All Posts By

Jen Givens

Blog Post: How Stress Before, During, and After Pregnancy Can Affect You and Your Baby

By | Events

How Stress Before, During, and After Pregnancy Can Affect You and Your Baby:

Stress before pregnancy can present as fertility struggles. Whether it takes years to conceive or mom is undergoing multiple rounds of IVF, this can really take a toll on moms overall well being. This can present as emotional or even physical stress. For example, In a study performed on stress and conception, researchers found that women whose saliva had high levels of the stress marker (alpha amylase) took 29% longer to conceive (NIH.gov). In another study, patients who struggled with fertility experienced significant emotional distress evoking feelings of depression, anxiety, isolation, and loss of control (The relationship between stress and infertility by Kristin L Rooney). Stress experienced prior to pregnancy and during conception can also manifest as stress in the developing baby. The effects of this stress are usually seen at birth with a baby who is very tense, uncomfortable, and displaying excessive fussiness.

Stress during pregnancy can also affect both mom and baby. In mom, stress may present as a very uncomfortable pregnancy or even a breech pregnancy. If mom is stressed her muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding the pelvis tighten and start running on protection mode. This tightening can then cause round ligament pain, pubic bone pressure, or even sciatic symptoms such as numbness/tingling. In addition, this tightening also limits the amount of room baby has in the tummy. With limited room, the baby does not have enough space to make its way head down sometimes leading to more invasive procedures such as an ECV (external cephalic version) or even a C section delivery.

Stress after pregnancy can also take a toll on mom and baby. Often times, women find themselves with a low or absent milk supply. Increasing levels of stress due to lack of sleep or adapting to a new routine with baby can cause an increase of stress hormone within the body. This increase in cortisol/stress hormone inhibits the release of other hormones such as prolactin which is responsible for producing milk. Moms are quick to blame themselves or feel shame for not being able to produce for their little one which then continues to contribute to increased levels of stress. Also, moms suffering from post partum depression or anxiety tend to stress about not being able to bond with their little one and the stress continues to pile on as they feel like motherhood may not be suitable for them.

Some helpful tips for managing stress include seeing a neurologically focused pediatric and prenatal chiropractor before, during, and after pregnancy. Neurologically focused chiropractors assess the nervous system and how well you are adapting to physical (pregnancy, desk job), chemical (diet/environment), and emotional stressors (changes in routine/daily stressors). They take a look at 2 key factors of the nervous system which are the Parasympathetic Nervous System and the Sympathetic Nervous System. Often we find that pregnant moms or even individuals with busy careers are running on the Sympathetic side which is described as someone who is GO GO GO, drained, and overwhelmed. Through chiropractic adjustments we can start engaging the parasympathetic nervous system which is the calming aspect of our system. It can help manage stress, improve sleep, regulate hormones, boost our immune system, and help people feel their best.

Our Doctors love being a support system for you! Please feel free to contact our office if you have further questions of how chiropractic care can help you before, during, and after pregnancy!!

Blog Post: Top Tips for a Sleep Routine

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Top Tips for a Sleep Routine:

Summer is here and with school being out we notice both parents and kids running into exhaustion. Summer is usually a time where everyone is GO GO GO from summer vacations/traveling to daily activities to keep everyone entertained. Here are some tops tips to maintain a sleep routing during this time.

One awesome tip includes sticking to a sleep schedule.
Having a consistent sleep schedule is important because this is when our body can rest and heal. Being that we are out doing more whether it be traveling or a day at the splash pad, we need to give our bodies time to soak in the day. If we are running on very little sleep, our immune systems begin to plummet making us more susceptible to becoming sick. Therefore, it is important to go to bed at a consistent time every night and attempt to sleep a full eight hours.

Another great tip for maintaining a sleep routine is creating a restful environment. Limiting screen time an hour before bed is especially important because it allows our brain and bodies to begin winding down. By doing so, our body is able to experience deeper and more restorative stages of sleep. Limiting light exposure can also help boost melatonin production and overall quality of sleep (SleepFoundation). Additional ways to start the winding down process include diffusing essential oils such as lavender, a dark environment/room shades, calming music, or even a bath before bed.

Last but not least, it is important to get adjusted by a neurologically focused chiropractor. They take their time in assessing two very key aspects of the nervous system which include the Parasympathetic Nervous System (brake pedal) and the Sympathetic Nervous System (Gas pedal). The Parasympathetics/brake pedal is focused on growth, rest, digestion, and healing as opposed to the Sympathetics/gas pedal which is Go Go Go and stress stuck on. As you would imagine someone who is constantly on the GO becomes stuck on stress mode which then may affect their sleep, immune system, and even digestion. Getting adjusted regularly allows the body to begin pumping those brakes and experience improved sleep.

Our Doctors love being a support system for you! Please feel free to contact our office if you have further questions of how chiropractic care can help you achieve your sleep goals!

Blog Post: Why Chiropractic Care Should Be a Part of Everyone’s Birth Plan

By | Events

Why Chiropractic Care Should Be a Part Of Everyone’s Birth Plan:

In preparation for birth, moms will typically put together a team to support them on the journey they are about to embark on. Some key players may include a doula who can offer much needed emotional support through the process or even a mid wife who performs regular check ups. With that being said, a key player that would be a great addition to their team includes a chiropractor who focuses on pregnancy. Not only can chiropractic care help support these women through the physical changes pregnancy encompasses such as round ligament pain, sciatica, or pubic bone pain; it can also help with every day stressors and optimal positioning for mom and baby.

Chiropractors who focus in pregnancy utilize the Webster technique which is a specific chiropractic adjustment that focuses on restoring balance to the pelvis. This technique takes into account the muscles, bones, and ligaments surrounding the pelvis that may be creating uterine torsion. This may also affect the positioning of the baby. As a woman’s body is constantly changing during pregnancy, we recommend starting care early on. This approach can help many pregnant women stay ahead of aches and pains but also prepare the body as best as possible for birth.

Although we suggest getting started early in pregnancy, we find that often pregnant women seek us out towards the end of their pregnancy. Usually these moms are very uncomfortable or have a baby who is breeched and not in proper positioning for birth. In regards to breeched presentations; chiropractic care is still beneficial as it can help moms avoid C sections or even painful hospital procedures aimed at flipping a baby. With that being said, in order to restore balance to the pelvis especially in this late stage of pregnancy, consistency and repetition plays a huge factor. Therefore, we tend to see these moms three times a week. This time frame allows us to do our best to restore balance to the pelvis in order for the baby to make its way head down. Regardless of the outcome, we support moms in any stage of pregnancy and thereafter.

A common question we get asked in the office Is how soon after delivery one can come in for an adjustment. Moms are encouraged to come in as early as they feel ready. Whether it was a tough C section delivery or mom is experiencing very tender breasts, we are able to accommodate around these areas with supportive pillows in order to facilitate a comfortable adjustment. At this time, we continue to assess the pelvis and also bring awareness to many post partum challenges that may arise. Some of these challenges may include post-partum depression, adapting to being a new mom, or even managing a little one who may be extremely fussy or colicky. We truly believe that a mom who is educated will be empowered throughout her journey.

Our Doctors love being a support system for expecting moms through throughout their pregnancy journey! Please feel free to contact our office if you have further questions of how prenatal chiropractic can help you achieve your labor and delivery goals!