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Seattle, WA
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Pelvic Pain

Pain (1)

Pelvic pain can occur over the course of your pregnancy, during labor or even after delivery. It is very common for moms to struggle with pelvic pain, feeling helpless and unsure where to go for help.

 

During pregnancy, the mother’s pelvis takes on additional stress that can cause misalignment. This stress can cause muscle imbalances, which will pull the pelvis in one direction or another. Furthermore, in preparation for birth, the mother’s body releases the hormone relaxin, which encourages ligaments of the pelvis to stretch in order to support the birthing process. In some cases, when paired with muscle imbalances, the ligaments attached to the pelvis overstretch and become dysfunctional and misaligned. This can cause pain. The pelvic pain is most notable in the back of the pelvis (sacroiliac joints) or the front (pubic symphysis).

 

Some common signs and symptoms include but are not limited to the following: Low back pain, tenderness upon palpation of the pubic symphysis, swelling over the pubic symphysis, pelvic pain getting out of bed, popping or clicking of the pelvis with movement. Twisting motions, walking, especially up or down stairs, are also common findings in my patients with pelvic pain. Often during delivery the woman will report hearing a “pop” sound and will be unable to walk or find walking extremely painful.

 

Understanding the role of the pelvis over the course of pregnancy and into motherhood is very important. Most essential, the pelvis is responsible for supporting the growing fetus and stabilizing the mother’s low back and torso. The better aligned and more balanced a mother’s pelvis, the more comfortable the mother and child.

 

Chiropractic care can be very beneficial prenatally, during labor and once the baby has been delivered. There are several techniques that are specific to realigning the pelvis. Muscle work is also helpful in removing the muscle imbalances and to compliment the gentle adjustments. I often prescribe simple and effective exercises to reinforce the new alignment and restore functional movement of the pelvis. All of these together help reduce the recovery time and get mom out of pain.

 

Pelvic pain, specifically over the pubic symphysis, is a condition I commonly see in my practice. In several cases, mom is worried about her pain, but even more frustrated she can’t take care of her child because of that pain. With simple treatment and modification, I am fortunate enough to help mom through this difficult time allowing her to get back to focusing on her new baby.

How to Prevent Labor Dystocia by Rebecca Nugent

 

Pregnancy-Back-PainPeople often ask me how to prevent labor dystocia, which is the slowing down, stalling, or stopping of active labor. Dystocia accounts for nearly two-thirds of all c-sections. (And given that our country has a c-section rate of 33%, prevention is definitely worth its weight in gold.) Here are some tips to avoid slowing/stopping labor:

 

  1. Eat healthy and exercise during pregnancy.Resist the urge to “eat for two.” Eat enough to nourish yourself and the baby, but focus on lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. (The Brewer Pregnancy Diet is a fantastic guide to follow.) Give yourself a break and splurge now and then, but don’t make processed food and sugar your mainstay. Labor is hard, physical work, and you want to prepare your body for the task!

 

  1. Mentally prepare yourself for what is to come.Know what to expect so that when you are in the throes of labor, you can say, “Ok. This is supposed to be happening and I don’t need to be afraid.” If you are overly-stressed or scared, your body will react by tensing up, which can adversely affect labor progress. So, go to childbirth class. Watch live births on YouTube. Read books. If I could recommend only one book, it would be Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. Have a plan for the stages of labor.

 

  1. Make sure you and your caregiver are on the same page. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you feel like your caregiver isn’t taking the time with you, go to another practice. If you are in a practice that has a rotation of practitioners and there is one that you don’t trust/feel comfortable/click with, it may be a good idea to switch practices. You don’t need the added stress of wondering who’s going to be on call when the time comes. Remember: The rhythm and tempo of your labor is going to be tied to what is going on with you emotionally and mentally.

 

  1. Stay at home (or out of the hospital) as long as you can. Here’s an idea: If you are worried about not making it to the hospital on time or you live a bit of a distance away, pick an “on deck” place. Maybe it’s a park nearby the hospital or a mall to walk around in. Then, when you know you’re ready to go, you won’t feel rushed and get there too soon, opening yourself up for possible unnecessary interventions.

 

  1. Stay out of that bed!Well, maybe not completely or literally. But the more you change positions, move around, and keep upright, the better your chances are for keeping the pelvis in a nice, open position and using gravity to your advantage. If your hospital/birthing center offers tubs, use them. Warm water can be used as a pain reliever and relaxes the tightened muscles, thus often reducing your time in labor. Sometimes dystocia is caused by a mal-positioning of the baby’s head as he makes way through the pelvis. Upright positions and movements can be a big help in adjusting the baby’s rotations and forward progress.

Thank you Rebecca Nugent from Birth Logic for sharing this great article with us! Rebecca is a birth doula and childbirth instructor. To contact or learn more about Rebecca visit her website at www.seattledoula.com.

Back to School

Getting back into the swing of things can always be an exciting challenge, so here are a few great tips to keep in mind! 

Back-to-School

1) Get a Good Night’s Rest

With the hustle and bustle of life it is easy to become lenient and continually push bed times back. Sleep is instrumental to a child’s growth. With the excitement and stress of school, getting kids to bed at the same time every night helps keep their body in a rhythm, allowing the body to rest and reboot for the next day.

 

2) Limit Screen Time

So much of our everyday lives revolve around a television, computer, cell phone or some other gadget. Allowing your children a specific amount of screen time each day leaves room for other important things such as homework, playing outside, or any other activity they may be involved in.

 

3) A Healthy Diet

Eating a well-balanced meal with fruits and vegetables is essential for proper nutrition and development. One easy way to make cooking fun with the family is to pick meals that are age appropriate for them to help with. This is an excellent opportunity to teach them about nutrition and cooking. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day and limiting juices high in sugar content is also important.

 

4) Physical Activity

Kids need to be active, as well as, the entire family. It can be as simple as going for a walk around the block after dinner, enjoying a local park or playing catch. Get the family up and moving for at least 30 minutes a day.

Keeping children in a routine during the week can be a major key to overall health.

Dr. Stephanie Coleman, DC
www.SeattlePediatricChiropractic.com
 Helping the greater Seattle area achieve optimal health, happiness and wellness.