What happens to a woman's body after giving birth?
Giving birth is often compared to a marathon. A woman’s body takes a huge amount of inner resources to ensure the baby is born safely. During these moments, all of our body systems are working at their highest, building and maintaining everything from your bones, muscles, joints, and hormones. It’s no surprise that the pressure on the mind and body of a woman during this brave moment requires a period of rehabilitation and recovery afterward.
Even when birth goes as planned - whether it is an unmedicated vaginal birth, a cesarean, or anything in between, the mother will still experience a state of recovery, where she may feel debilitated, as her body is reprogramming itself to get back to a new normal, and the hormonal system is preparing for breastfeeding.
A woman can feel cramping in her uterus, especially during nursing, which is a physiological (normal) experience, as it is contracting back to its pre-pregnancy size.
Right after birth, a woman's body will try to get rid of blood and tissue that was left in the uterus with the help of vaginal discharge which is called “lochia”. The process can take up to one month and is linked to the uterus contractions as well as breastfeeding, as the latter is stimulating the whole process to be done faster. The uterus contraction can last up to 40 days!
In addition to all that, mothers may experience discomfort in their pelvic floor due to the pressure it experienced during 40+ weeks of pregnancy and labor. The high levels of relaxin hormone increase the chance of bones and joints instability as well. This factor has concerned not only mothers who birth vaginally but those that undergo a cesarean too.
Countless mothers who had tears or a correction by episiotomy will have pain and discomfort in the injured area and will require more care on the perineum, as it should be healed first and then strengthened.
As you can see, there are a lot of processes going on after labor on a physical level. And logically it affects the emotional and mental spheres of a woman's life as well.
The vulnerability of a mother who just gave birth is at the highest level during the first month, and that is when she needs most of the support.
30 days of postpartum care
Unfortunately, most mothers do not expect all these things to hit them like a truck. Most pregnant women only focus on labor and don’t think much about the ‘episode’ afterward. The fact is, though, that it’s essential you add to your 4th-trimester prep list “mental & body care”.
Make sure there is someone who can assist you with your daily routine at home at the beginning, and that you minimize your physical activity so your body can get a well-deserved rest. Your body nurtured and grew a new human! Spend this time getting to know your sweet baby, cuddle with them and let oxytocin open the breast milk flow. Post-partum doulas are a wonderful resource and option for this period.
Many different cultures have one tradition in common – taking care of a mother after labor. Be it 30 or 40 days, the goal is the same – to give a new mom time to recover, or reborn as you wish, as her body is resurrecting after so many changes it has experienced. Keep a new mother warm and calm, allow her to eat and drink plenty so she can restore the deficits in her body, and give her abundant time to bond with her child. There’s no greater love than the love of a mother to her child.
Let the processes in your body slow down and begin to complete the healing. This time is an investment in a woman’s future health and youth, as it can help to prevent postpartum body issues from turning into chronic diseases.
Chiropractic care during the postpartum period.
Chiropractic care is very beneficial at this time: gentle techniques will help to realign the spine and pelvis, as well as to release the pressure after the painful labor process.
It is important to restore proper blood flow circulation in the abdominal area as well.
Chiropractic care will help to relieve the discomfort and speed up the recovery. It also helps with postpartum depression, which unfortunately is experienced by a big percentage of women across the world. It can be caused by many things, and one of the biggest and most common causes is the adaptation of a new life and a new you. A chiropractor can help a woman feel her body return to a more balanced state.
In addition, a chiropractor will teach women techniques and exercises to use safe postures while caring for their babies, so they can prevent back and neck pain or injuries.
Chiropractors can diagnose any posture issues at their beginning level and help to prevent them from escalating.
Dr. Cristina Padilla Bravo | Mobile Family Chiropractor in Jacksonville, FL
Dr. Padilla’s practice focuses on expecting mothers, babies, and children, creating a supportive and educational space for women and their families. She is certified in BIRTHFIT training, designed specifically to assist women in their motherhood transition.
Thrive Family Chiropractic, LLC was founded by Dr. Padilla in the fall of 2017 with the idea that Chiropractic care should be convenient and accessible to all, with a focus on facilitating care for families, women during pregnancy and children. Throughout her years of practice, Dr. Padilla has seen how challenging it can be for families to incorporate Chiropractic into their lifestyles and make it a priority rather than a luxury. With this thought in mind, Dr. Padilla wants to provide the best, most personalized and individualized Chiropractic care to women during pregnancy and to children of all ages, to help improve their lifestyle, prevent chronic illness and allow them to express their full potential in life, sports, school.
Call (904) 437-4546today for a complimentary consultation and to schedule an appointment in the office or at home!