Dr Molly specializes in treating pregnant women, newborn babies and families through chiropractic adjustments and/or acupuncture.
As I type this, I am 8+ months pregnant with my third and can speak from experience. The truth is, for most of us mamas, natural childbirth is a marathon. We wouldn’t show up to a race like that without training and the same can be said with natural childbirth. Some believe “it’s going to be what it’s going to be” or genetics play a role, so they are doomed when it comes to having a baby…Not true! Did you know that there are many things you can do to help your body and baby be in optimal shape for a quicker, easier natural childbirth? There are a handful of simple things you can do to prepare you for the big day! It comes down to 4 main areas you should look at;
Nutrition * Exercise * Sleep * Chiropractic/Acupuncture
When it comes to your diet during pregnancy, I’m sure you will hear “take advantage of being able to eat anything you want!” This is NOT the way to go about it! If you start off at a healthy weight, you need no extra calories during the first trimester, about 300 extra calories a day in the second trimester, and about 450 extra calories a day in the third trimester. Most pregnant women need to get more protein, vitamins and minerals such as folic acid and iron. This means eat lots of lean meats/poultry, veggies (green leafy are best) and make sure you’re taking a quality prenatal supplement. We carry the very best researched and studied nutritional supplements in the office at a comparable price to what you are likely paying already. Also, increase your water intake. You should typically be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day (ex: wt. 150lbs=75oz H2O) and need to drink even more during pregnancy as that baby will require more fluid than you are used to…You’re drinking for 2!
There are some great & easy exercises to do during pregnancy. The hormone relaxin is released during pregnancy to help with joint laxity. Simply walking helps to keep the body in balance as you get closer to delivery. Try to walk 30 minutes every day. Make an exercise ball your new best friend. Just sitting with proper posture and a slight bouncing motion will help stretch pelvic joints and keep baby moving downward. Pelvic tilts and hip hikes on the ball are great exercises to utilize throughout pregnancy and especially when you are preparing for the big day. Pelvic tilts consist of small forward to backward movement of the pelvis. Sitting straight and tall on the ball with legs spread wide and focus on moving only your pelvis to roll the ball slightly forward and back again. Similarly, hip hikes will be the same starting posture but then imagine bring your hip toward your ear on one side, then the other. These should both be performed 5-10 minutes, 3 times per day. Finally, sitting on the floor in butterfly position will not only create a nice stretch for your adductor and groin muscles, but will also work to open the pelvis so baby can move into position for optimal delivery. Perform this stretch 3 times per day and hold each stretch about 5 minutes.
Sleep is one of the most beautiful things we get as it is a time to relax, recharge and reset the mind and body. Be sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep to keep you and your growing baby healthy. It is recommended that the average person needs 8-10 hours per night. For proper support we suggest you sleep on your left side while pregnant with a thin pillow between your knees for pelvic support, hug a pillow or spouse to keep your upper back in ideal posture and a supportive neck pillow to keep your head in a neutral position. We carry a pillow in the office that offers support, correction of the neck curve and is extremely comfortable at the same time! Please ask us about them next time you’re in.
Of course chiropractic and acupuncture are extremely important during pregnancy as well as post-partum. Getting regular adjustments helps to keep proper motion in the joints that desperately need it. With the growing belly in the front, mothers-to-be tend to notice an increase in discomfort in the back as they try to keep themselves upright. As you near the end of the pregnancy, adjustments and acupuncture can be utilized to assist in a smooth delivery with much less pain than one would normally experience. These two techniques are also great tools in helping to move breech babies head down, assist in labor induction (if it’s that time) and relieve the “back labor” and sciatica that can often come with pregnancy. Post-partum we encourage mom and baby get checked as labor/delivery can be difficult on both of you.