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Postnatal Care

Pre-natal musculoskeletal care is very common and necessary. Pregnancy related back pain hurts just like non-pregnancy back pain, except you also have to deal with being pregnant at the same time which often includes swelling and fatigue. As a result, massage therapy and chiropractic care often come to the rescue of aching mothers-to-be. Fortunately, after 40 weeks or so of carrying around your future baby, the swelling goes down, back pain resolves, and fatigue …. well, fatigue stays for quite a while (as I am learning).

Once the baby arrives though, a whole new daily routine sets in: Regular feedings (breast and/or bottle) every 3-4 hours (maybe more often), diaper changes, baby carrying, and limited sleep. The increased fatigue combined with the new awkward postural positions to feed and change your baby creates new or aggravates chronic joint and muscle dysfunction. Stiff joints and tight muscles quickly develop leading to pains and functional limitations. My new baby boy, Nathan, is just three weeks young, yet, I already feel the locked spinal joints at the base of my neck and upper back coupled with rope-like tension of my scalene muscles (front of the neck). Thus, postnatal musculoskeletal care is a term I am now using. My chiropractor is scheduled to treat me tomorrow to unlock my spinal joints, and my massage therapist (Satori’s Valerie Wendl) has already worked her magic on my back and neck.

Take home message: If you thought your need for some musculoskeletal treatment was over once your baby was born, think again. Both mom and dad will need regular care to off-set the rigors of new postural distortions due to breast and bottle feeding, diaper changes, and late night baby-soothing as you carry your little guy back and forth down the halls. Make friends with your chiropractor and massage therapist; Visit us regularly; Stay physically well; And enjoy your baby!

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