- Dr. Liz Homan
Body Changes During Pregnancy
Our bodies do such amazing things on the journey of becoming a mother! There are so many things that happen that most of us are not aware of to allow for our body to carry a baby in utero and to prepare for the birth of our child. I want to share some of the amazing things our body does and encourage you to honor the changes that you undergo through this process!
One of the big things that I see change in patients is their posture. As baby grows, your center of gravity moves forward which results in your lumbar curve increasing. This can place additional strain and force on the joints in your low back possibly resulting in discomforts. Also, due to the forward position of your center of gravity, your shoulders shift leading to a loss of your cervical curve, which this can lead to neck discomforts and possibly headaches.
What some women report as the first sign of pregnancy is an increase in breast size and tenderness. This is the body preparing to nurse the newborn baby and begins very early on in pregnancy. The increased breast size can cause some additional strain and stress on the mid back area resulting in pain or discomfort. It is also common for women to round their shoulders forward in response which can result in a pulling type discomfort in the mid back area.
As your belly continues to grow, rib expansion is necessary to allow room for baby to move around! This can lead to mid back discomfort in the area where your rib cage connects with your spine. Also, as the belly expands, it leads to a general forward and downward pull. And then as baby engages in the pelvic opening, there will be a shift in pelvic structure, possibly leading to discomfort in the symphysis pubis or in the sacrum. This discomfort often leads to a change in your gait which can then lead to more aggravation in the pelvis or hip joints leading to flair ups of sciatic nerve pain or uterine ligament tightness.
The beauty of all of this, is that as pregnancy progresses, the body releases a hormone, Relaxin, which loosens joints to increase the mobility. This can leads to a decrease in pain levels as much of the previous tightness that may have been felt decreases. If there was any joint instability prior to pregnancy, relaxin can aggravate those joints as they may become more unstable with the increased mobility.
So above and beyond what we can plainly see, your body does so many amazing things to help keep you balanced as baby grows. If there are little things not in proper alignment, you now see how that can lead to a lot of discomfort as the body changes.
If you are experiencing discomforts as your body is going through these changes, please let me know and I would be happy to share with you many stories of moms gaining so much relief from chiropractic care during their pregnancy!