My Pregnancy – The Third Trimester (weeks 27 onwards!)

It has just flown by, so fast that I completely failed to update my blog between weeks 17 and now!

In short weeks 17-27 were great! I felt amazing and had loads of energy.  The only downfall was feeling a bit of a blimp! I just looked like I had been at the biscuit box, which at times was entertaining, especially with some of the looks you get from people who haven’t seen you in a while!

From week 27 onwards its obvious that you are growing a tiny human.  At 31 weeks I went to Portugal for a friends Hen Party, it was so much fun.  I thought am I crazy for going? Then decided sunshine was just what the doctor ordered! (Although right now at 39 weeks pregnant in this heat wave I disagree!)  The best thing about being pregnant on the hen party was I had the best excuse for going home early! I’m not really a party animal anyway and do love my sleep so was able to sneak off a smidge earlier than the 2-3am everyone else rolled in!

Speaking of Sleep…things that change in the third trimester.

SLEEP

This might be the hardest thing I have had to contend with, but then I should be grateful because my body is preperaing me for little sleep once the wee bean arrives.  I wake up at least 5 times a night, either because I’m too hot, my feet are too hot (not just weather related, I am definitely running hotter in pregnancy), I need ANOTHER wee, my hips hurt, legs are cramping, or baby has given me a good kicking!

I purchased a pregnancy pillow quite early on, it arrived at about 17 weeks.  It was nice then, but been a god send since the third trimester started.  The support the pillow offers for my legs and bump are amazing, and yes I still wake up a lot, but at least it keeps me more comfortable than without it. The weight of bump is supported meaning the liagments around my baby bump get a break!

Others things you can do to helps sleep include:

Sticking to a sleep schedule – try to regulate your body clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday.  Since I have been on maternity leave I am sleeping in longer, but allowing myself that time means I know I am rested.  Instead of being up by 6-30am its now a respectable 8am, but try not to stay in bed longer because it means your body clock will get out of sink.

Plenty of gentle exrecise – this can also help with leg cramps! Swimming, yoga and gentle walking will help and tire you out just enough to promote good sleep at night!

Acknowledge and thus take control of your worries – becoming a new mum means your mind can do overtime! I know I have been worrying about all sorts of funny things, from how will I know what to dress the baby in to are the windows clean enough! Writing lists of things I want to achieve in the day has been helpful and just chatting things through with Ben and my mum have been invaluable!

Try relxation techniques including breathing exercises – Progressive muscle relaxation has been proven to be very effective at helping to bring on sleep. It focuses on tensing, and then relaxing, groups of muscles in your body, alternating between your right and left side. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by tensing and releasing your hand and forearm muscles, first on one side and then on the other.
  • Repeat with your upper arms, face and jaw, chest and shoulders, tummy (as best you can!), thighs, and so on until you reach your feet.

These techniques are often used in yoga classes along with deep breathing exercises.  Try a pregnancy yoga class in the evening to help.

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

Our Birth Story

I can honsetly say it was an amazing experience! It is astonishing what both my body and little Renies’ did to bring her into this world.  I won’t lie, it was much much much harder that I expected and I suspect Renie did even more work than me!

My contractions first began on Monday evening around 5pm.  In the day I had been for a sea swim and then came home and decided to just relax, rather than do all sorts of crazy jobs, which I had previously been doing.  That should have been a sign.  I decided perhaps I should look into hyponbirthing as our due date was 2 days away, definitely too late in pregnancy to start wondering about this, but heyho thats me all over! I spent the afternoon doing breathing exercises, pregnancy yoga and eating chocolate! (something that needs to stop if I ever want to get back into my jeans!)

37 weeks pregnant.

Monday morning Ben had a migraine, so rather than cycle to work I had dropped him off.  I was due to collect him at 5-30pm. I was just about to leave when I started to get what I would describe as intense period type pains below the bump, they came every 15 minutes or so.  Some how wisdom prevailed, (I am a bit of a doer and usually carry on regardless) and I decided driving was probably not wise.  I texted Ben, ‘please get the bus home,’ his thoughts went along the lines of ‘S*@t! NOT NOW I have a migraine!!’  Babies come when babies are ready!

When Ben got home, he started to time the contractions.  We both had a big meal once the realisation hit that these weren’t just braston hicks.  We would defintiely need the energy and then Ben sent me to bed to try and get some rest before what was to come, however it was little good because by this point the longest break between surges (contractions) was 8 minutes.  They were still very sporadic all night, ranging from super intense, insides turning out and being squeezed simultaneously (little did I know this was nothing) to a mere mild rippling.  They were anything from 3 minutues apart and lasting 30 seconds to 8 minutes apart and lasting 60 seconds.  Eventually we called the midwife, who arrived around 6am.  I was 1cm dilated (is that all) and so she left and told us to call back when the contractions were 3 minutes apart and 60 seconds each – for at least 30 minutes (or something like that, honestly Ben was in charge of this and all I did was press the buzzer on a bell when a contraction started and stopped.)

I vomited, A LOT. We thought at about 10am I should eat something for energy.  We tried dried frut and nuts, not bad and then one tiny little mistake, a chunk of chocolate. DO NOT do it!  Just as the chocolate melted in my mouth and made that cloggy seal, the mother of all contractions was upon me (it seemed it at the time anyway).  I managed to just make it to the bathroom, where I remained, face on toilet seat for a good 30 minutes.  Flashbacks to my uni days, hugging the toliet bowel and curling up in a ball on the bathmat. Except I couldn’t curl up in a ball and sleep this off, there is no way out, it is unrelenting! Ben managed to prise my face off the loo seat, after my protests. ‘It’s fine darling I cleaned the toilet yesterday!’

At 11am another midwife arrived.  I was so lucky that my community midwife who looked after us during pregancy turned up.  What a priviledge to have the woman who saw me through pregnancy there to hold my hand and help deliver our baby.  Ellie is quite possibly the most laid back person I have met, must be a midwifery requirement.  Between 11am and 2pm everything is a bit of a blur, I was delerious, although apparently still not in active labour.  This is NOT something any woman wants to hear after almost 20 hours of contractions! My waters still hadn’t broken, so at the next examination, when I was still only 4-5cm dilated, Ellie broke them for me.  I had thought the contractions were intense before this, wow how wrong I had been! Now everything ramped up.  Renie had decided to turn back to back too, so as well as lower abdominal contractions, they were also in my back and radiating into my right pelvis and leg.

I spent my time moving from being on all fours on the bed, sitting on the toilet and being in the bath.  I tried to grab Bens manlyhood, he managed to maneover himself out of the way just in time, so I bit his hand instead. I did immediately apologise, honest!   Not long after this and me wimpering ‘I can’t do this’ and both Ben and Ellie replying ‘But you are doing this’ for the 100th time, Ben reminded me I did have options.  My birth plan was clear – minimal intervention, but after 20 hours I was exhasuted and I really felt ready to give up (not that you can when in labour, but I know my eyes were pleading to be taken to hospital and have pain relief).  My mind had jumped straight to epidural, not that I vocalisd this as I knew I would be disappointed if we went to hospital.  Ben again kept reminding me I had options, but I still didn’t get it.  Eventually Ben said ‘You have options, DOWNSTAIRS!’  The penny dropped, gas and air!

I got through almost 2 cannisters of gas and air, the intensity of contractions didn’t go, but I just didn’t care anymore!.  At this point I got in the pool and moved into the second stage.  Although the pushing stage requires a lot of effort and energy, it is also a relief to know you are in the final stretch and meeting your baby is imminent.  Pushing your babies head out takes all your power and strength, its primal and takes over your body, as were the noises I was making apparently!  There were times when I thought this is never going to happen, but when it does its absolutely amazing, words cannot describe.  Once babies head was out the final few pushes were easy, (not for Ben because he was literally holding up my entire body weight with his thumbs!)  First we had to wait for Renie to be ready, she needed to turn herself so her shoulders were at the right orientation and I could feel her wriggling, then whoosh she arrived and before I knew it we were a family.

Ben was my absolute rock in labour.  He made the appropriate amount of jokes, kept me smiling with his silliness. Tickled my back for about 24 hours (so much for all the massage techniques we had practised thinking I would like them), made a labour playlist, which I loved up until pushing stage. Never in my life did I think I would state ‘Turn this F@*!”ing S@*t off’ when listening to MJ, but I did! Always asked me if I needed anything, then noted himself it was at the crescendo of a contraction everytime, so waited patiently before asking again afterwards, the answer was usually ‘Yes Water!’

Ben and Renie 30 minutes after birth

I know my body went through a lot as did Renie’s, but never underestimate what yor birting partner did too.  He nearly lost the ability to ever make us a family of 4, almost lost his thumbs when I was pushing and literally held me up when I was in the bath and birthing pool!  Along with all this Ben had to deal with his emotions.  He had to watch me go through the most intense thing he will ever see me do.  He had to clean up afterwards and during labour (yes I pooped in the birthing pool – A LOT apparently) and most importantly he was about to become a father.  Yes there had been an entire pregnancy to realise this, but men are literally not connected to the tiny human growing in their partners tummy.  Its a lot to deal with a very short period of time. Ben I love you.

Renie 1 day old

Renie 4 weeks old (sucks the same fingers that Mummy did!)

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

My Pregnancy Weeks 13-17- Back Pain!

I am now well into my second trimester so thought it was a good time to update everyone on my progress.

I feel fabulous! Wonder woman can move aside as I am unstoppable! Now it is possible this is just because I have got over the initial fatigue of early pregnancy and the feeling I had been run over by a bus.  I am probably just back to my normal pre-pregnancy energy levels, however compared to the first trimester I feel incredible. Whatever the reason for it, I am not complaining!

Sex drive

This has returned!  Once you enter the 2nd trimester the blood flow to the pelvic region increases dramatically, which means so does your sensitivity.  Good news for your sex drive, bad news for waxing!  I think I need say no more on this matter!

Low back/pelvic pain

I know it might sound shocking, but yes I,  A CHIROPRACTOR,  have had some lower back pain/coccyx pain!  It teaches me valuable lessons, not only to listen to my body, but also in understanding my patients bodies.  I now have even more empathy!

It is very common to experience this during pregnancy.  For me it began at 13-14 weeks, this is the time we get a surge in the hormone relaxin.  Relaxin is a wonderful hormone, which increases the motion in your pelvis, allowing your uterus to expand.  It’s paramount in the birthing process, enabling your sacrum (tailbone) to move out of the way when you give birth.  This is why laying on your back during labour is counter productive, it reduces the diameter of your birth canal and believe me you do not want that.  I will talk more about labour postures when I get closer to the end of my pregnancy.

My pain has made me feel like I have been kicked in the butt by a horse.  At its worst it lasted 2 weeks, now it is more intermittent.  Since we have been telling everyone our wonderful news, people want to give up their chairs for the pregnant lady.  I do have to politely decline, sitting for more than 5 minutes makes things 20x worse!

Main reasons for low back/pelvic pain in pregnancy:

  1. Hormonal changes: your joints are becoming more flexible to allow for your baby to grow and then the birthing process to take place.  This does put more stress on your joints, any imbalances you may previously have had now come to the fore.
  2. Posture: This links in with your hormonal changes and previous postural imbalances.  As your baby and boobs grow you suddenly have more weight pulling you forwards and this can really impact how your body feels.
  3. Exercise:  You need to get the right balance. You must keep moving, don’t be afraid to move because doing nothing leads to weakened muscle so less support around the pelvis.  Yoga is a wonderful at strengthening, however you are more flexible so must hold back on postures.  High impact exercise can also irritate your symptoms, if you didn’t do it before you fell pregnant now is not the time to start. Swimming is a wonderful gentle all over body work out, I highly reccomend this.  It is so important to maintain your fitness (giving birth is not a walk in the park, more like a marathon!) Listen to your body and do what feels good.

Chiropractic Care for Low back/pelvis pain:

If your pelvis is out of alignment you are much more likely to experience low back/pelvic pain.  I am adjusted reguarly, but the nature of my work and also past injuries does mean my posture is not perfect (gasp!) This definitely impacts how my pelvis is adapting in pregnancy.  If I was not adjusted regualrly I can only imagine things would have lasted a whole lot longer!

If you are experiencing these kind of symptoms, get in touch.  We can help with the pain and also advise you appropriately how to manage these symptoms.

The first thing that it really important for you to know is IT WILL GET BETTER.  About 80% of women expereince some low back/pelvic pain in pregnancy.  You can feel it across the low back at the junction between the lumbar spine and sacrum. In either sacro-iliac joint anywhere along its length or in the pubic symphysis.  The pain you experience maybe localised to one spot, or if you are lucky like me, it may radiate.

I experience pain along my left sacro-iliac joint which refers into my left bottom and posterior left thigh.  I would describe it as a constant dull ache that intensifes on sitting.  Thankfully I know just what to do to

1) Help myself

Gentle exercise, including walking, yoga, swimming and pilates.  Gym ball exercises (vlog to come showing you how to do these).  Gentle massage with a tennis ball into my gluteals and very gentle hip flexor stretches.

2) Seek care from a qualified professional (thank you Michele!)

First scan

The scan letter requested I have a full bladder for this appointment and I dutifully obliged.  I was busting when we arrived, only to have to wait another 15 minutes for the appointment! As soon as the sonographer popped the ultrasound wand on my belly I was informed my bladder was too full and could I go and have a 10 second wee! Do you know how hard that is!?
Anyway job done and we were finally able to see our little baby.  What a relief to know there was a baby actually there and everything was looking just perfect.  We are so pleased and looking forward to the year ahead knowing this little bundle of joy will be joining us sometime in the summer.
Our greedy bean at 13 weeks (this nickname has stuck after the incredible fatigue in the first trimester! You can thank your father!)
Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

THE FIRST TRIMESTER – my pregnancy

After spending 10 years working with pregnant women and their babies it is finally my turn to be the other side of this relationship. Dr Michele Omen will be looking after me during my pregnancy and I am really looking forward to someone nurturing my baby and I.

 

Websters Technique

Chiropractors use several techniques during pregnancy, one of the most well known being Websters. By creating even movement and space around the pelvis and even tension in the ligaments that attach your uterus to your pelvis, space is at its most optimal. Boy those ligaments stretch and change during pregnancy (you definitely feel it). Imagine your uterus is like a tent, if the guide ropes (ligaments) are pulled too taut in one place the tension and torsion in your tent is clearly seen. Now imagine growing inside that tent….you get the idea! For more information and to find a qualified practitioner near you please visit www.icpa4kids.com.

I am now a few weeks into my 2nd trimester so wanted to just give you all an honest account of how things have been for me so far. Hopefully some of this will resonate with those of you who have already been there and got the t-shirt!

Families have been doing this the world over, but somehow when its your turn it feels like your crazy little secret, especially in the early stages. You spend your time wondering why the general public have no idea, why they can’t tell when your are on the bus, in the supermarket, on the train! Then because nobody else has any idea, you start to doubt the reality that soon you will be a mum!

 

Our Journey

I wonder whether our kids will find us embarrassing? Probably not!

 

Ben and I feel not only privileged to be having a family, but it also happened on our first try. 18 months ago we did have an unplanned pregnancy, which resulted in miscarriage, My GP called it a ‘chemical’ miscarriage because we were only about 4 weeks pregnant at the time.   We literally found out I was pregnant as I miscarried. My logical brain new it was the right thing, the baby was never going to be healthy and the body is amazing at detecting this, however emotionally it was tough.  The GP was quite matter of fact about it and honestly I left wondering where his empathy had gone, obviously not his strength, unlike a few of my GP friends, who are awesome.  Don’t suffer alone, your friends and family would be mortified if they knew you were.  Steffy my longest childhood friend was so supportive, its good to talk. I love you Steffy.

This time round we again found out at 4 weeks, my cycle is like clockwork and the usual sensations were just not there. The first few weeks after finding out (and not really believing it) I was on tenterhooks waiting for the mother of all periods, as had happened previously! Once we got to about 7/8 weeks we both had settled into the idea of parenthood and told our families the wonderful news, oh and Steffy of course!

 

How have I been feeling?

So…..how have I been feeling? Tired is an understatement! I am always an early to bed girl, but 8pm takes the biscuit, this happened more than once. From about 6 weeks the tiredness was like no other. Women have described it to me many times, until you go through it, you just do not get it. I have new found respect and understanding to all mothers. The hardest part is your pregnancy is still not common knowledge. I do feel extremely lucky however, morning sickness did not really strike. I had a few weeks of feeling a little nauseous, ginger tea and crystallised ginger are amazing help, but that was it, please don’t hate me!

Wow my sense of smell, I feel like an X-man! Its truly incredible. Alcohol on someones breath is quite possibly the worst. I can tell if someone as just had a sip and it is foul. Like a noxious gas eating into me, this did not make Christmas and New Year that easy! Drunk people, yep very annoying! I may have used my triedness as an excuse once or twice, gone to bed and read a good book, rock ‘n’ roll!

You may start to feel odd sensations in your lower abdomen, I did. Feels like a pulling, very different from a period pain, this is just the uterus slowly growing. I expect more in the future. On odd days I have felt like someone has kicked me in the tailbone, it eases quickly with a few Cat/Cow exercises and walking about. Pilates is amazing alongside regular Chiropractic care as really makes me think about how I am holding myself. I can see my posture changing daily and standing bent over a bench at work is not ideal.

 

Exercise

Please do not stop exercising! Giving birth is not a walk in the park, you need to be fit! During this first trimester I have kept up with walking regularly, circuits/weights twice a week, swimming and Pilates once a week. I usually do vinyasa flow yoga, which is dynamic, however advice is to avoid it during the first trimester, always discuss with your yoga teacher and let them know asap that you are carrying a miracle!

Finally my boobs! I cannot finish my blog about the first trimester without mentioning this! Wow, they grow and they are so tender! A few of my friends guessed early I was pregnant, however I managed to pass it off as the cut of my top!

Ben is a boob man, the other day he noticed they now defy gravity. They look great and he cannot go near them, not just because they are tender, but also I have absolutely zero sexual drive. The thought of him near me makes me feel protective and defensive, poor bloke, apparently I kick him in my sleep if he comes into ‘my zone’ (I believe this is about a mile radius!)

We had a 13 week scan, there is definitely a baby in there, we are going to be parents after all! Yes we both welled up a little, but oddly it still doesn’t feel real. I guess that will come when I can feel baby move!? For Ben it’s likely to be in July when the little one arrives.

For now I am enjoying my new found energy, the second trimester is going to be great, I can tell already!

 

Officially Full Time in Sussex

I have finally left London after over 8 years of working at Octagon Clinic www.octagonclinic.co.uk. What a place to leave, but what a place to move too! Being sandwiched between the South Downs and the sea is such a treat, today I have just returned from a gorgeous cycle ride up to Devils Dyke, where I practised some yoga before returning home full speed down the hill, exhilarating!

the downs 003

View from Devils Dyke

 

I am looking forward to spending more time with my wonderful partner,(who is also a fantastic singer, so if anyone needs a great party band, just ask and I will point you in the right direction) more time outside doing the things I love, that’s anything cycling by the way, as well as working with families in the Sussex area to help promote health and well being, my biggest passion.

 

 

 

Rachel Ava

I have vast experience working with women during pregnancy and then with their precious newborns.  Babies absolutely love being checked and more often than not fall fast asleep.  I feel very privileged that so many women have chosen care with me over the years, its such an amazing feeling knowing that I have contributed to their positive birth experience in one way or another.

If you have any questions about pregnancy care and what we might be able to do for you please feel free to call or email us – Tel:01273 584 812  email: info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk

Rachel Hodson is Clinic Owner at Peacehaven Chiropractic and has over 10 years experience looking after entire families

DIET AND NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY

There is so much information out there, its often hard to know what to do.  ‘They’ say you should eat this, then the next week minds have changed and its a definite no! More recently this argument has surrounded the consumption of alcohol.  The safest advice is to abstain completely and the department of health recommends this, but if you do opt to drink 1-2 units once to twice a week is the limit.

In terms of food, the best advice is to eat as clean as possible, by this I mean eat foods as close as possible to their natural state.  If its in a package and the ingredient list is as long as your arm, chances are its not that good for you, therefore not good for your growing baby either!

It is now known that a mother’s diet during pregnancy can not only affect the outcome of the pregnancy but also impact on the long-term health of child.  For example, if a mother has a low calorie or low protein diet when pregnant the child has an increased chance of obesity in later life.

FOODS TO ENJOY:

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ( AT LEAST 5 PORTION A DAY)

These contain essential vitamins, minerals and fibre vital for yours and your developing babies growth.  Choose a variety that can be raw, steamed, roasted, dried or juiced.

Essential Fats (1 portion a day)
Essential fats help form your baby’s brain and nervous system
1 handful a day of seeds and nuts 2 portions (6oz) oily fish a week.  Choose from salmon, trout, tuna and sardines.

PROTEIN (2-3 PORTIONS EQUALLING 60- 70G A DAY)

How to get your 60 – 70g of protein a day• 1 egg = 7g of protein
• 25g of seeds = 5-7g protein
• 1 chicken breast = 30g protein
• 1 fish fillet = 22g protein
• 1 tbsp hummus = 2g protein• Beans = 8g per half cup

Protein is vital for a babies growth and development and it also contains iron and vitamins. Eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as kiwis and oranges will aid the absorption of iron.



MILK, CHEESE AND YOGHURT (1 PORTION A DAY)

These contain calcium and vitamin D and are needed for healthy bones and teeth.  Green leafy vegetables are also another source of calcium and vitamin D.  Milk is considered a good source of calcium, however if allergic or intolerant to other alternatives to cow’s milk are pasteurised goats, sheep’s milk products or rice milk or oat milk.   Excess soy products when pregnant is not advisable as it can interfere with the babies own hormones

CARBOHYDRATES

Bread, cereals, oats, rice, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, buckwheat & barely etc give you energy as well as minerals and vitamins.  Choose something from this group at every meal. Wholemeal is most advisable.

FATTY AND SUGARY FOODS

Try to eat these as little as possible.  When you do, just have small amounts.  They contain empty calories with no benefit to you or your baby

CALORIES

You need an extra 300 calories a day when pregnant and 500 for breast-feeding. Pregnancy is not the time to cut back on food!  Enjoy a wide range of food – but don’t overeat.  Recent studies have shown that if a mother has restricted calories during pregnancy the child is more likely to overweight in later life and that overeating in pregnancy may increase the chances of your child developing insulin resistance (the pre-cursor to diabetes)

FOODS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY:

Mercury-High Fish – Certain types of fish that are very high in mercury, which is a dangerous chemical for foetuses. The main fish to avoid are swordfish, mackerel, and shark. The FSA recommends no more than 4 medium sized cans tuna each week for the same reason

Alcohol and Caffeine – These rob nutrients needed for you developing child.  Don’t forget caffeine is in chocolate and cola drinks.  No more than 1-2 units of alcohol a week is recommended

Raw Fish, Shellfish and Sushi – Raw meat such as sushi, seafood, rare or uncooked beef, or poultry because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

Undercooked or Raw Eggs – Raw eggs, or foods containing raw egg such as Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, home made ice cream or custard, unpasteurized eggnog, or Hollandaise sauce because raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella.  Bought mayo is ok.

Unpasteurized Milk and Juice – This goes right along with the raw eggs and raw meat topics. Milk is an animal product and unless it is pasteurised, it can have a lot of bacteria in it. Juice is full of sugar and is a rich breeding ground for bacteria as well. Be sure both are pasteurised.

Herbs – There are many herbs that are very dangerous to your pregnancy. Never assume that a herb is safe until you talk to your doctor about it. This goes for herbal teas, herbal pills and other tonics.

Soft Cheese – Soft cheese such as blue cheese, feta, Brie, Camembert, and Latin American soft white cheeses such as queso blanco and queso fresco because they may harbour harmful bacteria.

Green Potatoes and Deli Meats  – Potatoes, which have, green patches; this indicates a concentration of Solanin, which is poisonous and can cause damage to the baby.  Deli meats and tinned meats – contain high amounts of nitrates and can be cancerous.  Wash all prepared salads.

Liver and pates – These are high in vitamin A – excess can cause damage to your foetus

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, a woman’s centre of gravity shifts forward to the front of her pelvis. This additional weight in front, causes stress to the joints of the pelvis and low back. As the baby grows in size, the added weight causes the curvature of her lower back to increase, placing extra stress on the fragile facet joints on the back side of the spine. Any pre-existing problems in a woman’s spine tend to be exacerbated as the spine and pelvis become overtaxed, often leading to pain and difficulty performing normal daily activities.

Studies have found that about half of all expectant mothers develop low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies. This is especially true during the third trimester when the baby’s body gains the most weight. Chiropractic care throughout pregnancy can relieve and even prevent the pain and discomfort frequently experienced in pregnancy, and creates an environment for an easier, safer delivery. It is one safe and effective way to help the spine and pelvis cope with the rapid increase in physical stress by restoring a state of balance. In fact, most women have found that chiropractic care helped them avoid the use of pain medications during their pregnancy, and studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments help to reduce time in labor. Your  chiropractor should be your partner for a healthy pregnancy. They can provide adjustments, as well as offer nutritional, ergonomic and exercise advice to help address your special needs.

Chiropractic tips for pregnant women:

Be sure to get adjusted regularly. Chiropractic care is important to help maintain a healthy skeletal structure and nervous system function throughout a pregnancy and childbirth.

Do some gentle exercise each day. Walking, swimming, or stationary cycling are relatively safe cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women. Avoid any activities that involve jerking or bouncing movements. Stop exercise immediately if you notice any unusual symptom, such as nausea, dizziness or weakness.

Wear flat shoes with arch supports. Your feet become more susceptible to injury during pregnancy, partially due to a rapidly increasing body weight, but also because the ligaments that support the feet become more lax.

When picking up children, bend from the knees, not the waist. Your low back is much more prone to injury during pregnancy.

When sleeping, lay on your side with a pillow between your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Full-length “body pillows” or “pregnancy wedges” are very popular and can be helpful.

Eat several small meals or snacks every few hours, rather than three large meals per day. This will help alleviate nausea, stabilize blood sugar and allow your body to extract the maximum amount of nutrients from the foods that you eat.

Take a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day; 800 micrograms is even better. Folic acid has been shown to dramatically reduce the risk of neural tube defects in a developing fetus. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any vitamin or herbal supplement to make sure it’s safe for you and the baby.

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT