In the hubbub and delight of preparing for a new arrival, many new moms are turning to more holistic approaches for a natural birth. Dr. Michael Day, a chiropractor at Mountain Movement Center in Greenville, and Catherine Hackett, a certified massage and bodywork therapist at Ah, There’s the Rub! in Greenville, both encourage expectant and new moms to visit the chiropractor and massage therapist for a smoother labor and delivery recovery time.
Starting in the first trimester, Day encourages moms to seek out an International Chiropractic Pediatric Association member chiropractor.
“Prior to delivery, I can help with pelvic pain, lower back pain, ribs, headaches, indigestion and sleep,” said Day, who is a member of ICPA.
As muscles and ligaments stretch, “once a month visits can help turn the baby into the proper position for delivery,” he added. The Webster technique is a specific sacral adjustment that “helps nerves fire and balances pelvis muscles,” he said. Proper prenatal chiropractic care does not induce labor and is “less shock on already loose ligaments,” Day added.
Day also noted that while many women think to see the chiropractor prior to the birth of baby, many could benefit from after care as well. He said post-natal chiropractic care can help moms avoid the dreaded “mom butt” as they can attain a pelvic floor restoration faster. He further maintains that moms who do receive chiropractic assistance after birth are the ones that he sees having a “firmer bladder control and a return to exercise sooner.”
Hackett said mothers can benefit from massage even as soon as the day after delivery. Post pregnancy abdominal massage can help “expedite the return of internal organs to the proper position,” she said.
For those women who have excessive stretching of the rectus abdominis, Hackett said, “Massage can help reduce the gap, draw those abdomen muscles together and help reduce the chance of herniation.”
Quite simply put, Hackett said one of her clients told her that “massage helped her not feel like a duck that had her tailbone out of whack.”
As the parent of a son who needed chiropractic adjustment after the trauma of delivery, Day believes an ICPA practitioner can assist babies with a host of issues such as “constant fussiness, latch issues, torticollis and teething.”
He urges parents to consider the non-invasive and low intensity options of chiropractic treatment that are often covered by insurances, but overlooked by new parents. Visiting a chiropractor twice yearly can have benefits for children as they get older as well.
“As they reach the different stages of movement, an adjustment can help them maintain balance, correct trauma from play or sports accidents and head off joint stress of the modern life of backpacks and screens,” he said.
He encourages wary parents to consider the benefits.
“It can’t hurt to use the natural approach of chiropractic and massage therapy with mainstream care,” he said.