By Dr. Aimee Gonzales L.Ac. MSTOM Dipl. Ac
Being pregnant is an amazing and life-changing experience. It’s also filled with new health concerns, pains and anticipation, especially for first-time moms. If you experience pain or other ailments, you may soon discover that you aren’t able to take regular over-the-counter pain relievers, cold or flu medicines, or many prescription medications. Despite this, there are still things that you can do to take care of your body during your pregnancy and the postpartum period. In this blog post, you’ll learn about six of the most popular treatments available for moms-to-be and new moms, and why they are safe for you and the baby.
Chiropractic Care for Pregnancy and Postpartum Pain Relief
If you are pregnant or recently had a child, back pain, particularly in your lower back, is a common issue. During pregnancy, your body is going through a lot of changes and dealing with added stress—you’re gaining weight, your center of gravity changes, and your hormones relax the ligaments in the joints of your pelvis.
One of the first options that pregnant women turn to for better health and pain management is chiropractic care. Meeting with a chiropractor can provide considerable relief during pregnancy since this life change can considerably alter how your body works. In many cases, women find that they experience pain and discomfort due to the added physical stresses placed on their bodies. As your body changes, it falls out of alignment with itself. As a result, you will likely experience conditions like back and ankle pain. This discomfort is a natural part of pregnancy, but a skilled chiropractor can help you overcome these problems by re-aligning your body parts to relieve stress and help you function better..
When you’re in the postpartum period, back pain will likely not improve immediately after delivery. Your body went through various changes during pregnancy, stress during delivery, and now you are often bending and lifting your baby. A chiropractor can help realign your body from the stress of gaining weight and child birth.
Managing Pregnancy Pain with Massage Therapy
One of your pain management options is massage. While you’re pregnant, your body undergoes a lot of changes that can create physical stress. For example, your back muscles must constantly support an increasing amount of weight, and you may need something to relieve some of the muscle tension. A trained massage therapist can help you relax your muscles so that you are not constantly in pain.
Many women also experience sciatic nerve pain later in pregnancy as the uterus rests on muscles of the pelvic floor and lower back. The pressure of the uterus spreads tension to the muscles of the upper and lower leg, causing them to swell and put pressure on nearby nerves. Massage therapy can help reduce sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy as it addresses the inflamed nerves by helping to release the tension on nearby muscles.
For massage to be effective, you may need to use it regularly. Weekly meetings with a massage therapist can help improve your condition by regularly reducing stress and conditioning your muscles to deal with the changes that your body is undergoing. However, many experts recommend waiting until the second trimester to start massages. That way, there is less of a concern that the massage could affect the baby.
Once you’re postnatal, massages can help restore your body can relieve muscle tension or stress that resulted from your pregnancy.
Acupuncture for Pain Management and Depression During Pregnancy
Acupuncture is used to relieve pain for a variety of conditions. It works by targeting specific pressure points in your body as a way of triggering your muscles and nerves. When done correctly, acupuncture can help you release muscle tension and stop pain. It can even be used during pregnancy.
Acupuncture can reduce the impact of a range of different conditions that are common to pregnancy. Morning sickness, back pain, and various aches and pains are common uses, but acupuncture can also help with depression. Depression is a less common but relatively common occurrence during pregnancy, and many women do not treat it. If you or someone that you know is experiencing depression during pregnancy, help them find a suitable treatment option including an acupuncturist right away.
Eating Better During and After Pregnancy with Nutritional Counseling
Another overlooked option for reducing pain during pregnancy is to check out nutrition counseling. During pregnancy, nutrition plays a significant part in how you feel. Your nutrition needs also change substantially. Working with a nutrition consultant can help you change your nutrition needs to compensate, which will help you feel better.
Nutrition counseling enables you to eat better throughout your pregnancy. With a healthier diet, your body will not be starved for the raw materials that it needs. It will also have fewer toxins and be better prepared to resist fatigues. Plus, a healthier lifestyle means a healthier lifestyle for your baby.
Nutrition counseling is also helpful for after you have the baby. A healthy diet is important for your recovery, especially if you are breastfeeding. Once you have approval from your doctor to start exercising again, getting active can also help you to start feeling better.
Diagnosing Pregnancy and Postpartum Pain Issues
If you have tried all of these other methods to improve your health and you are still experiencing pain, then it is time to talk to a pain management specialist. There are a variety of methods available to identify the cause your pain and address it. So, there is no reason for you to suffer through your pregnancy.
Pain management specialists can help you diagnose pain issues. Much of this work can be done using completely natural and non-invasive methods. That way, you don’t have to worry about hurting your baby. Simple diagnostic methods can make it clear what the source of your pain is.
Likewise, your pain management specialist can use a variety of natural and non-invasive methods to treat your pain. Many of the underlying causes of pain during pregnancy are the result of physical changes in your body. While they may be uncomfortable, these changes are natural, and your body can handle them with a bit of help. Natural treatment methods can provide relief quickly and safely. They can also be used multiple times without negative side effects.
Safe Treatments throughout Pregnancy
Many pregnant patients worry whether acupuncture, chiropractic services, and massages are safe during pregnancy. Research on alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, show that there are no serious adverse effects from acupuncture in pregnancy. All the treatments mentioned in this blog post have been successfully used on pregnant women at NJ Spine and Wellness. No matter what treatment you opt for, you should just check with your midwife or OB/GYN to ensure that the treatment is safe for you and your baby.
If you are experiencing issues during or after pregnancy, there is no reason to suffer through it without seeking help. There are plenty of methods to give you the relief that you need. To speak with a specialist, call our call our offices at 877-333-6579. We can help you with pain, discomfort, and nutritional options that can make you more comfortable and help you enjoy your pregnancy and life with baby afterwards.
Dr. Aimee Gonzalez is a nationally board certified Acupuncturist who is licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey. Aimee obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Natural Science and Mathematics from Thomas Edison State University. She earned her Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Learn more about her here.