Spinal Changes Post-Partum

 

After delivery of the baby, tasks associated with the new baby continue to contribute to the postural changes. These tasks include seemingly simple things like feeding, standing for long periods of time, lifting, changing the baby and in particular, carrying the baby. The increased size of breasts in nursing mothers contributes to additional strain on the upper back contributing to greater rounding of the shoulders. Many women notice that their posture is much worse after the baby and often complain about headaches, neck pain and most commonly, back pain. Pain may also be experienced in other areas of the body such as the forearms from prolonged lifting/carrying, as well as pain in the mid back from being hunched over while feeding. Some women even experience carpal tunnel symptoms (pain in the wrists) from compromised nursing positions.

 

 

Tips to Improve “Mommy Posture”

 

1.      Strengthen the Core: as soon as your doctor gives permission for you to begin exercising, start to focus on gently strengthening your core muscles. This includes the abdominals, back, buttocks and hip flexors. These will help to improve supportive structures making it easier for you to stand up straight.

2.      Carrying and holding baby:  wherever possible employ a cradle hold or shoulder carry position. Be mindful of your lower spine and abdominals and resist the natural tendency to jut the hips forward. This position increases tension on the lower back.

3.      Nursing and feeding position: when possible use supportive nursing cushions so baby is in line with you rather than you aligning with baby. Many women choose to skip this step, especially non-nursing mothers but it tends to lead to poor feeding positions which can create unwanted strain on the upper back, arms, neck and wrists.

4.      Chiropractic Care: you’ve heard it before and I will say it again. The best way to help your spine recover from the stress of pregnancy is with regular chiropractic care. Following the stress of pregnancy and birth, the spine benefits from realignment. With the presences of the hormone relaxin still present in the body following birth, there is a valuable window that your chiropractor can use to help realign the pelvic bones and spine following birth.

 

 

 

Guy Bahar is The Posture Doc., a Chiropractor with offices in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Toronto, Ontario and Oakville, Ontario.  Dr. Bhasin is a Chiropractor in the Richmond Hill, Ontario location of The Posture Clinic. The Posture Clinic specializes in the detection and correction of poor posture. The unique Posture Training Method used there corrects poor posture and improves forward head posture, improving appearance, reducing pain problems and restoring overall health. See our amazing New Patient Special and find out what your posture number is today! Feel Better. Look Better. Live Better.