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Why a Chiropractor Could Help During Pregnancy

The thought of seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy may cause a sideways glance from some, but ask any woman who has had back pain, sciatica, or tried everything under the sun to flip a breeched baby and they will tell you that their chiropractor saved their life.

Just like how it takes a village to raise a child, I believe it takes a team to support a mama to be through her pregnancy -- and that can include midwives, doulas, OBGYNs, acupuncturists, massage therapists, nutritionists and, yes, chiropractors. Passing an 8 pound human through a very small space is no small feat and you want to be prepared mentally and physically.

Here’s 5 essential reasons why every pregnant woman might want to consider a great chiropractor.

  1. Get relief from your low back pain. A growing baby bump and swaying back can cause compression in the lumbar spine and sacroiliaic joints of the pelvis. Pregnancy brings many firsts but back pain that won’t go away is not one of the better ones. A good chiropractor will perform a thorough history, physical exam and movement analysis. A chiropractor can also perform an adjustment, which brings movement and alignment to the joints. They can adjust the pelvis, low back, and massage the surrounding tissue to help balance the pelvis, reducing stress around the uterus and ligaments specifically the sacrotuberous and round ligament. Not only does this bring relief low back and pelvic discomfort, but it also helps the baby descend into the best position for delivery.
  2. Stabilize and Align the Pelvis. During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone, relaxin, which loosens your ligaments to prepare the body for your baby’s head to fit through the pelvis. This relaxing of the joints brings instability to the joints and causes debilitating pain with walking, moving from sit to stand, and rolling over in bed. Chiropractors can provide exercises, stretches and an adjustment to optimize the alignment of the spine and pelvis to stabilize this area.
  3. Prevent sciatica. Do you feeling sharp shooting pain in the your leg with every step? Feeling numbness and tingling down the back of your leg to the foot? A growing belly, a misaligned pelvis, a growing uterus, and even the baby’s head in the third trimester can place extra pressure on the sciatic nerve causing these symptoms. A chiropractic adjustment can help relieve sciatica for an easier pregnancy and delivery.
  4. Prepare the baby for the best position during delivery. Labor can be painful unless you are in the 1% that may experience an orgasmic labor, and that was not my experience unfortunately. When you are pregnant, women love to tell you about her terrible back pain during labor or just a difficult labor (known as dystocia), which can be caused by a misaligned pelvis. A torqued pelvis can reduce the amount of space for the developing baby to sit comfortable, and lead to a less than optimal position when labor begins. Chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis and low back can help align the pelvis for optimal baby positioning leading to an easier and safer delivery for the baby and mama.
  5. Flip a Breeched Baby. With a balanced pelvis, babies have the best chance of moving into the correct position for birth, and the worry of a breeched and posterior-facing baby can be avoided. Only 3-4% of full term babies sit in the stubborn breeched position and some may turn head down in those last weeks, some waiting til right before labor. If you do have a breeched baby and are looking to deliver naturally in New York City, good luck finding an OBGYN or a midwife that is willing to touch that with a 10-foot pole. I found two doctors in the tristate area that will do a vaginal breeched birth at $14,000, but most other OBGYNs will default to a C-section. As a mama with a breeched baby at week 38 who was committed to having a homebirth, flipping that baby was on my mind every minute of every day. Our chiropractors at Urban Wellness Clinic are trained in Webster Technique, a series of adjustments and soft tissue massage to align mama’s pelvis to allow the baby sit properly and with a high success rate to turn the baby head down. In fact, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported in the July/August 2002 issue an 82% success rate of babies turning head down when doctors of chiropractic used the Webster Technique.

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Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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