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Pregnancy Wellness: Supporting a Healthy Pregnancy

July 2024


Pregnancy is an incredible journey that will transform your body and your entire life. As you navigate the many changes going on throughout this process, prioritizing wellness is essential for you and your little one. From nourishing your body with the right foods, staying active, and managing your stress, pregnancy wellness involves an entire healthcare team. Whether you are a first-time mom or a seasoned mother, a holistic approach to your wellness can greatly benefit your health. We hope this blog can give you a few resources to help you on your path to motherhood.

 

What Happens To The Ligaments And Joints During Pregnancy?

 

Have you ever heard of the hormone relaxin? During pregnancy, your body produces this hormone to prepare your body for labor and delivery. Relaxin causes your ligaments to become lax, or in other words, they become much more stretchy. It will also cause your joints to widen, allowing for more movement. Relaxin causes everything to relax, hence the name, so that during the birthing process, your baby will be delivered with ease.

 

While increasing levels of relaxin is healthy, sometimes the associated ligament and joint laxity can cause pain and instability. Here are a few common conditions that may arise due to the ongoing changes to the body during pregnancy:

  • Pelvic Girdle Pain

  • Low Back Pain

  • Sacroiliac Joint Pain

  • Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction

  • Round Ligament Pain

  • Rib Pain

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Calf Cramping

  • Ankle and Wrist Swelling

 

If you start having pain during pregnancy, it may not be a cause for worry because all the conditions above are treatable by a manual health care provider such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist.

 

Exercise Recommendations For Women During Pregnancy

 

Guided by extensive research, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) have released a set of guidelines they recommend women to follow during pregnancy:

 

1.    All women without complications or contraindications to exercise should be active throughout their pregnancy.

2.    Pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week to achieve meaningful reductions in pregnancy complications.

3.    Physical activity should be spread out over at least 3 days/week, although it is encouraged to be active every day.  

4.    Incorporating a variety of aerobic and resistance training during pregnancy can help achieve greater benefits.

5.    Pelvic floor muscle training may be performed daily to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence. Proper instruction is recommended.  

6.    Lying on your back should be avoided if dizziness, nausea, or feeling unwell occurs.

 

Positions of Relief For Pregnancy-Related Low Back Pain

 

Here are a few at-home stretches that can be done if you are experiencing lower back pain during pregnancy. These exercises are for education only. You should be assessed by a healthcare professional before attempting them. 

 

Cat/Camel

  • While on your hands and knees in a crawl position, raise up your back and arch it toward the ceiling in a rounded position.

  • Hold for a few seconds then return to a neutral spine position.

  • Next bring your belly to the floor by arching your back in the opposite direction.

  • Hold for a few seconds then return to a neutral spine position.




Child’s Pose

  • While in a crawl position, slowly lower your buttocks towards your feet until a stretch is felt along your back and or buttocks.



Piriformis Stretch

  • While lying on your back with both knees bent, cross one leg over the other knee.

  • Next, hold your opposite thigh and pull it up towards your chest until a stretch is felt in the buttock.

 


What Will A Treatment Look Like?

 

Our manual therapists are trained to modify their treatment plans to accommodate the many changes that come with pregnancy. We have pregnancy pillows that allow you to lie on your stomach without putting pressure on the baby. We can provide pregnancy taping to relieve pressure on the abdomen. We can dispense compression stockings to help with lower limb swelling. Most modality use is not recommended during pregnancy so our manual therapists can offer muscle release therapy, mobilizations, adjustments, and exercise prescriptions.

 

If you are experiencing pregnancy-related pain, want some guidance for staying healthy throughout your pregnancy, or have more questions, book with our chiropractors or physiotherapists by giving us a call at (416) 291 0070 or booking online today.

 

 

 

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