September 29, 2015

Tuesday Tip: Body Work!

In conjunction with a exercise, healthy diet and good prenatal care during pregnancy, body work can really add to a woman’s positive pregnancy and birth experience.  Body work can not only help ease and relieve pregnancy related issues but can also help prepare the mom’s body for labor and delivery.  

Here is list of my four top favorite body work categories.  

***For those who seek body works during pregnancy, make sure this person is specifically trained to work with the pregnant body.  Pregnancy body workers have additional training as well as special tables and pillows to accommodate the pregnant body and this make the experience a lot more comfortable than just a “make shift” set up with regular bed pillows.


Prenatal Massage:  Because of the structural changes of the pregnant body, many women experience lower back pain, stiffness of the upper back, neck and shoulders and piriformis or sciatic pain.  A prenatal massage can help alleviate many of these discomforts as well as improve circulation and reduce swelling in hands, feet and ankles.  


Acupuncture:  Among the many amazing benefits of acupuncture, it can help efface (soften) the cervix as well as stimulate labor. There was a study done through the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Vienna, Austria to evaluate whether acupuncture at term can influence cervical ripening, induce labor and thus reduce the need for postdates induction. Conclusion: Acupuncture at points LI4 and SP 6 supports cervical ripening at term and can shorten the time interval between the EDC and the actual time of delivery.


As Francis Goodwin, LAC states, “Acupuncture inductions do not stress the fetus the way synthetic hormonal inductions can.”


Chiropractor:  An experienced,  pregnancy specialized chiropractors who is certified in the Webster Technique can be invaluable in helping a baby into the optimal fetal position as well as aligning the mother’s pelvis, psoas and pelvic ligaments for delivery. The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic adjustment that eliminates sacral subluxation and improves nerve system function in the pelvis.(1)   It should be noted, baby who are in the “optimal fetal position” often result in quicker labors than those who are malpositioned.  On a side note- I fully credit my chiropractor to a smooth, and quick delivery!
Physical Therapist  There are times when a pregnant mom is having issues that require a deeper attention to the muscular and structural balance of the body.  For example, persistent pelvic pain or lower back issues or pelvic floor issues.  This when I often refer people to a physical therapist.  A trained  physical therapist can look at the whole body and habits to help identify where the imbalance initiates from and tailor exercises specifically to your needs.  They can do manual manipulation of the muscles and send you home with “homework” to help re-teach your body to stay in better balance.  




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