolerable during an otherwise uncomfortable time, and it increases the likelihood of a smooth and uncomplicated birth by reducing some of the limiting physical factors.  The bottom line is that pregnancy and chiropractic go very well together.

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