How many of you soon to be moms are having a hard time with your pregnancy? Back pain? Sciatica? Swelling? Carpal tunnel? Headaches? Great News…Chiropractic care and other simple steps you can do will help with all of these symptoms and many more. Yoga, stretching, chiropractic care and massage are all non-invasive and drug free ways to help you get through pregnancy. After all, you are bringing in an amazing little one in to the new world and you should enjoy every step of the way and not have to suffer with pain or be uncomfortable. I’m sure when you talk to others about your back pain you hear, “that’s normal for pregnancy,” or “the headaches are hormonal. It will go away after you have the baby.” Well, it isn’t normal and it’s as simple and aligning your spine and pelvis as well as getting up and moving and staying hydrated.
Adjusting women in pregnancy is quite different than if they were not. During pregnancy, a lot of the focus of the adjustment is on the pelvis to restore the neuro-biomechanics. Women who are symptom free of pain seek out a prenatal chiropractor who is specialized to help balance the pelvis and allow them to have an easier and shorter labor. There is a specific technique for pregnant women called The Webster Technique. It was developed by Dr. Larry Webster, a chiropractor who is also the founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA); he discovered an adjustment of the pelvis and sacrum, the triangular bone between the hips at the base of the spine, helped reduce intrauterine constraint in the pelvis which can lead to dystocia (difficult childbirth) as well and low back pain, sciatica, or SI dysfunction. By aligning the pelvis, this will give the baby optimal fetal positioning to prepare for birth and allow them to develop their spine and nervous system. The baby should be moving often, and when they are stuck in the same position in a span of months, development of the fetus can be hindered, especially the brain and spine. The nervous system is the first to develop in an embryo, making the nervous system the most important system of the body. That is why regular adjustments to both mom and baby are important not only throughout pregnancy in utero, but throughout lifetime. Many chiropractors are now specialized in prenatal and pediatric care and are trained through the ICPA or the International Chiropractic Association (ICA). It is important for you to find a chiropractor who is trained or is comfortable with adjusting a mom to be.
Not only are regular spinal alignments imperative during pregnancy, get up and move. Walking is so important to pelvic health during pregnancy. Walking will help keep the muscles and ligaments loose and limber which will help you during labor. The pace should be at your comfort level. You should walk between 30 to 60 minutes a day if you can. During your lunch, take a stroll around the office or parking lot. Take the dogs or a walk. Go to the mall and window shop. Find some girlfriends that have already had babies and talk about their experiences and what they enjoyed about being pregnant. If you are experiencing a lot of back pain when walking, you can use and ice pack while you are moving. Tuck an ice pack in your pants and cover it up with your shirt. No one will notice. The ice will help to penetrate into the SI joints deeper when walking to help remove the inflammation. Your body will thank you. Make sure when you are finished that you stretch you hamstrings. The muscles are attached to you pelvis and need to be stretched on a regular basis. So, after walking and after sitting for a while. At the office, get up several times to stretch your legs, get the blood flow going. Stretching the hamstrings several times in the day will give the baby more room to move.
Don’t forget about prenatal massages. Prenatal massages are a wonderful compliment to chiropractic care. While the chiropractor will help to align your body, the masseuse will help to massage and loosen the muscles and put the muscles back in to place as well. Not only will you feel amazing from the muscles aches and soreness, it will help with circulation of the blood to the pelvis and baby. You will notice with getting regular chiropractic adjustments and massages how much better you will feel and keep the pain ay bay much longer. Full body massages are not usually recommended until week 20 in pregnancy for safety reasons.
Prenatal yoga is another way to help keep your body and pelvis aligned. By doing yoga, you will feel more centered and balanced. It helps to increase circulation as well to the body just like massage. You will learn to breathe on more of a regular pattern which will help you during your labor. It can help you reduce your stress levels, which is important during pregnancy. It is important as well to look for a prenatal yoga class verses a regular class because the instructors are more aware of the body in pregnancy. They can help you modify positions as you become farther along in your pregnancy. Also, it is nice to have other women around who are going through pregnancy as well. It is a great bond you all will share.
Ladies, you MUST drink water. Just water. Not tea, soda, or packets of things, or drops to make water taste good. Just water. You may add some lemon if you like, that will help to alkalize your body. Water is needed for the baby to grow. Our bodies are made of 50-75% water. Your muscles and organs need the water to keep you your body moving and growing. You will notice your headaches will start to disappear. Headaches are a sign of dehydration, not always “hormonal.” So, how much water do you need to drink? The rule of thumb is body weight divided by 2. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink a minimum of 75 ounces. Since you are pregnant, and drinking for two, drink extra. Yes, it is a lot of water, but it is what your body needs to deliver a healthy and happy baby and it will help with the aches and pains of pregnancy.
What you eat is important to keep your body healthy and strong. Pregnancy is a marathon. So take care of your body for the long term, not a sprint. Make sure you are eating your fruit and veggies. The best diet to be on is one that is high in protein. You should have over 100 grams of protein a day. Many utilize The Dr. Brewer’s Pregnancy Diet founded by Tom Brewer, MD. He recommends eating every meal and snack. Do not skip any. He recommends foods to eat every day such as eggs, milk, dark green vegetables, salt, vitamin rich foods of A and C and liver. A complete list can be found at www.drbrewerpregnancydiet.com.
Salt. Yes, salt. Why do we need salt during pregnancy? Salt for the body is good for many reasons. The swelling you have… can be caused from a low salt diet. Salt is used as a transport system to rid the body of excess water. So, it helps to reduce swelling of the hands and feet. Salt is also wonderful for your organs such as your kidneys, heart and of course your thyroid. Many women experience hypothyroid during pregnancy and low salt can be a contributing factor to poor thyroid health and can help reduce the need for medication. Now, there is such a thing as too much salt. According to the World Health Organization, that amount is five grams per day. So, just sprinkle some on each meal to help with balancing the water during pregnancy especially in the summer months when swelling is very common.
These are just a few ways to help you embrace your pregnancy pain and stress free. Pregnancy should be joy and moments and memories you should have last forever.
Dr. Brenda Fairchild, the owner of Pea and the Pod Chiropractic spa dedicated to women and children, has helped hundreds of women get through pregnancy who didn’t think they could because of the pain. She is Specialized in the Webster technique and has her post degree in pediatric chiropractic to help your children when they are born and throughout life. To schedule and appointment call 302.368.0800
Fibromyalgia is a real condition that leaves women feeling frustrated when they are trying to find out why they are not feeling well.
There are many tests performed to rule out other conditions. Often times it is misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome or arthritis, delaying treatment. You should start with your primary care physician and from there you may be referred to a rheumatologist who is usually the one to diagnose fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care and massage are part of the treatment for fibromyalgia. These are just a few of the more common questions that have come up in my office.
Q: What exactly is Fibromyalgia?
A: Fibromyalgia is one of the hardest conditions to diagnose. It can take months or years for an actual diagnosis because it can mimic multiple sclerosis, some cancers, and autoimmune disorders. The American College of Rheumatology defines Fibromyalgia as “a disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness, which tends to come and go and move about the body…It typically is associated with fatigue and sleep disturbances.” * It is as if the volume has been turned up in the brain as to how pain is perceived.
Q: What can cause Fibromyalgia?
A: There are many different triggers that can cause fibromyalgia and each person is different. Some causes could come from emotional stressors, some from physical stressors, such as arthritis or spinal disorders. There is also a chance that genes may play a roll as well.
Q: What are the symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
A: There are a wide variety of symptoms associated with this condition. Some include migraine headaches, digestive/ irritable bowel syndrome, TMJ, and pelvic pain. Many say they feel “run down”, tired all the time and are not sleeping very well. Other symptoms may include feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. Some complain of a “brain fog”; meaning they may not remember things, and may take longer to retrieve information or do tasks. Most women do complain of muscle soreness or trigger points. If you have any or all of these symptoms, and they have lasted for over three months, you should consult a physician.
Q: Can Chiropractic care help?
A: Absolutely! Whether you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or you think you may have it, chiropractic care can help. While your medications can help calm your nervous system, chiropractic adjustments remove nerve interference. This allows the brain and spinal cord to communicate better to your muscles and organs of your body. This can help diminish the pain, allowing for better sleep, which in turn will rejuvenate your body! While under chiropractic care, diet and exercise will be introduced as well as some supplements such as magnesium and omegas. Massage is a wonderful compliment to chiropractic treatments.
If you have any questions, comments, or topics for future issues, feel free to contact us here.
Dr. Brenda Fairchild, RT(R)(M), B.A., B.S., D.C., Owner and Chiropractor of Pea and the Pod Chiropractic in Newark where her main focus of chiropractic is in the treatment of women (including pre-natal care) and children. Dr. Brenda is a graduate of Parker College of Chiropractic where she received her Doctorate of Chiropractic, along with Bachelor of Science degrees in Anatomy, and Health and Wellness. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from University Nevada Las Vegas and is currently working on her diplomate in children’s chiropractic care. Prior to becoming a chiropractor, Dr. Fairchild worked in the medical field as a radiological technologist in a Level 1 Trauma unit and in the cardiac cath labs for several years.
Dr. Brenda is one of the few chiropractors in Delaware that is Webster Certified to treat pregnant women and their babies. The technique is designed to allow the mother and the baby to have an easier childbirth by aligning the pelvis and its muscles and ligaments. This gives the infant maximum room in the womb, therefore decreasing trauma due to intervention. She is also a member of International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and the American Pregnancy Association.
Newark, DE. – Pea and the Pod Chiropractic is a chiropractic spa dedicated to women and children in all stages of life. More and more women are turning to chiropractic for natural option to help them during pregnancy. Some moms to be are seeking help with their back pain, some looking for help to get their baby in the best position for birth; others are looking for wellness or preventative care for them and their child. Chiropractic care during pregnancy is safe not only for mom, but the baby as well.
At Pea and the Pod Chiropractic, we are trained and specialized in pregnancy care through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Dr. Brenda Fairchild is one of the few chiropractors in Delaware who is Webster Technique Certified to help pregnant women and their babies. This technique balances the pelvis to allow the baby to have the maximum amount of room and moms notice easier and faster births and less back pain. Her own pregnancy with daughter Madelyn Jaymes allowed her to fully understand the unique needs and concerns of her patients. We also have a one of a kind custom pregnancy table designed by the owner, Dr. Brenda Fairchild which has a cutout for a growing belly to allow a mom-to-be to lay face down.
Benefits of chiropractic care during pregnancy:
- Less back pain and neck pain
- Shorter labor times and more efficient contractions
- Baby in optimal position for birth
- Helps with getting labor started
- Decreases birth trauma
- Helps with reduction of C-Section
- Helps with heartburn and reflux